Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the price of freedom, part 2 of 3...

second car, #2:

a.k.a. the "holy shizballs!" night.

when the gremlin was sold for parts, i threw myself a party. let's call it a wake. a celebration of a life (lived poorly, but a life nonetheless), and the fact that it was over. distributed among various people, never to be put back together to torture me for one more second.

i was happy.

nay, elated.

however, at this point in the story we were in the dead of winter (which starts sometime in mid-august and ends the following year at the beginning of july) living in rexburg, idaho. it looked a little like this:

only with much, MUCH more ice.

i consider the temperatures in this small town to be what i imagine the opposite of what hell would feel like. when you would walk outside just to take out the garbage the icy breeze wouldn't just freeze your nose hairs, it was so cold that you actually felt like your nose had completely frozen on your face and had fallen off. there were several times i dropped to my hands and knees in search of my lost nose. only to frantically reach back up to feel for it and hey! it was still there!

basically you would lose all feeling of any uncovered appendage in about 30 seconds flat.

anyone who has lived there can attest to this.

in fact, you could probably spot rexburgians of past and present amid a crowd of strangers because they are most likely sporting some sort of leftover frostbite on the edges of their sniffer. and if you look really closely i bet you can still see ice crystals in their eyebrows.

moving on.

also at this point in the story, ben was teaching seminary out in mud lake, idaho (no, i don't make this stuff up) and left early in the morning while i worked at an eye doctor's office which was about a 10-15 minute walk from where we lived. ben left about 2 hours earlier than i did for work, and got home about 2 hours before me.

now i can guess what you're thinking. can't she just walk to work? and the answer is yes, and i did. many times, in fact. or my lovely friend cindy was kind enough to give me a ride. but aside from the frigid temps and the burning desire to keep my original nose on my face, i was also 4 months pregnant. here's a visual so you don't have to just imagine what i looked like:

i know, i know. pregnancy looks good on me, right? and yes, ben had a different hair cut back in those days. but the rest is the same, thank heavens.

so i ask you.

would you want this beautiful, lithe creature who's with child to have to brave the freezing winds of rexburg and risk tripping on 3 layers of ice on top of ice on top of ice to fall and bruise her amazing backside?

i think not.

the truth is, i was fine with walking to work. by the time i would arrive i couldn't remember who i was or where i was going due to the hypothermia that had set in my brain, but i was happy to do it. but then lady fortune smiled upon me and that same friend (cindy) who would pick me up sometimes decided to upgrade her car. and this was the beaut she was a'partin with:

presenting, second car #2:

1993 honda accord.
color: champagne. condition: mint.

i will call her
"little beauty."

cindy took amazing care of this car and i knew it. so when she had heard of our gremlin circumstance, she offered to sell it to us. we jumped at the chance! we bought it sometime around the beginning of november. we adored little beauty and if you walked down the street by our house you could often overhear us outside whispering sweet nothings to this car and smothering it with slobbery kisses. with our nose muffs on, of course.

i wish i were joking.

cut to the week before christmas. we had some awesome friends who we are still friends with, who needed some help. i can't remember if their car had broken down or if they didn't think it would make the trek to utah...the details are fuzzy. long story short, we let them borrow our first car, (the nissan altima) to take to utah to visit their family. and we took little beauty to utah for our own holiday visit.

we wrapped up all of the christmas presents, packed up the car and set out for what would become a very memorable night.

as we drove we realized the severity of the weather. again, for your visual pleasure it looked a little something like this:

only worse.

i consider ben to be a very safe driver, sometimes to the point that i look at him and say in a snotty tone, "HEY OLD MAN, ARE YOU WANTING TO GIVE YOUR FRIENDS RIDING THEIR JAZZIES A CHANCE TO CATCH UP?"

but lucky for us both, he doesn't give into peer pressure or wives with a tendency to spew snot every once and a while. we slowed to a snail's pace on the freeway and i settled in for a long drive.

there were barely any other cars out on the road with us, and if ever we saw one it was usually because it had slid off and was now blinking hazard lights to alert the masses.

we were going about 55 mph in a 75 mph zone, singing "DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW..." at the top of our lungs when suddenly, we hit a patch of black ice. (the singing was a detail added for dramatic effect. ahem.)

the little beauty spun counter-clockwise and smacked into a metal pole that looked like a mile marker, only on the opposite side of the road. that pole sent little beauty spinning, orbiting around the icy and dark freeway.

our seat belts locked, my hair flew in my face and christmas presents went everywhere.

and this was it, folks.

it was like everything was in slow motion. i let out a high pitched squeal that i know would have sent dogs running to us from all directions if there had been any in sight. and as i squealed, i looked at ben with my eyes open as wide as my mouth.

and all he could do was yell,


which still makes me laugh thinking about it. i can laugh because we both survived this basically unharmed.

anyway, as our car careened out of control, we spun down into the snow-covered grassy median. the poor little beauty slammed backwards into a guard rail which luckily stopped us from spinning into oncoming traffic going the opposite direction.

we ended up at an almost 90 degree angle, much like this:

only instead of teetering our back wheels on a motor home, we were teetering on a guard rail. (i get it, this accident looks much worse. let's not compare notes, shall we? it's just to give you the ever-needed visual.)

it was one of those surreal moments where for about 30 seconds, we pretty much hyperventilated because we were breathing so hard. then we just looked at each other, with our mouths still open.

both of us thinking,
did this really just happen?

and then ben got out to survey the damage. he grabbed the camera and snapped pictures of me peeking through the windshield, basically upside down. boy do i wish i had a copy of those pictures. but alas, i do not. just think of a glowing angelina...er, me...looking like a deer in the headlights but still a vision of matronly goddessness.

he came back to report that the little beauty was broken, probably never to be repaired. i have to admit i shed a tear or two (darn that left tear duct again!) over our loss.

we called family who came to our rescue. in the meantime we were met with the biggest DB of a police officer.

he actually gave ben a ticket! for what?

improper lane travel.

so i guess we were supposed to signal as we were spinning from lane to lane?

oops, sorry officer douce bag. next time we'll remember that. our bad.

he yelled at our family members for pulling over to help us out, couldn't give a rats patootie that we were freezing in our no-longer-working car, and gave me the stink eye when he heard me spew some more snotty remarks under my breath at his gall and un-christmasy spirit.

though in the big scheme of things, mr. police-grinch-man was a minor detail. as i mentioned beforehand, luckily we were not harmed. and that was most important.

but unfortunately we could not say the same for little beauty. the insurance company deemed her "totalled" and as we removed the remainder of our belongings before she was towed away, we whispered our love for her for the last time.

she was only with us for about 6 weeks, but we still speak often of little beauty. and when she is mentioned, we bow our heads for a moment of silence.

once again, we became a one car family.

coming up.....

second car, #3



Unknown said...

Ah poor little beauty! What a legacy. And great visuals. * seriously a ticket?* What a dork! Can't wait for #3.

Erin said...

I got the giggles so bad reading about this. I kept reading things to mike through my laughter. He didn't really get it. Anyway, thanks for writing this. I needed a good laugh. Oh, yeah, I did also feel bad for you. :)