Friday, November 26, 2004

Three days ago, I drove home to a white . . . Thanksgiving? Well, sort of. Monday night I left Austin for Waco. Stayed the night with the Eades and then Tuesday headed for the Friege's house in Wichita, Kansas. After 11 days of rain and trudging through my marshland front yard to load my suitcases in Austin Texas, it of course decided to rain all the way to Kansas. It was awful. Thankfully I missed the storm in Fort Worth that knocked over three semis and power lines. But I hit the drizzle and rain all the rest of the way. One would think that drizzle wouldn't cause many problems for an experienced driver like myself, but of course that is not the case. The drizzle was constant and after I lost my sunlight, the lights from cars travelling the opposite directions broke across my windshield as my wipers did all they could to remove the streaks of rain. The semis caused more problems as the water they spewed from their wheels washed my car to the point that i could see nothing, not even the kaleidescope of lights from the other cars through the windshield. i considered crying but figured that would add to my already growing sight problem and resigned myself to prayer and clutching the steering wheel. "Please let me be driving straight . . . please let me be driving straight." When I could see, i kept note of bridges and mile markers I passed so that should anything terrible happen, I could call 911 and give them an estimate of where I had crashed. I pictured myself flying off the cliff, desparatly clutching the babies (my cats) as we crashed. "Did you drive on any cliffs?" my Great-Aunt Ardys asked as I recounted the tale. "Well, no, but there were a few drop-offs." You get the picture.

I did arrive safely in Wichita where Carley (5) and Alex (3), my mother's two "best friends" waited to sit next to me for dinner and argued over who would sleep with me that night. The Friege's used to be our next door neighbors in St Jo, but just last month moved to Wichita, allowing me a nice breaking point to rest.

However, the next morning when I opened my eyes (which happened to be open most of the night as i struggled to sleep in a twin bed with my two fat cats and Alex who had woken up crying at 2am), I found snow on the ground. Crazy Carol was quick to call the Friege's and warn me of 7 inches of snow in Kansas City. Schools were closed. Be careful.

So I was careful. I drove at a moderate speed (75mph) and coasted safely through the rest of Kansas and even through Kansas City that had managed to clear the highways by the time I arrived. Snow everywhere, and it was beautiful: untouched by tractors, animals or humans. However, about 30 miles south of St Jo and 20 miles north of Kansas City, the snow stopped and I spent the last few minutes of my ride in the actual fall season of colorful leaves and dead grass, sights i feared i had missed moving from warm but wet south texas to snowfilled Missouri. But I hadn't. No snow in St Jo Mo, just family, food and thanksgiving.

And for all this I am so thankful.

No comments: