What being stuck in the snow does for one’s sense of humor…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

To Whom It May Concern,

My husband and I had the bad luck of having to stay in our car and ‘survive’ in the snow atop a mountain this week.  This ‘survival’ mode only lasted for two and a half days.

We arrived Sunday afternoon to only around 2-3 inches of snow after changing our flat tire.  Our low riding 4×4 Subaru Outback Legacy ™ got caught on a very small snow drift.  We used our poor dog’s blanket to try and get traction and get out, but alas our Subaru ™ was unable to use the Bratz ™ blanket.

We were unable to even dig our car out using simple Snapple bottles ™ where the bottom had been cut off in order to dig our way out.  I promise, I kid you not!!!

We decided to make ourselves comfortable and stay the first night.  We’d passed trucks coming from the other direction, we were sure we were safe.  Soon, the snow began to fall!  It just went on and on and on.  It continued to fall even more.  The next morning we were probably buried in a foot of snow.  At this point, we became acutely aware that we were probably in trouble.

I remembered that we had told our friend, a manager at Burger King ™ in the nearby town of Canyonville, Oregon that we were going to take photos at South Umpqua Falls and so I wasn’t much worried at all.  Well, at least for a while.  I was glad that I had even made sure to pack the extra ketchup packet from our food and stash it away in my pocket.  Burger King ™ uses Heinz™ brand you know!!

Well, that next day under a foot of snow. We had to figure out how to survive.  It’s sad but it’s true, that I learned the hard way that Eberhard’s ™ Ice Cream buckets are not only good for storing away dry dog food for long trips, but they also make very good toilets!  I have to admit that Kirkland paper towels make excellent toilet paper in a pinch.

We were soon thirsty and realized we’d be drinking melted snow. So we cut the bottoms out of an Aquafina water bottle.  The bottle became a very good snow scooper for letting the snow melt in (leave the lid on, turn upside down and it will stand in your drink stand), hence providing refreshing and life giving (no name brand, generic) water.

After our first night in the forest, I have to admit that my stomach began to feel a little pained. I started to be concerned about what we would eat.  I knew my husband had a small, two shot American Arms™ 410/45 Long Colt Derringer on his body, and so I prayed for a bunny to hop by. Then I remembered we had no way to start a fire, and so, I realized that more than likely lunch would be the Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice dog food so highly recommended by our dogs vets over at DCLVS in Roseburg, Oregon.   So, defeated, and emotional eaters, we began to consume very small samples of the food.  We drank a lot of the generic water.

The first full day out there we tore up the upholstery on our front seats.  One seat provided us a bag in which to place both of our feet.  I have an inherited foot condition that makes it quite painful to walk.  That condition along with arthritis in my feet, and bad circulation kept my feet pretty cold.  So, my life partner told me to take off my wet socks, and place my feet in the upholstered bag with his so that he could transfer heat from his feet to mine.  I’ll tell you, there is no brand name for that kind of love!

The other front seat upholstery was cut open and placed over our legs like a blanket.  Atop of that was a liner bought to protect the car from our dog, Jake and all the hair he loses during his daily activities.  These along with our jackets (Bear Ridge ™ and REI ™)  made perfect layers and we only needed to run the engine full of gas from our local 76 ™ station in Tricity, Oregon every three or  four hours.  BTW, we did fill up before we left!

The first full day turned into the 2nd night, and probably another foot of snow fell.  We could barely get our car door open to dispose of bodily fluids, or to scoop new snow cones for drinking.  Egads!  By now, we really, really knew we were in trouble.   I spied the ketchup placed in the middle console and realized that it had a pal from Kentucky Fried Chicken™ a small container of Honey Mustard.  I asked my husband which he preferred and I shared with him the idea of a true gourmet dinner.  Fine dining at its best.  He refused my offer, I really don’t know why.  We ate more plain Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice chow and drank lot’s and lot’s of generic (God freely given complete with dirt) water.  That day I also looked at a friend’s book that I needed to return, “Roberts Rules” copyright 1923, it looked like fire fodder to me.  But, alas, I remembered again, we had no matches! I was sad indeed.

The 2nd full day came and we were up with the sunrise.  Just like the day before we were having very deep and realistic conversations about if we were going to die. We were trying to figure out just how in the world, we could get someone’s attention. As with the day before, every time we started the engine we turned on our Duro ™ cell phone, and dialed 911, to no avail.  At the same time, we turned on our Vastfire ™ GPS, and pinged the minimum of four satellites each time.

I began to talk about how sad I would be if I died and my mother got the last word in our little tiff.  My husband offered very kindly to walk to find a soul who might remedy our situation.  He’d offered at least twice before.  The problem was now; I didn’t feel the need to disapprove of this very scary proposition.  I was facing being alone possibly in the dark; you know a whole other night.  I didn’t like that! After all, the night has always been a very scary place to be for me!

Since I had just approved of him walking away from me he decided to leave before I had a change of disposition.  It was early morn when he doubled up the Kirkland ™ paper towels, and placed them atop his head, sandwiched under a Dixie™ paper plate.  As he composed his hat to protect his head from the rain (yes, I said rain), I used a Bic ™ pen to write our names, health issues, and ages to help our eventual helpers to help us, the ones in need!  We just happened to have clips bought from Staples™ to pin those plates to the trees—  “Help Please, Clyde & Peggy Snyder, Heart Problems, HBP, Diabetic, 55, & 53!”

He emptied his camera case of its precious equipment, and he opened his package of doggie doo doo plastic bags—inside one of them we placed important cargo, three handfuls of Kirkland ™ Lamb & Rice.  Inside the camera case it went, along with the plates, clips, earphones (ear warmth—ok, ok, noise reduction) and the GPS.  He affixed a black plastic bag from Nick’s in Tricity (where the Snapple ™ & a 2 liter Pepsi ™ came from of course!) atop his head!

Alas the man kissed me! He promised he’d come back.  He left down road, I could not look back.  Being the emotional eater that I am, I started to look for breakfast… I spied that damn Kirkland ™ dog food and I tried not to puke.  My hand went for the bucket, and I grabbed quite a few, and I wondered how in the world I could make the crap go down oh, so smooth. I remembered the Heinz ™ ketchup and I grabbed it right up.  I slashed it open with a steak knife, and I dipped my first bite!  OMG, Glorious dog food. Kirkland ™, the BEST!!!

That was about 9ish in the morning the time that the man left me.  So, I’d consumed that damned dog food by a good 9:30—o’ clock.  I wrapped myself up in my foot bag, my blanket, and my dog liner for warmth. I used the car seat insulation for a pillow of course.  I folded up the Department of BLM, Oregon State Map ™, it was plastic coated and provided some insulation between my head and the window back west. I stared out the window and watched snow melt on down.  I noticed that the melting ice created a kaleidoscope of beauty of greys and white.  I thanked God for sharing his art with me.  I studied the artwork for hours it seemed….suddenly I was waking from a long winter’s sleep, but it was only 11 in the morning and I was too cold to sleep.

I turned on the engine; I still have ½ a tank. I ran it only for 10 minutes so that I could try and make it last at least a week.  Being the emotional eater than I am, I was convinced that I was starving….and I put in my hand.  Oh, glorious dog food, I tried not to puke I dipped it in honey mustard, and found out it was sad seconds to the ketchup. Just sayin’.

I had nothing more to do. My job it seemed was to survive so that I could live and see my man tomorrow. I didn’t want anymore of that Kirkland ™ lamb and rice!  All wrapped up again, I looked outside; I saw a little bent over man.  His bones were made of limbs of a tree, he wore a snow sombero, snow cape, and snow pants. I was pretty sure by this time I was getting a little delirious- I got out the Bic ™ pen and paper wrote down the time, my activities, and the time since my man left.  My little tree all wrapped up in snow clothes talked me to sleep and stayed with me for at least two hours. I turned on the engine at 2:30, I turned it off at 2:55.  At 3:00 I noted it had been about 6 hours, I prayed that I’d see or hear

Someone, anyone, in less than an hour.

At 3:15 – I noted two crosses on the window, God holding us in his arms, leaving us in his Grace, sending his message that we were indeed safe.  I looked again, and there the crosses still stood, a husband and wife, arms intertwined facing the world.  Thank you God for sending the message.  I am still alive and I will live… I just need patience…

I wanted to stay in this world.

I settled back down, and I wrapped myself up.  I told myself that soon, I was sure I’d see a real person.  Soon my eyes were closed, there was really nothing else to do….I felt the cold air hit my pretty warm face.

I told myself… that I was worth the fight.

I honored myself a beautiful woman, loved with delight.

I remembered that #shepersisted—and I knew that I, too, was at least that good.

The thoughts swirled and swirled inside my head, and when I heard that beautiful young man….

“Clyde… Is that you..??”  “Clyde….am I mad??”

“No ma’am, I’m Ryan, I work for the United States Forest Department”

Oh MY GOD! I’d just seen my first ANGEL!!

This angel, handsome was he, he checked my fuel and assured me I could run my engine freely.  Instructions were to keep warm and wait, he had sent off for help, I only needed patience for perhaps, 2 hours.  Best of all he’d seen my wonderful husband and HE WAS OKAY.

The very first tears fell… happy was I.  But, it didn’t take long for me to mop up my mess, I still had at least 2 hours to wait.  I checked the time at least every 15 minutes it seemed, I looked at the Kirkland™ Lamb & Rice and promised not to eat it! And I was pretty much done with that dirty damned bucket!

Pretty much two hours later, along came two more very handsome angels named Ken and Kehoe, Jr. I have to admit my eyes were on fire, I met so many young, handsome angels—I simply could not believe my luck, surely I was in HEAVAN.  I will never forget how hard they worked to force the little vehicle down the path.  At the bottom was Ryan’s Forest Ranger partner to drive me on by, to an ambulance for checking vitals.  The men there too, delighted mine visions—Tiller paramedics will never be forgotten.  We passed so many people; I could not believe what I saw.  Trucks and trucks from the Douglas County Sherriff, and Search and Rescue, too. We stopped a couple of times so my chariot driver to speak to a few, the men outside were full of smiles—I was really happy too.  My driver offered me nibbles of carrots, peppers, and broccoli, but I thought it was his lunch, and he looked so perfect and healthy, surely he worked hard, and needed nourishment…I could not take his lunch.  How did all these parents do it, raise so many perfectly shaped men?!  Oh I could barely take it, they were all very sweet, considerate young men. Might I say here and now, that I take it all back, there are out there, somewhere, quite a few REALLY GOOD MEN.

Next stop we met Kehoe, Sr. and a nice lady with a cookie and coffee.  I don’t like coffee and yet it turned out that it was manna from heaven!!  I was dropped off at the ambulance, my husband was there, my blood sugars were perfect, I remembered the name of YOUR F****** PRESIDENT!  My heart rate was a little fast, we discussed our options, and I said I want to go home and take my medicine.

Jerry came by and we got in to his truck.  He took us both home, back to Tricity…to my babies, my heaven.  We showered; we shaved, brushed our teeth—called his mother.  Called my sister.  Posted to Facebook—one little message.  Laid down in the most comfortable bed on earth, held my man, thanked him profusely, and said thank heavens.

I’m warm, I am dry, I’m fed, and I’m happy.  I know who I am, what I need, what I can share, what I love…  My kids, my husband, my family, my friends, those beautiful angels who showed up by the dozens…  I am thankful to all, and offer to share my bear hugs from Jesus…
I was released March 10, 2017—from a hell created by myself and reborn new, beautiful, and sweet.

I hope you never have to live through such days, but if you do….just focus on what is really important to you.  I promise you’ll make it and come out more beautiful too!!!

Dear Costco—what do you think?? My poor dog is missing some food from his bowl! Do you send out coupons that Jake might appreciate?  I hope you don’t mind indulging his master’s silly old wife!!

Sincerely, Peggy A. Rowe-Snyder

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