As I write this, the temperatures are headed to a winter warm of nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but news of the coming winter storm bringing snow and rain to much of the United States caused me to reflect back upon one of our most memorable Christmases. It wasn’t the Christmas where we drove home and realized we could see no light and came home to a dark house with no heat, so we brought our blankets down before the fireplace and slept huddled together before its warmth.
The most memorable is the Christmas I risked my life (and my daughters life) to get home to my boys. It was the same year the kids all got Chicken Pox. Our daughter got the Chicken Pox a few weeks before Christmas and she was recovered by the time Christmas arrived. Her two brothers were in full breakout at Christmas, so Dad stayed home with the boys, and I took Kristy to the extended family Christmas celebration at my parents home. I enjoyed time with my sister and brother, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins.
A Christmas Eve blizzard did not put a damper on our celebrations, but I turned down the invitation to spend the night and headed home as planned. This was a big mistake! Not only did the blizzard provide near white out conditions, but the temperatures were so cold that turning on the radio caused the lights to dim. I expected the trip to take longer than the usual 45 minutes, but with the weather conditions the snow plows were having trouble keeping up. One hour stretched to two, and as I crept along the highway the defroster was having trouble keeping the windshield clear, I began planning my emergency response to getting stuck, and keeping my daughter happy and warm.
Here was my plan: Open every package and pile the sweaters, pajamas and other clothing on to help keep us warm, and cuddle under our woolen car blanket until we were found. We had leftovers, so getting hungry would not be a problem. I had gas, but if I got stuck, I would have to try to conserve that as much as possible to get relief from the cold.
Praying all the way, I made it home safely and without incident four hours after I left my parents home. I swore never to travel in such weather again.
No-one else in the family even attempted the drive home. They all had Christmas morning breakfast together, and the Fiat and Mercedes belonging to my uncles had to be jump started by my sister’s little American car.
My boy’s were happy to have Mom and sissy home for Christmas, and the only gift I remember is the gift of getting home safely. I’ve never been so happy to spend the day with two sick, itchy, miserable boys in my life.
Merry Christmas to all, and make wise travel choices.