Since it's starting to get colder, and the prospect of snow is just around the corner, I figured I'll tell a winter story.
It was in March of 1999, and we had 12 feet of snow at my host family's house in Vermont. One person had already gotten stuck in the steep slope of the driveway; a second car was stuck in the parking lot near the house.
My host father was out for 15 minutes trying to get the little red Toyota out. Bundled up in my winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves, I watched him and asked questions.
Was it a standard car? Yes, it was. Had he tried to start it in the second or third gear? Yes, he had.
Finally, he left to go inside to get something, and I walked over to the garage and picked up two pieces of flat wood, which I put under the back tires. When my host father came back out, I was just starting the car again.
“Ah," he said and smiled. "The Wood Trick.”
He poured some ashes under the tires as well, and with our teamwork we finally got the car moving. Then he looked at me with his eyebrows raised - a little suspiciously, but also a little impressed.
“You’re the only girl I’ve ever met who knew about The Wood Trick,” he said.