Headlights In The Sky

This is a new experimental post called “I have been so busy with work that I forgot to finish writing my piece for Monday”. So what you get instead, is a another short memory from my childhood, and a promise to have something interesting to read about on Wednesday.

Headlights shining straight up into the night sky, looking out from the window on our staircase I couldn’t help but wonder what on Earth was causing this strange event.

It was December, I was around five years old, we lived in the house I talked about in a previous post. It was surrounded by trees and wildlife, not to mention our incredibly steep and long driveway that sloped downward and curved around our house, essentially a cliff on both sides. My mother, older sister and I were at home, likely watching evening TV while dinner was cooking. At the time my father worked a few hours drive from home, so it was always quite a trek for him to get back home to a warm meal, especially when there was a few feet of snow on the ground. If you have never lived on a mountain, or out in the woods, like I did as a child, let me tell you that it is no easy task to navigate incredibly small winding roads covered in snow and ice.

My father would alternate vehicles depending on the weather, we had a few different cars and trucks over the years. At the time it was nothing special, just a 4 door family car, blue if my memory is holding together. So it is around dinner time, I am home from school and playing when my mother and sister decide that they have a really brilliant idea that will leave my father shocked (he was, to say the least). I am honestly not sure who came up with the idea, so I will for now assume that it was a joint effort (until the guilty party comes forward) on this cold winter night. The driveway was, as usual, covered in snow which meant that my father would have to drive incredibly slowing down the hill, or possibly even get out and shovel his way down foot by foot. This was frustrating after a long day at work, so my sister and mother trekked outside to remedy this problem so my father wouldn’t have to deal with it when he got home. Armed with buckets, they headed outside with steaming hot water, they knew what they were doing (they didn’t) obviously in my little mind. The snow would melt if they poured hot water on it, leaving the driveway clear and free.

Safe inside, proud of the hard work they had done, we all sat on the couch waiting for my father to get home. When we head a loud roaring of an engine, followed by an even louder crash. We ran to the window on the staircase landing, we couldn’t see anything on the driveway, except for two lights shining bright into the sky. We ran outside to see what could have happened, as my dad climbed up the snow bank confused and dazed. My mother was yelling to see if he was OK, and asking what happened. He explained that he was backing down the driveway slowly so that he could easily drive up in the morning, when he lost control on the ice and slid backwards off the side, leaving the car pointing straight up. My mother was confused “Ice? But we melted all the snow, we poured hot water on it hours ago!” My father looked in disbelief, and to his credit explained very calmly that the hot water had indeed melted the snow, but then sunk into the ground and froze the entire driveway turning it into a giant skating rink. My mother and sister burst into laughter and apologies. They still do to this day, any time the story is told at a gathering.

That is all for today, on Wednesday look forward to a whole lot of animal talk!

-Michel

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