Now, I already have the series, as Bonnie is a dear friend and mentor of mine. But, it got me to thinking...
It was the winter of 2005. I had been graduated from college for a few months, and was doing my internship in Portland at Northwest Palate Magazine.
My family and I had just attended to a private piano concert in Lake Oswego, OR with my aunt and uncle. The concert was lovely, but halfway through the snow starting coming down. Great for ambiance, bad for travel.
If you're not from 'round these parts, know that snow tends to freak out most Oregonians. Not all - snow is much more common on the Eastern side. But Oregonians on the Western side are to snow what Californians are to rain. What be this strange material falling from the sky? We don't get snow often enough to have well-trained responses, or cities prepared to deal with it.
Back to the story. Lake Oswego is pretty hilly, and we were at the top of one of those hills. The guests were invited to stay, but my uncle felt certain that he could get us safely down the hill and back to their home in Portland. All of us - including one of the pianists, for some reason (we were ostensibly driving him home, I think) - piled into the car.
At this point, my normally cautious and gentlemanly (think Cary Grant) uncle went into Mountain Man Mode. Come hell or high water, he was getting us off the hill. Off he started - cars were stuck in snow to the left and right, but he continued on, often missing them by mere fractions of an inch. Everyone else traveled at about 5 mph. I think we were going at least 25, if not 30. I also have memories of passing some of those cars...again, missing them by almost nothing.
My mom and I (and I think at least one, if not two) other people were in the middle bank of seats. Though I felt that, logically, we would likely collide at any moment, I rationalized that we were enough in the middle not to be mortally wounded. And since we were still deep in the neighborhoods of Lake Oswego, it was unlikely to present a Donner Party type situation.
The sequence of events is a little hazy in my memory. I know at one point my dad got out to Scout The Territory. I remember that he slipped, and that my uncle started driving off without him, not realizing that we were short a passenger.
My mom did not appreciate this much.
The part that is burned forever in my brain is when my uncle started driving on not only the curbs, but the - berms? Inclines? You know, when there's a sidewalk, then a steep hill of earth and shrubbery before it levels out to where the house is? Well, that. He was driving on that. Which meant the SUV was moving forward while tilting left at about a 40 degree angle. Now...this part concerned me. And after my uncle did this a few times, the pianist (having been quite silent throughout the trek) decided to try his own luck on foot, and departed.
Rather hastily, I might add.
Eventually, we made it down the hill with all of the family members in the car. We got onto the freeway, which wasn't in bad shape at all. We arrived at my aunt's home safely. The women were shaking their heads. The men were, I think, energized from the trip and ready to chop wood and hunt caribou.
So if anyone tells you that men and women aren't truly different, well...they're wrong.
Speaking of contests, there's a Simply Sara related contest on AmishReader.com. The site is down at the moment, but the contest is posted on their facebook fan page. Enter your favorite baked-good recipe - the winner, chosen by me, will not only receive a signed copy of Simpy Sara, but will find that the recipe has been featured in the book, having been baked by Sara. The author of the recipe will also be noted in the acknowledgements section of the book.
No recipe will go unnoticed, though - they'll all be posted with your permission on the AmishReader.com site.
When the site's back up I'll write another ditty about it, but I thought I'd give a preliminary head's up. Happy baking!