Friday, January 8, 2010

Emotionally Ready

Before Christmas, I went to visit my mom in Des Moines. The roads had been bad the week before and a tow ban had been out, but was now lifted. I felt like it was a safe day to travel so I headed out.

You may know that I'm a pretty cautious driver. I don't speed very much, and cringe when people weave in and out of traffic at high speeds. However, I don't stay put in the right lane either going whatever the person in front of me is going. If my cruise is set to go faster, I'll pass and then get back over.

So I was going along on 35, right after Ames, got in the left lane and came up on a car who was sort of just sitting in the left hand lane. I came up behind him, thinking he would move over, and never did. I didn't cancel my cruise control setting because I figured he would politely move over. Yes, I did get too close.

All of a sudden the simple white car in front of me turned on his flashing red and blue lights inside the vehicle. That sick feeling washed over me and I knew he was about to pull me over. YEP.... He got behind me with his lights on and I started to slow down. I didn't want to get over on the shoulder going too fast because of all the snow, but didn't think it would be safe to get to an almost stop while all the other cars were still going 70+ mph. I slowed down to what I thought was a safe speed and started on to the shoulder of the highway. The snow was too deep. It sucked me half way in the ditch before I knew what happened. I put my head on my steering wheel and that "OH CRAP!" That nice police officer who just pulled me over got out of his car and came up to my window. He was actually VERY nice and suggested I try to back up. DIDN'T WORK. He suggested I try to rock my vehicle. THAT DIDN'T WORK. He asked me if I wanted him to call me a tow truck. My frugal response was, "how much does that cost?" I told him I would like to call my husband to ask him what he thought I should do. The police officer told me he would wait in his car and to let him know what I was going to do. Travis didn't answer, so I got out of my car and tried to dig around my tires with my hands. This didn't work, so I called our insurance company and they called a tow truck for me. The police officer said to me, "I pulled you over because you were following too close. I'm really sorry you got stuck."

His apology didn't make the situation better, but it made me feel good to at least know he wasn't going to give me a ticket and didn't blame this mess entirely on me. He then drove off and left me half way in the ditch.

I sat there and cried. When I looked up and saw a minivan about 50 feet in front of me in the exact same predicament I was! A man got out of his car and started walking towards me. He said he was stopping to help me and got sucked in by the deep snow. I felt horrible! He asked me to come help him try to dig out. UH OH. I immediately thought "STRANGER DANGER". It felt kinda stupid to go with this strange man to his van. He said he had 3 young kids in the car, and I got out of mine to try to help him. I felt better as I got closer and could see the little ones in the back. I spent about 15 min. trying to help push him out and dig around his tires. Nothing was working and I went back to my car to cry some more. That's what I do in stressful situations.

About an hour later, 2 tow trucks showed up and both myself and the minivan were rescued. I left Waterloo at 1:45 pm and pulled in to my mom's house at about 6:00 pm. I was exhausted and angry with myself! I was also bummed I didn't get a picture during the whole ordeal to post a month later when I was emotionally ready to share the story. So much for getting a car with all wheel drive!


Heather January 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

I "dig" crying too...haha...glad you are OK and there is probably a "reason" you (just) went in the ditch...breath deep....ahhhh....all better now! ( I also think chocolate helps in stressful situations) haha!

Becky Bartlett January 8, 2010 at 10:06 PM  

poor thing... I would have cried, too. That was a traumatic event!!

Kim January 12, 2010 at 7:16 AM  

oh no friend! im glad you are ok! i like the 'stranger danger,' you always make me smile

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