17 December 2008

Wrapped, But Not Presents

I've been living in Vermont for about two weeks now, and life has kind of been kicking my butt. I haven't been sleeping well (my body is having trouble getting used to sleeping next to the boy on work nights), my computer crapped out and had to be replaced, and this morning I crashed my beloved PT Cruiser into a tree.

Before y'all get worried, I'm okay, no physical injuries to report. My car, however... well, let me tell you the story.

I made the mistake of trying to take the hilly-and-curvy-but-usually-faster road to work this morning, thinking that Vermont snow was just like Connecticut snow and that my car could handle it with no problem. Boy, was I wrong. I was going up a hill, lost momentum, allowed the car to gently slide (sideways-like) into a downhill-facing position, gingerly made my way back down the hill... and lost control (at 15 freakin' miles an hour, mind you) around a turn. I had just enough time to think, "crap, I'm gonna hit that tree," before the crunch. It's a darned good thing the tree was there, too, 'cause if it hadn't been, I would have gone over a 10-foot embankment and landed in a stream.

There are areas totalling about half a mile along my 20-mile route where my cell phone gets reception, and I was lucky enough to be in one of them when this happened, so I placed a surprisingly non-frantic call to the boyfriend and got out to survey the damage. The plastic bumper was ruined, the grille was damaged, and there was a strong smell of antifreeze, but nothing seemed to be leaking or burning, and the hood itself wasn't bent.

One of the cool things about Vermont is that when folks see someone stuck, they pull over to see what they can do. No sooner had I stepped out of my car than a very nice woman pulled up and asked if I was okay, expressing her regret that she lacked chains with which to pull my car off the tree. Once she established that I couldn't back the car away from the tree, but that I had the boyfriend standing by at home, ready to come rescue me with his pickup truck, she wished me luck and went on her way. A moment later I got to meet one of the hardworking West Dummerston plow drivers, who put down some salt just uphill from where my car was stuck so the boy's truck would have an easier time gripping the road when he pulled me out.

Before the boy could arrive, though, another friendly local with a pickup truck stopped and offered to unwrap my car from its tree, and I decided to take him up on it. As he was hooking up the chains, yet another friendly local pulled over to see if he could assist, and between the three of us we managed to get my car back on the road. I headed downhill to a spot where I could safely pull off to the side and get a better look at what got squished, and as I began the inspection, the boy pulled up. We determined that the bumper and grille were beyond repair, and the radiator was probably in bad shape, but the car was still driveable at that point.

You know conditions are bad when not only does the little PT Cruiser lose traction going up a hill on the dirt road that leads to our house, but so does the 4WD Silverado trying to pull the PT Cruiser. We finally gave up trying to get my car home and left it in the parking area at the bottom of the road. I had noticed that the temperature gauge had shot up and the gas gauge had shot down, so I didn't really want to drive the poor car anymore. Then began the phone calls.

Work, half a dozen mechanics, Dad, insurance, work again, and finally I was able to put the phone down and try to relax. The auto body shop sent its tow truck to retrieve the car, the insurance covers all but a $200 deductible and a rental (the boy's letting me use his truck for the duration), and the snow that caused all of this trouble is bloody beautiful.

I'm going to go take pictures of the snow now. And knit. There has been a painful dearth of knitting the last few weeks, and my hands are itching for some fibery fun.

1 comment:

Divine Bird said...

So what you're saying is that it's all been a breeze. ;) You poor PT Cruiser! I am sending good vibes to wherever it may be so it returns to you in full health soon. Yay for insurance, and wow, Vermonters are a nice bunch!!

Miss you here terribly; hope we can get together again soon. *hugs* Glad to know you're at least settling in a bit!