Thursday, March 5, 2015

03-04-2015 – Riding Shotgun – Rain, Rain, Go Away

After delivering salt to Mill Creek yesterday, there wasn’t time for a second delivery, so I preloaded for today. At 6:50 this morning, I pulled out, headed for Glenville, West Virginia. Another driver and I travelled together down to Elizabeth on 14 and then took 5 over to Glenville. The road was full of standing water from the rain that had been coming down since yesterday evening, so we went a TINY bit slower than we might have otherwise. The rain, falling on the snow, still lying on the ground, created a certain amount of fog to mix with the falling rain. Driving under such conditions isn’t particularly enjoyable. The Little Kanawha was running near full bank on our way there. About halfway there, a couple more trucks caught up with us that had left just after we did. That told me who’d been driving the fastest. Our directions were a little better today, at least; the dump site was only a mile and-a-half farther from the stop light than stated, rather than ten miles like the other day.

Going back, we took 5 to Grantsville and then 16 to St. Mary’s and reloaded. Then, we headed the same way back to Glenville by way of Grantsville. Travelling the ridges was interesting. There was far more fog on the hills than there had been along the river. Between the fog and the rain, visibility was downright bad at times. I, and the guy I’ve been running with some lately, got started just after the other two, but they must have tried a shortcut, because we arrived at the DOH garage before they did without ever passing them. Once there, one of them pulled in as we were ready to leave, saying the other one broke down. I went ahead to the gas station down in town to use the restroom, while my “buddy” waited for the other guy to unload. I assumed they’d wait for me, but they didn’t. Apparently, the guy who’s been driving with me has no connection with me, particularly; he just doesn’t like to travel alone.

The guy had remarked that I’d been awfully quiet on the way up. I didn’t tell him that I was remembering all the times that my ex and I had traveled those roads. I was recalling the visits with her relatives, and her grandmother feeding us when we went up to clean the cemetery where the her father lay buried with his kin. We questioned relatives about her family history and were interested in the fact that they didn’t like to talk about the ancestor who was killed while serving as sheriff. Apparently, he was raiding a moonshiner’s still and got himself killed in the process. Local sympathies (even among his own relatives) seemed to favor the moonshiner! Many other memories from those days went through my head, too.

The strange truth is that we got along far better most of the time than I do with my current wife of 32 years, EXCEPT about money. She was completely obsessed with it, once working three jobs to make all the lovely green stuff that she could. I, on the other hand, was completely too unconcerned with the matter. As long as I made enough to cover my needs, I didn’t worry about it much. In fact, I felt that working an extra job, for most people, meant that they were refusing to live within their means. It also amounted to stealing a job that some other poor soul may have desperately needed. The truth is, I still feel that way, but I now realize how important money is if you want to lead a “normal” life. Ironically, my first decent job didn’t come until four months after our divorce was final.

Coming back to town, I chose to take Tanner road to Burnt House and in 47. I hadn’t stopped to think that maybe the Hughes River might be running heavier than thee Little Kanawha. It was. I got the driver’s side wheels wet three times and both sides once. The latter was when I drove through about 18-24 inches of muddy water for about 100 feet. I figured if the van in front of me could make it, my dump truck should handle it. It did. I spent a lot of the drive back to town talking to the Lord, asking Him not to let me get stranded for the night waiting for the water tom go down. He graciously granted my request.

When I got home, the rain was indeed going away (by turning to sleet), so I took the wife and the dog to town, got some gas, some groceries and some snacks. In the meanwhile, the sleet had changed to huge snowflakes. The road up our hill was just barely passable for my temporarily two-wheel-drive pickup by that time, but we got safely ensconced in our home before the lights started flickering. So far, they’ve only cut out twice and come back on. It’s a wet, line-breaking snow, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed and praying a little that our juice won’t go out while we’re house-bound. I hope you’re warm and safe tonight. © 2015

1 comment:

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I feel the same way about snow, rain is my second least favorite thing to drive in. I got stuck in the middle of our hill that leads up to the house. We could not even walk up or down so my husband came down on the four wheeler with the snow plow blade and slid my car down backwards, coming so close to the deep ditch. I just knew the car was going over but he made it down, salted the road and we finally got it up. I won't even try to go down it today unless the ice is gone. It was just almost a dusting of snow that flash froze.