Marty was parked at the
edge of the ridge which led up to her home. Those were the days before
the county had realized this new addition was having the same problem
with every ice storm.
The ridge that was such a
lovely area in the summer became a looming enemy of ice on the road, and
it dared anyone to come up over the ridge in their cars. People who
owned trucks with heavy tires or those who had snow tires were the only
ones able to get home.
So many of the women in
the town whose husbands worked for the oil company at one or another
time was faced with their husbands having to be a distance away and this
left them with all the miserable little peevish chores to inevitably
“Have you ever noticed
that everything to go wrong, will go wrong the day your husband leaves?”
One of Marty’s friends had complained to her over the phone that very
“Well, kids, here we go.
Hold on! I’m going to make a try at this! If it was mud I think I’d be
more likely to make it.” Marty spoke to her children as a way of
preparing them for what she was sure would happen.
Sure enough! Half way up
the hill she was stopped completely, and going no where as the tires
spun in place, while making a high pitched whine. They seemed to be
quietly screaming, “I can’t make it, I can’t, Stop, Stop.” As soon as
she let up on the gas, the car simply slid right back down to where they
were when she started. This was where she was parked again.
The door suddenly was
held open by the man who lived in a small trailer on the corner. He was
a quiet person and even though the gentleman waved at them as they drove
past on occasion, she really didn’t know him. Their children played
together, though, and they were serious young girls, who dutifully
attended church every Sunday. His wife was not with him. If he was sad
over that, the reserved man never let anyone know. Now the light from
the room of the small trailer behind him made his stature look larger
than life. He seemed even more serious minded than usual as he half
turned back to the space behind him to pick up a large bag. He carried
it toward her car, easily with little effort. Without a word, while
bending to one knee, took the contents of a bag of kitty litter and
sprinkled it under the wheels of their tires, with a bit more on the
“Now give it a try!”
These were the only words the man had spoken so far. Why did she believe
he had done this before?
With the ease and breeze
as if they were out on a Sunday drive in summer Marty was able to cruise
up the hill where he had sprinkled a bit more kitty litter.
“Guess how I got up the
hill down the street?” Marty asked her husband when he called later that
“You’ll never guess.
Kitty Litter!” She chuckled out loud at the silence on the other end.