Sunday, 5 February 2012

How could the World Change While we ate Dinner?

Dear Diary
I have to tell you that Saturday night was high up on the list of scariest things in my life.
Whilst eating dinner with friends our world became covered in 5 inches of snow.
How can it happen that quickly?
These friends live only 20 minutes away but on the edge of Epping Forest
We made a hasty retreat around 9.45 pm to take an advised quicker route that the familiar one
(Strangely we knew that the Sat Nav did not seem to know it was snowing and was suggesting the fast but narrow country lane route we had arrived on so did not attempt that!)
Very soon afterwards we found ourselves well and truly stuck
on a hill, in deep snow, in the dark, late at night, on an unfamiliar narrow road, in the forest and with no phone signal.
Everything we tried did not work, the tyres just would not grip the road and we knew we had to stop when the smell of burning tyres permeated the car. We did not have a map for such a short journey and we did not know where we were.
I tell you diary, I was frightened
I had heard of people being stuck in cars all night on the motorway, but with emergency services checking folk and handing out drinks that would not have been so scarey
Alone without drinks, blankets, and suitable shoes my imagination ran wild.
For the next hour we worked with a number of different manoeuvres.
First we allowed the car to roll backwards down the first bendy hill, unable to see out of the windows for the constantly falling snow.
When this became too difficult our next strategy was to try and turn around, becoming initially stuck sideways across the road.
This was frightening too as there were a number of 4 wheel drive vehicles using the road and not stopping even though we had our hazard lights on. Nobody wants to stop in these conditions in case they become stuck too.
Eventually we turned around and very slowly made the next hill with Alan driving zig-zag across the road, literally inch by inch while I pushed from behind.
Remember diary I was wearing flimsy shoes and my feet soon were wet through and freezing, not to mention sodden gloves and lots of snow on my hatless head.
Now this dear diary is a lady who walks around the park in the worst of the winter in a quilted jacket, fur hat, thick scarf, thick gloves, walking boots or trainers and thick socks.
Things were looking up a little until we came to a one-way single line traffic light system where we again became stuck. 
We did however, after an hour, make it to a main road which was still quite treacherous but flat and wider.
We had no choice but to return to our friends home and initially when opening the door they did not recognise these two snow covered and shivering images on their doorstep.
Soon however they were making up beds in their spare rooms while we sat drinking hot tea.
It was 2.0 am by the time I pulled the covers over me (yes dear diary it gave us more time for lots of chatting and catching up while we thawed out) to spend the night going over our ordeal in my mind and thinking of the possibility of having to spend a second night as our car was now stuck on the hill in their road.
Fortunately, and in spite of my mental gymnastics, we were able to move our car about midday on Sunday and make it home after reaching a gritted road (seen in the photo) the long way round via. 2 motorways. 

What bliss - a wide and gritted road and away from the deep forest

Our friends garden when we left

and a little of ours when we arrived home
the first bit of our journey where our car became stuck again.
We could not get from the road to our drive
Very soon our house church leader was busy with a shovel and Alan eventually drove in
So that Dear Diary was an interesting entry for today
don't you think!

Many in house church having fun either playing, having snow ball fights and sledging and clearing snow from the road and pavements
I am afraid I stayed indoors having seen enough snow for this weekend

Taken from an upstairs window it looks like we have 
match stick men

Now Julie next door is handing out Mulled Wine
The first tray was knocked right out of her hand by a snowball


Anonymous said...

What an ordeal. I'm glad you managed to get back to your friends' house safely. It looks like a lot of fun was being had outside your place today.

Pomona said...

You poor, poor things - it must have been terribly for you. I am glad that you managed to make it back to your friends anyway.

Pomona x

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We have a lot of those sudden snows here so we are more prepared I suppose. They plow and salt the roads when it is slippery here. I have had to head out to work before the plows on some occasions making for some white knuckle drives in the past. Thankfully I am now retired and haven't had to do so. Thank the dear Lord you and your car are ok and that your friends welcomed you in for the night. It was the best place to be for sure. I stay in most of the winter it seems.

talesfromagarden said...

Oh my goodness that was a frightening experience all right!I cannot think of anything more scary than being stranded in falling snow with no mobile signal.The dangers you hear about of getting hypnothermia,and the possibility of other cars driving into you! Thank God everything worked out and to think you were only 20minutes from home.It certainly looks like the ice age is returning.Luckily we here in southern Ireland have not had any snow or bad weather really,just cold and rain.I can live with that!Take care!

Vee said...

I'll say that you had more of an adventure than you ever had wished. We, of course, have blankets and shovels loaded into the car in winter, but you don't expect such things to happen. I hope that you've warmed up. It might have taken me a week to thaw out.

Lovely photos of everyone enjoying the snow just outside their own doors.

Balisha said...

Thank God you are safe...

Lorrie said...

Oh my goodness, Barbara. What a frightening experience. I'm so grateful for God's guidance and protection over you. What a story. So glad you are safe and warm.

Elizabethd said...

You must have been very frightened by that episode. The thought of being stuck overnight is too awful.
If one is expecting heavy snow one goes prepared, but that must have been so sudden.
So glad you are none the worse.

Martha said...

We heard you all had a lot of snow this weekend! Take care -- getting stuck is not any fun!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Gosh, Barbara, what an adventure you and Alan had...and quite a scary one! I'm glad you managed to make it back to your friends' home that evening. I suppose that would have been a time when a horse and buggy would be preferable to a car? Or maybe just the horse, forget the buggy that might go slipping and sliding off the road!

It's exciting to me here in Long Beach to see all that beautiful looks great in photos!

I'm glad you are both okay and did get home eventually.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That does not sound at all like much fun. Just glad you are okay!

Annie Jeffries said...

Barbara, I first read about this over at Facebook. Thank God you and Alan are fine and none the worse for wear. You were surrounded by angels - for sure.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

What do I think? I think you and Alan have TRUE GRIT. You out there pushing in a snowstorm? Alan as navigator where any wrong turn of the tire or wheel could be dire indeed. So soon after his leg trouble. Goodness you two lead exciting lives!

becky up the hill said...

Wow, God was taking care of sorry for the ordeal. You now have a good story to tell! Snow is the most beautiful and scary thing..take care, rest up!

Cheri said...

Wow! My computer got hit by lightening and when I got one up and running I thought I would check in with you. That is a lot of snow! We usually have snow at this time of the year but we are having thunderstorms instead! Cheri

Willow said...

I am relieved that you made it back safe and sound albeit snowy. We hear stories every winter of people becoming stuck in the snow and some not surviving the ordeal.

Scriptor Senex said...

The scariest experience of my life involved driving a 35cwt van across the M62 in snow but unlike you at least I wasn't the4 only one on the road. You have my genuine sympathy and really glad it all worked out OK in the end.

Knitting Mania said...

Oh my goodness thankful you two are okay and safe. I would of been hysterical in that situation, trusting God for our lives, knowing about stories where the people didn't survive this type of ordeal. Thank God you made it back to your friend's place.

Wow...thanks for sharing the pics, that's a lot of snow!

Midwest to Midlands said...

Glad you made it back to your friends safe and sound and then back home. We too were at friends and drove home sliding into a curb. We then had to shovel to get in our drive, but nothing like your experience. I lived most of my life in snowy winters but totally different as the road crews and cars were more equipped to handle it. Have a safe and warm week ahead.

Jan at Love It said...

Scary indeed and so glad to hear you are safe and sound. You're so brave to be out there pushing.

Adrienne said...

So glad you are safe. Thanking God for protection and guiding you home!

Needled Mom said...

What a frightening experience!!! I am so glad that all turned out well in the end.

c. Joy said...

Glad to hear you are safe. You and Alan have wonderful adventures thanks for sharing. Here it is colder than last week, but no snow.

Lori Zehr said...

I'm glad you're ok. This looks like a typical winter storm that can happen where I live. However, it being typical, we are more prepared for it, usually. Mostly the 5 inches of snow take longer to accumulate. We have hardly had any snow this winter and are very thankful for our unusually mild winter. Lots of times we keep boots or heavy clothing in our cars. Blessings!

Elizabeth said...

What an adventure!
So glad you made it home safe.
Who would have thought it in England...!

a woman who is said...

YOU PUSHED the car UP A HILL!!! Dear Barbara you are one strong woman for your age...UNBELIEVABLE! I am soooo glad you and Allan are alright and survived that horrid night. My goodness you must have really been in the middle of no where. I am so grateful that you finally made it back to your friends house.

Worse of all you probably missed Downtown Abby!!!

You pushed the car up a hill...

Cousin Pam said...

How terrifying! So glad you were able to make it back to your friend's for the night. Bet you were grateful Alan was able to drive again!

La Petite Gallery said...

I know how scared you must have been. I once was in a white out, you couldn't see at all. We pulled off the road, and waited for it to clear, I was afraid we might get hit by another car. I carry ice scraper, blanket a jar of ice melt and bag of kitty litter in the back seat, Always have a bottle of water, fiber bars in the car, Glad you are safe and sound. Make a little kit. Sometimes you can throw a blanket under the back wheels to get out. yvonne