Ice skating takes talent. Spins, turns and gliding backward each demand focus.
With this criterion in mind, I can safely say Washington state has talent.
This past week, the entire region has been a snowy ice rink with drivers letting go of cell phones to breathlessly grip their steering wheels. A daily commute or a trip to town has had many of us white-knuckled.
Some have been good ice skaters. Others have not.
It’s understandable that when a freezing rain follows a snowstorm, even 4-wheel drive can’t stop a vehicle on a collision course or downhill. Even drivers with talent can’t defy gravity.
It’s a scary feeling, one that I experienced quite a few years back — and hope to never experience again.
It was early evening but black as midnight. At the time, I was driving a rear-wheel drive Chevy and headed into town on a rural road. Huge snowflakes coated the windshield as I struggled to see the road ahead.
New snow over ice made the situation even more precarious — no center line to follow and no definition on the right roadside that sloped downward.
Without warning, my right tire plowed into a snow drift and my car plunged into the drainage ditch. Now, with my coupe leaning on its passenger side, I was stuck.
It was impossible to push open my car door, so there I sat in the freezing cold. No cell phone and no traffic. All I could do was say a prayer.
Suddenly, from out of the darkness headlights appeared. A pickup truck stopped. A driver approached.
It was a rescue that went above and beyond. The couple took me to their home to warm up with a hot cup of tea until we could get in touch with my husband. Then, between the pickup driver and Bill, they were able to use the guy’s winch while Bill steered our car back onto the road.
It was a happy ending and one I’ll never forget. Two complete strangers offered a memorable helping hand.
I imagine there are many untold Good Samaritan stories from this past week — tales of people who have helped “ice skaters” get back on their feet. Not only do Washingtonians have a talent for living and driving in the wintry state, they also have heart.