Drive Into Soft Ground and You Will Get Stuck!

Hoosier Perspectives

Maybe I can sneak by with it this one time – not!

Published on: January 21, 2013

What's that country song say? If you're going through Hell, just keep on going, maybe you'll get out before the Devil even knows you're there? It doesn't work if 'Hell' is a soft barn lot and you've got a truck without four-wheel drive. Just keep on going and you'll just get really stuck!

The foot of snow around central and southern Indiana melted. After the snow came heavy rain – about 3 inches in three major events over 24 hours. I had to clean out the lamb pen that floods in the barn three times in 24 hours.

Before the biggest rains came but after the snow melted, my daughter, Kayla, and I, took down most of the Christmas decorations outside. My son Daniel thinks we live at the North Pole. It takes half a day for two people just to tear them down. People say they love seeing them, so I guess it's worth it.'

We loaded the large objects from the manger scene and the fake wire Christmas tree and the fake steel and wire reindeer, plus two new stars, into the old Ford pickup. It's a plain Jane mid-90s farm truck without four wheel drive. I became so used to driving on the yard last summer that I started to drive down to pick them up.

Kayla convinced me not to drive across the yard, but instead to park along the road, and we would carry the figurines and other items over to the truck. That was a good idea. The yard was softer than I thought.

Once loaded I went up the driveway to the barn. There's a 100-foot stretch that's yard without gravel to the Christmas storage shed. Surely it's not that soft back here, I thought. I might have been OK if I hadn't pulled the truck downhill so the end gate was at the entrance to the shed.

When I went to back out, all I heard were wheels spinning. Soon my tires were a couple of inches bigger - it was all mud. I tried gunning forward, gunning backward, no luck. I was stuck.

Oh, well, it could sit there, I would get it out when it froze. Twice last week when it was bone cold I tried. No luck – those tires reached down and found the moist dirt underneath. We'll have to pull it out.

I've taken a lot of grief for not having four-wheel drive vehicles – a mistake I finally corrected when buying our utility tractor last year.

Kayla keeps asking me why the newer truck she drives doesn't have four-wheel drive.

It's simple. I borrowed money from my mother, who was 88. She lived in the Depression. She thought I would get a new truck for $12,000 – that's what the commercials said. Maybe, for a mini-truck stripped down. When I told her how much I needed to borrow, she almost had a heart attack.

"Kayla," I said the other day, after being grilled again on four-wheel drives when I got stuck again, "It would have added $4,000. Grandma was living with us. If I had spent a dime more, I would have been living in the barn."

All that's behind us now. She passed away a couple years ago, and I miss her and dad every day. Dad wanted me to get four-wheel drive, but the only person he ever backed off from was grandma.

A few days ago when the Christmas lights came down and the truck got stuck, I bet there was a "I told you so" session going on in heaven!

And yes, Virginia (just happens to be my mom's name), the truck is still stuck!