This is my husband, Brad:


 This is my husband, Brad--on mud:

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Hi, Brad.

There is actually a very simple explanation as to why Brad looks like he was trampled by a cow. Allow me to start from the beginning.

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have already seen some pictures from my pre-Christmas visit to Frankenmuth. Downtown Frankenmuth is this adorable German area out in farm country, a touristy haven filled with "world-famous" chicken restaurants, fudge shops, and the largest Christmas store in the world, Bronner's. Brad and I loved it a lot the first time we went, and have talked for over a month of going back again. I figured we'd take a longer break in between our visits, but when I started seeing news on Twitter for the Zehnder's Snow Fest this weekend, I figured that today would be as good a time as any to go back.

My first visit to Bronner's in Frankenmuth--and first encounter with Big Santa.
So, we got to Frankenmuth and everything was hunky-dory. Well, aside from the fact that police were directing stop-and-go traffic, the sky was heavy with clouds just threatening to attack us with sleet or snow or whatever else felt like falling, it was windy, and there was absolutely nowhere to park. Nowhere, except one partially-vacant lot.

We pulled into a lot that was nothing but mud from melted snow, where cars were getting stuck left and right. Lucky for us, though, Brad was able to put our all-wheel drive to use and plowed into an empty space on the side of a small hill. One try, and no sunken tires. Scariest second and a half of my afternoon.

When we got out, though, we noticed a little Mazda across the row from us, spinning in some horrible mud that made quicksand look friendly. Before I could get my camera and purse gathered up for our frigid trek to the snow fest, Brad (a.k.a., the most helpful person that ever lived) was already talking to the three people who were in the car, giving them pointers on how to rescue it from the jaws of the earth.

They started rocking the car back and forth, and I almost went over to help before we all realized that my bumbly self would be better-suited to stand at the entrance to the parking lot, discouraging other ill-fated cars from coming in. After waving two cars away, I turned around and walked back towards the rescue mission, and found Brad completely covered in mud from the Mazda's spinning tires. I guess he wasn't standing in the most strategic place.

As you might have guessed, that was the cue to throw in the towel. The three people with the Mazda introduced themselves as Abbey, Brandon, and Jenny, and kindly invited us to Abbey's parents' house for a place to clean up. So, Brad threw his filthy coat in the trunk and fashioned some shoes out of plastic bags for Brandon's muddy feet, and we squished everyone into our car for the trek across town.

You know what? It was a great afternoon. We hung out with everyone for a while, including Abbey's parents and grandparents, telling stories about where we came from, where we'd been, and where we'd like to go. It was an unexpected way to meet such a nice group of people, but all in all, Brad and I left a little while later with smiles on our faces, both agreeing that we'd had a good time. We didn't even bother going back to see the snow fest (sorry, Zehnder's--maybe next year?).

It's kind of funny where an hour-long drive will lead you.