Mud

Where i lived the pavement stopped at my property line and the road to the house was dirt. I liked it that way and i wouldn’t have changed it for the world. If you’d ever watched/smelled a crew lay down tar you knew that the stuff was not exactly organic. I’d rather have my soft dirt road, which was fine as long as i knew that when it rained my soft dirt road was going to become a soft mud road. I always kept a container of unscented kitty litter in the trunk just in case i got stuck and needed to provide something for the tires to grip. If the forecast told of heavy rain and the ground was already saturated (all through this past spring) i parked the car on top of the mulch pile so i’d be able to get it out for work the following morning. If it had been raining heavily or was still doing so when i arrived home i parked the car in the grass on the side of the property and waited for the rain to stop and the ground to firm up before trying to drive the car through the gate and down the dirt road to the house because there was no sense in getting the car stuck when i could give it a few minutes and not. I had a spot right next to a little cedar tree and some fence posts where i would sit and listen to the radio or sometimes nap while i watched the radar and waited for the rain to break so i could try the driveway. If it wasn’t going to stop raining at all for the next few hours but it was a light rain i’d chance it whispering, “c’mon baby” to the uber-heavy tank of a kia (not an insult to kia; in an accident it would save my life), and drive up onto the bank next to the road so that the left tires were on the sparse grass next to the dirt drive and the right tires were on the bit of grass growing in the middle of the road between the tire tracks. With any luck the little blades of grass struggling to survive would provide the traction the tires needed to move through the mud. I had gotten the car stuck doing this. Rarely, but it had happened. Then the kitty litter would be fetched. One time i actually just left the car where it was, walked up the dirt road to the house, went inside, and came back to move the car once the mud wasn’t so fresh. I had also parked the car outside my gate in the grass, let myself through the gate, walked to the house, and come back to the car the next morning with my work bag in tow. This was last resort behavior…since technically the car was not on private property when parked outside the gate. I did this during our record breaking rainy streak in which i thought for sure we were going to have to start building an ark. If the road had been mud for 3+ weeks, i wouldn’t recommend driving a car into it. It was all a bit of a guessing game. One just had to use their best judgment, get creative, pay attention to the weather, and make sure the vehicle was accessible for work the following morning. I never encountered a day when i had to call my neighbor for a ride to work because my car was stuck. I just had to put a little more thought into where i left it for the night, much in the way i had to decide whether i wanted to protect the car from hail or falling branches during every storm. I picked whichever one looked like it was going to be the most severe. I parked the car accordingly. If the wind was really howling i parked the car in the open field, away from heavy tree branches. If large hail was forecasted i parked the car inches from the trunks of my oak trees next to the mulch pile so that the branches would hang over the car and at least break the hail balls’ landing before they found the windshield.

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