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Saturday, December 15 2018 @ 04:17 PM PST

Ice and deja-vu

FamilySometimes the old stories come back to haunt us.

As you may know, there's a tradition in our family to turn personal experiences into stories. Several years ago, when Shannon was very small, we had an ice storm, and were not prepared -- I had to make a grocery run to the Fred Meyers in Hillsboro, which from my house is reached through narrow back roads bordered by deep ditches. On the way back, approaching a T intersection in a slight downgrade, I touched the brakes and... nothing. The antilocks kicked in but no reduction in speed. So I put both feet on it and pushed as hard as I could, pulling up on the steering wheel to get additional leverage, and I *still* wasn't stopping. And so, gritting my teeth and pushing with everything I had, I glided through the stop sign and into the road, just barely coming to a stop just in front of a deep ditch.

Shannon loved that story and had me tell it over and over. She added embellishments like "and then a DEER jumped in and pushed on the brake. and CHIPMUNKS jumped in and pushed on the brake. And a TREE stuck a branch in and pushed on the brake. And so forth.

So Shannon and I were out doing errands the other day after an unexpected snow storm, and as I gingerly negotiated the icy roads she remembered that old story and wanted me to tell it again.

It so happened that our last stop was Fred Meyer. You guessed it -- same road, same incline, same sheet-of-glass lack of traction. I pushed gently on the brakes... nothing... pushed harder... antilocks start buzzing... still nothing.. Shannon says "you're not stopping". I say "I know!" as I put both feet on the brakes... deja vu... Pushed harder... antilocks buzz louder. Shannon said "you're not gonna make it". Through gritted teeth I say "I know!" As we approach the T, Shannon suggests calmly "turn left". I had nothing left to try, so eased the wheel left, and the truck rotated gently counter clockwise, gliding peacefully through the stop sign completely sideways, coming to a gentle stop less than a foot from the ditch, and coincidentally pointing the direction we needed to go. Shannon said dryly "That was fun. Can we go home now?" A few minutes later she said "Dad, that was a real education, but next time go by yourself, ok?"


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