One year – it was probably 1983 or so – we went back to Iowa for the holidays, to spend time with my grandparents. They lived in a lake community, and I spent all my childhood summers there. I learned to swim there, I learned to drive a boat there, I learned to water ski there; one experience, though, had eluded me: driving on an icy lake.
We had a great big Olds Delta 88 diesel at the time, and my mom drove right onto the lake and yanked the wheel hard. The car spun and spun and she gave it more gas and more wheel turns. I couldn’t believe that Mom was doing that! She was a very reserved woman until she got a big car onto a frozen lake.
Anyhow, we drove from the boat launch all the way across the lake to my grandma’s dock. It was so weird driving over the exact spot that I was diving into just that summer. It was definitely an awesome experience for eight-year-old me.
So, I felt the car slowing and I told my mom she had better punch it because we were going to get stuck. Fifteen seconds later, the big car just sat there, spinning the tires. Of course, my mother believed until the day she died that I was the cause of it, and not the fact that she was going slow.
Anyhow, we had to go get my uncle, who knew a few good ole boys with four-wheel drives, and they came and gave us a yank. The whole experience was so cool and surreal to me; it’s definitely something that will stay with me all my days.
Every season, a few trucks to through the ice. You can watch the big water crane extract them in the summertime.