It snowed all day today, but I’m not complaining. We’re supposed to get snow in Northern Indiana, especially in February, so in my mind we’re right on course. Yesterday, though, I was complaining. It was not about the 17 inches that fell Saturday night and Sunday but the condition of US 6 on Tuesday.
My daughter had warned me on Monday that the streets were pretty bad, but it was now 24 hours later, and SR 13 through town was mostly clear. However, that was not true of US 6, which was an integral part of what I considered to be the only sane route to Goshen yesterday, that is, unless you had 4-wheel drive, which I do not.
If you know me well, you know that somewhere in my DNA is the Emergency Preparedness gene, which is my explanation for being quite near if not over the top when it comes to preparing for virtually any life-threatening scenario, including snowstorms/blizzards, floods, tornadoes, electromagnetic pulses, and other catastrophes.
However, my son, as he will attest, has not one smidgen of the EP gene. Case in point, he informed me yesterday that he had just taken the last of his daily prescriptions that morning. So… I sucked it in and headed out to Goshen, sure that 6 from SR 13 over to 15 would be a breeze. I could not have been more wrong.
As I gingerly descended the slight hill to the intersection where I would turn left onto 6, my 69-year-old heart sank and my hands whitened as I instinctively gripped the wheel at 10 and 2. Stretching in both directions were lines of cars and trucks slowly rumbling over a washboard of snow as far as the eye could see.
The road for lack of a better term consisted of a frozen, inches-thick crust of ice and snow, eerily reminiscent of an Ice Road Truckers episode. Thinking that surely it had to get better, I turned anyway; and after what seemed like an interminable length of time during which it did not get better, we reached the blessed black top of SR 15, which was clear all the way to Goshen.
Did I complain? Did I ever! I went over every excuse under the sun that the highway department could possibly offer for US 6 being in such bad shape–wind out of the north, frigid temps, snow 1-2 inches/hour, not enough plows, not enough salt, drivers calling in sick, unnecessary stops at coffee/donut shops. As my litany progressed, my son had the good sense to intermittently agree, probably because my focus was on the highway department’s shortcomings and not his.
When I turned north onto 15, I was thanking God, Jesus, and my angels for getting us there without incident. Of course, at 20 mph, it would have been pretty difficult to have any kind of incident other than a healthy skid. The return trip was much easier, because at least we had a track that reached the pavement. I have to admit that the greatest improvement, though, was in me, as evidenced by unhindered praise all the way home.
All day today, as I’ve gone about my normal tasks, I’ve been glancing outside at gently falling snow, and more than once praising Him for engineering my circumstances yesterday to remind me today of just how blessed I am, especially to not have to go anywhere the rest of the week.
Snow, keep falling just outside my window
where birds flit and squirrels sit,
the red and blue of feathers and reddish-brown fur
the only splashes of color in this gentle landscape.
Snow, keep falling, taking me back perhaps
to forefathers’ memories of hearth and home
left behind to travel west to this fair land of lakes
where homesteads were carved from hardwood forests.
Snow, keep falling, we are still a hardy lot
who love this land that feeds the world,
yet no more than our souls, freshly inspired
by the sacrifices of those who’ve gone before.