January 3, 2010
On Twitter, someone’s just sighed over my “charmed life.” But everyone’s life is interesting, and everyone’s life is charmed; it’s merely a matter of editing.
At 4 on new year’s eve the FedEx man called to say that he had a box of perishable goods to deliver, but that he could not get up our road; would I please come meet him? The rendezvous was a 15 minute drive down icy, unplowed, unpaved roads, but the man was waiting with a huge box. He handed it over with gloved hands, waved a cheery “happy new year,” and zoomed off to start celebrating.
At home I discovered that the box was filled with dozens of Kumamoto, Olympia, and Virginica oysters that Jon Rowley had harvested at Totten Inlet the day before. Modern life: oysters cross an entire continent in under a day.
When we set off for our party a few hours later the wind was howling, the snow swirling, but we drove through the woods utterly unconcerned, oysters snugly tucked in the back of the car. Do we not have snow tires? Even when we turned onto a completely virgin road in the middle of nowhere, we remained confident.
Halfway up this untracked road the car started to slip. And slide. And finally stall. Attempting to back up, we lost all traction and ended up one inch from a tree. Michael went out to investigage and promptly slid down a hill. Attempting to get up, he fell again. And again. And again. “Stay in the car,” he called, from somewhere behind me, “it’s a sheer sheet of ice. There’s nothing you can do to can’t help me.”
We were ten minutes from home, and we were in some nightmare version of Milton’s hell, stuck in the ice, probably forever. They’d find us, frozen, in the morning.
Then we remembered that we had a phone, called friends, were rescued.
By the time we got to the party we were thoroughly wet, incredibly cold and extremely chastened.
As for my charmed life? I wrote about opening the oysters and serving them on snow.
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