*This is the second half of the post I began last week; please scroll back to catch up before continuing …
So on the tenth waterless day at our remote mountain cabin, I stopped at a neighbor’s house who’d kindly offered us the use of her shower while she was at work.
As I left her house, feeling quite clean and frisky, I took note that her narrow driveway was flanked with deep ditches on both sides, bordered by old rotting logs held in place by nasty looking rebar protruding about a foot.
Sort of like the deadly spikes Indiana Jones faced in the Temple of Doom.
I definitely did NOT want to hit one of those doom spikes with my tires so I carefully nosed my car down the very center of the dirt driveway.
But I misjudge the angle from the driveway onto the gravel road and took the turn a little too tightly. All at once, it felt like a tractor beam was pulling my car backward, even as I pressed harder on the accelerator to urge it forward. Gravel flew and I felt my back right tire sliding down, down, down.
Suddenly I was staring at blue sky. The front end of my car was jacked up in the air at an odd angle, the front left tire spinning several feet off the ground. I slammed my foot on the brake and thankfully, the car stopped sliding, precariously perched on a ledge.
I realized, with heart-stopping clarity, that if it slid one more foot, the car would very likely flip over. But every time I took my foot off the brake, the car skidded backward another few inches.
In a panic, grabbed my cell phone to call for help. No service. Aackkk! I laid on my horn for 30 straight seconds before realizing that this was the deep woods and nobody was close enough to hear me.
So I was on my own. Well, me and Papa God, to whom I began shooting a steady stream of rhino-in-the-road emergency prayer tweets:
“Oh, Lord! I’ve really done it this time!”
“Can You send an angel to grab the car?”
“Please don’t let me flip!”
“Help me, help me, help me, help me, help me, help me, help me …”
The car began slip-sliding again. I yanked the emergency brake. The car lurched nauseatingly but stopped. I sat there a full minute, holding my breath most of it, until I felt as if it was stabilized enough to risk easing my foot off the brake.
Sure enough, the car stayed put. In my mind’s eye, I could see that angel back there bracing himself against the mountain with one hand on my back bumper and one on the tire, keeping it from skidding that last little bit that would’ve catapulted the car over.
But now … how was I to get out? I couldn’t open the driver’s door against gravity with the front end of the car elevated like it was. I tried; it felt like pushing a boulder uphill. If I scooted over to the passenger door, it might be the straw that broke the camel’s back, the additional weight upsetting the fragile balance of the teetering car.
A still, small voice spoke to my heart: “Try your door again. I’ll help you.”
So I unbuckled my seatbelt, twisted around in my seat, placed my feet against the driver’s door, and shoved with all my might. It felt like it weighed a thousand pounds, but actually began opening little by little. It took a few tries, but I was finally able to squeeze through the narrow opening and drop to the ground.
I lit off down the dirt road toward our cabin, although I knew there was no way Chuck and I could pull our poor car out of the pit that help it captive. It looked like a pathetic half-way overturned turtle pawing the air with its helpless legs.
But when I got to the cabin, winded and sweaty, Papa God had a surprise waiting. One of the workmen – who would never have been there except for our confounded water pipe fiasco – had a four-wheel drive pickup and a chain.
With a little finesse and an extra measure of Papa God’s grace, he was able to rescue our car, miraculously unscathed. Not even a flat tire – I had somehow missed every single one of those doom spikes that seemed to be everywhere.
So Papa really did work all things together for good. I somehow didn’t mind being Laura Ingles after that, toting water from the well. Flushing toilets are completely overrated.