Only in Minnesota does the first week of December usher in a winter storm on Saturday evening (we got about 8 inches of snow), followed by a blizzard on Sunday evening (gusts of 40 miles per hour, windchill at -30 degrees).
I stayed at a friend’s house last night, as we had a gas leak yesterday (to make a long story short: carbon monoxide is scary, CO sensors are necessary, and we’re all very lucky to be alive). Although the energy company declared us in the clear, I was still feeling nervous about sleeping at Bag End. Someone from my high school died of CO poisoning when I was in 10th grade or so, and I’ve been extremely wary of it ever since.
Anyway, when I set out this morning, the first step was digging my truck out of the snow. The second step was driving at a crawl until I reached the turn for my alley. I thought it would be smart to park there (in our small driveway) instead of on the street, given snowplows would likely be making several passes before Monday. The snow was deep in the alley, but I didn’t let that stop me: I have a truck! I am invincible!
I promptly got stuck. No amount of maneuvering or gas application was helping, so I got out to dig. Then I walked the two minutes to Bag End to get a shovel so I could dig some more. Then I slumped against the bed in despair, certain I was meant to die a cold death in the snow, wearing bright blue Boise State sweatpants. Suddenly, another truck drove down the alley toward me. The woman in the passenger seat grinned, and the man in the driver’s seat jumped out, grabbed a tow strap from his bed, and hitched me up in the cheeriest and most efficient manner possible. A few good tugs and I was off the ice my tires had apparently been spinning against for the past half hour and on my way home.
This is why I live in Minnesota, folks. Because while I was being helped by a stranger, I noticed that a few blocks down, a van had gotten stuck near Casey’s. Several people had abandoned their pre-blizzard gas pumping in order to push the van out.