I fully admit I am a city girl.
This weekend, my husband and I packed up our little hatchback and headed out to the middle of nowhere, at least according to me. Just north of Waldheim, SK there is a retreat centre on the North Saskatchewan where the Hoffman family reunion was taking place.
It has gorgeous landscape, nestled right in the hills of the river valley, but there is zero cell coverage and no internet.
Hence my declaration of going to the ‘middle of nowhere’.
I tend to get antsy in cars after 4 or 5 hours. About 30 minutes before arriving at the middle of nowhere, I started to fidget like a 3 year old on day 5 of a cross Canada drive.
- I needed out of the car or I was going to lose my mind.
My husband got distracted by my antics and I made him miss the final turn off to the retreat centre. Instead of turning around, I convinced him to take the next right and in hopes we could take another right and meet back up with the road we were supposed to be on.
At least that’s how it works in the big city.
In my desperation to arrive in at the reunion and be done being crammed in the car, I pleaded for him to keep going.
No turning back!
The gravel quickly ended and the road narrowed to a single lane that looked rather muddy. Being the city girl that I am, I just assumed these are the kinds of roads one would expect where there is no internet or cell coverage.
Suddenly the car slowed and started to slide towards the ditch.
I screamed and gripped the car door.
My husband got out to assess the situation. We were firmly stuck in the mud on some farmer’s road in, literally, the middle of nowhere. Without cell coverage, we couldn’t call for help and everyone who we would call was already in the middle of nowhere enjoying the reunion.
I pulled on my sensible sandals and hopped out to drive while my husband pushed me to safety.
Once I hopped out, I realized the epic mess we were in. Plumes of mosquitoes rose out of the mud and I nearly fell over due to the sucking quality of the earth. Saskatchewan quicksand at its finest.
I scanned the horizon for help.
A large, red tractor and unimpressed cow stared back at me. My voice echoed in the stillness and the only sound that broke the silence was a periodic moo from the unhelpful bovine staring me down.
After much pushing and poor driving by your’s truly, we were stuck deeper than when we first got stuck.
Who knew the e-brake was on?
After losing part of our ice scraper to the mud, my very tenacious husband told me we were ready to try driving again.
More screaming ensued as I slid towards the ditch.
I pulled the e-brake and got out. There are times when gender roles have no bearing on the situation. It was time for me to push and not drive. I may be a horrible mud driver, but I am really good at moving heavy things.
After much cajoling, he agreed.
I pushed, cheered, and laughed so hard I thought I would going to die. Suddenly I found myself happier than a pig in mud.
My wish of getting out of the car was granted and we had an epic adventure while we were at it!
After an hour of sliding, getting covered in mud, and watching the back wheels stay stationary as the car slipped backwards, we finally drove off into the sunset.
Every morning while at the reunion, I went for a run on the ‘main road’ and reflected on my life and let my brain wander. As I recalled my muddy adventure, I couldn’t help but learn quite a few practical applications for life.
Life lessons from the mud.
- Watch the signs. Moving forward in the wrong direction doesn’t get you to the destination faster.
- E-brakes are for emergencies only. Feel free to pull the e-brake to asses what is going on, but once a plan of action is created, gas it and take the brake off. Doing otherwise creates an even bigger hole.
- The edge and the ditch are not the same thing. Sometimes you have to veer really close to the edge and do the things that scare you to get yourself out of the mess.
- Do what you’re good at. Don’t do things that create deeper holes that make you more stuck just because it seems like you should. Work in your strength zone.
- Team up and work with what you’ve got. We all have resources at our disposal. Sitting around and hoping someone will come along and save you only keeps you from getting where you want to go. Team up, laugh, and get to work.
I just have one question.