01.31.10

Digging the car out

Posted in General News at 7:01 pm by Rebekah

I have long heard about how Oklahomans tend to help each other out in time of need, and today I experienced this.

The ice and snow continued to melt today, even though it was cloudy and the temperature never got above freezing. However, it hasn’t been melting fast enough for my taste.  I finally have to leave my apartment tomorrow morning; I’ve been cooped up since Wednesday night, with the exception of a few brief walks out into the ice world. However, I have to teach class in the morning, so I decided I had better go out before dark today and start to uncover my car.

I think that when I was a child, my disposition to run into things and hurt myself (which hasn’t stopped, by the way) must have cost me a few precious brain cells, as somewhere along the way I lost some common sense.  When it comes to storm chasing and some outdoor activities, I am often very well-prepared.  When it comes to ice storms, clearly I am not prepared.

I left my ice scraper locked inside my car, which was encased in 0.75 inches of ice and 5 inches of snow.  Smart.  It is a small, hand-sized ice scraper that I brought down with me from Washington; I don’t even have one of the large scrapers that most people around here seem to own.  Note to self: go buy one and keep it in the house.

At least I had a full can of de-icer, so I headed outside with the de-icer, a jug of cold water, and a flip flop.  The purpose of the flip flop was to assist me in brushing the snow off my car, as my snow brush was in the trunk.  I first got the snow off of the driver’s side of the car before I started using the de-icer.  That wasn’t enough to get the door open.

I went inside and grabbed a small fork, as I thought that it could help get the ice out from around the door.  With the help of a fork and de-icer, I got the driver door open so I could warm up the car and get it de-frosted.

Next I started on the windshield.  Oh, and I might mention at this point that I don’t own a pair of warm gloves.  I have one pair of leather gloves I bought in San Francisco last year, but I don’t like to get them very wet.  So here I am, making small progress with water, de-icer, and a fork.  At this point I hear someone behind me crunching on chips, and I hear a voice saying “Do you need any help?”  I turn around and see a 12 or 13 year old boy watching my progress.

I told him I would be fine; it would just take me a while.  He wouldn’t take no for an answer, though, and started using his arms to sweep large amounts of snow off my car.  He was surprised I wasn’t wearing gloves, so I told him that I only had leather gloves I didn’t want to get wet, and I got a look that made me feel like such a girl.  Note to self: buy some gloves.  The boy was very helpful, and even went so far as to volunteer his mom to take me to where I needed to go!  As I started to chip through the ice on the windshield, the kid suggested a metal spatula.  Regarding the need for more power, he said “this is about the time where you really need a guy!”  LOL!  He couldn’t believe it when I told him I’m originally from the North; no gloves and not much sense when it comes to getting ice off a car.  I felt quite ashamed to be from the North at that point!  I thought I would be okay with my ice scraper and water, and eventually the boy went inside to get warm.

Then I went inside, with cold, bleeding, blistered hands, and bandaged up my hands, put my gloves on, and got a metal spatula.  I had most of the car uncovered in about 30 minutes.

At this time the kid came back outside to see my progress.  He was surprised at how well I was doing, and I thanked him for his help and showed him my gloves and spatula.  He said he was about to go get help from his friends, but I seemed to be doing okay.  With all but the top of my car and the trunk uncovered, we both work at the top when a friend of his (about the same age) walked up.  His friend said he was just over helping some other neighbors with their cars, and found he could just hit the partially-melted ice with his fist and it would break into pieces.  Sure enough, he had the ice off the top and the trunk in about 10 seconds.  Wow.

Now I’m ready to go in the morning, and didn’t have to stay outside as long as I otherwise might have, thanks to a couple of boys eager to help their neighbors out.

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