They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.

We are stuck in a fucking snowbank in our driveway.

Let me back up; no, wait — that’s what got us into this predicament in the first place. Our driveway at the lake house has something of a steep drop right where you pull in. Entering — it’s a gas (no pun intended). When Carol isn’t in the car with me I fly-y-y down the driveway as fast as I can; it’s like being on a roller coaster for a few seconds. The turn is so sharp off the dirt road threading through our community that it’s easy to miss seeing the driveway altogether, which adds to our sense of privacy and seclusion even though we have neighbors just yards away.

Exiting out of the driveway, however, is a different story. If it’s dry, not much of a problem — but if it’s wet from rain, or leaves are covering the entrance, or — as we just learned — it has recently snowed almost a foot and the guy we hired to plow the driveway has managed to pack what didn’t get pushed to the sides down so tightly that it’s slick, that presents a challenge and it’s not as much fun, whether Carol is in the car with me or not.

After our snowy weekend visit, with the driveway cleared by the afore-mentioned plow dude, we started the drive home. I put our trusty Highlander into low gear and clicked on the “ECT SNOW” setting which, after I’ve read the owner’s manual, I now know reduces the transmission into an even lower setting and in this case got it down to something in the crawling-on-knees-and-elbows-for-traction range. We headed up the driveway, sliding a bit, and as we reached the precipice we… stopped moving forward. Tires began spinning, so I applied the brakes and backed up a few yards to try again. Up, up, up — but not all the way. I now thought it would be best to return to the flat area near the house where we park and take a longer, faster run at it. I backed up the car in a straight line — which was unfortunate since the driveway has a pronounced curve. Before I realized my error, I’d managed to back too close to one edge and into a pile of snow two feet deep. Now the entire driver’s side was mired in the snowbank. I tried rocking the car to break it loose – no dice. I decided I needed to shovel out the snow surrounding the tires and side of the car. I went to open my door, which budged all of two inches since I’d also managed to sidle up against a row of saplings, effectively barricading me from exiting. After Carol daintily stepped from the passenger seat, I nimbly slid over the center console, managing to only slightly herniate myself, and gallantly stumbled out of the vehicle.

I walked back toward the house to retrieve the snow shovel and began to clear the area. After 10 minutes’ worth of shoveling, rocking, shoveling, rocking, shoveling and finally pushing, Carol drove the car free from its packed-snow confinement (I mean, she didn’t do all of that — I was the source of the shoveling and provided a gonad-popping push). I guided her back down the driveway and wisely opted to leave her behind the wheel as we made our latest attempt to escape. She stomped on the gas like it was my manhood and we accelerated closer and closer to the entrance… flying over that ridge like two people in an SUV in low gear when one of them is a humiliated husband.

Now, it isn’t like Carol’s never gotten stuck in the snow. In fact, her story is a doozy — but I won’t recount it here out of respect for her. And my remaining testicle.