Monday, January 12, 2015

After the storm


I took this photo on our drive home from vacation in Arizona. It was New Year's Eve and we'd left bright and early, trying to beat a snowstorm that was expected to sweep across the Southwest beginning that day. We got out of Phoenix just fine, it was only cloudy there. About an hour north of Phoenix, it started snowing lightly and the snow got heavier as we drove north, approaching Flagstaff. The Bear was driving; he's a careful, confident driver, but snow really changes the game. I used to be good at driving in snow, when I lived in a very snowy part of the country, but I was also younger, and childless, then. My fear-meter is very different today.

Just south of Flagstaff, the snow was dumping down. There were many accidents in both directions - overturned cars and jackknifed tractor-trailers. We sat forty-five minutes while one accident was cleared. Our trip between Phoenix and Flagstaff should have taken two hours but it took nearly five. We finally reached Flagstaff and had a gas and bathroom stop. Back on the road, the conditions were worse for awhile as we drove east on I-40 toward New Mexico. The weather radar map on my phone showed a big clearing just west of Winslow, Arizona, and I started counting down the miles. It would be clear in Winslow. Everything would be okay in Winslow. It seemed like a matter of life and death to reach Winslow. Given all the accidents, maybe it really was.

Finally, we got there. It was cloudy in Winslow (such a fine sight to see...), but it wasn't snowing yet. Just east of Winslow, the sun started peeking through. I realized I'd been clenching my fists in my coat pockets so hard that I had angry-looking indentations from my nails in the palms of my hands. My ring had made a deep groove in my finger. I had a bag of sandwiches, baby carrots and chips on the floor behind my seat and I started passing the food around. We'd planned to stop for lunch much sooner, but now it seemed like a good idea to keep going, before the storm caught up with us again. The Bear was relieved too, I could tell, but he rarely shows his nervousness and I'm pretty thankful for that. I handed him sandwich halves and handfuls of chips to eat while he drove. I looked back at my children. In the backseat, the small Bears had been sitting quietly, knowing there was trouble, but mostly sure it would all be okay. It was okay. We made it. We were on our way home, safe and sound.

43 comments:

  1. Scary journey, Jennifer. I'm glad you made it home safe and sound!

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  2. Happy to hear you made it home safe and sound..
    I had a bad snow accident last year and i am still nervous driving even when there are just flurries..

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  3. glad you got home safe, we have snow tyres, but so many people here don't and it causes havoc when the weather is bad.......

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  4. I am so glad you made it home safely, Jennifer! We got caught on the PA Turnpike during a snowstorm once long ago and I remember that being an anxious drive as well, and that we felt very grateful to get home, too. xx

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  5. Thank goodness you got back home safe! Beautiful picture of your small bears ☺☺
    I don't even like driving in the rain......

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  6. Good to hear that you are safe back home. Take care

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  7. Oh Jennifer I understand exactly the fear you felt. I hate traveling in snowstorms and we've experienced far too many. One time we were stranded at a Super 8 in Billings, MT for 3 days. The interstate was closed in every direction due to a blizzard. Goodness the stories I could tell of Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana. Snow-bah humbug! I'm so glad you got home safely and good for the little bears being so good.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  8. I love this picture! It's such a good snapshot into that moment, and those bears look so sweet! Glad you made it home safe!

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  9. So glad you arrived home safely. I once got caught in a snowstorm, driving home with my 2 girls in the back - I have never been so scared as we slid our way home and have hated driving in it ever since. Love the photo of your Bears; they look so well behaved, sitting quietly. Wishing you a good, snow-free week. x

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  10. Snow is pretty - except when you're driving....
    But the long trip had one great result : such a pretty photo of your two little bears....

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  11. I love snow but hate driving in it. Glad you had a safe journey home. No sign of any snow here in the UK yet. Just a sprinkling would be nice. P x

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  12. Sounds like a tough journey. Glad you managed to get home safe and sound.

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  13. Journeys like this are indeed very scary aren't they. I remember driving from San Antonio to Little Rock once and it started snowing really badly - before sat navs and phones and things to know about the weather. It wasn't as bad as the snow you had, but still very scary. I am glad that you all made it home safe and sound and were OK. It sounds as though the bear is a good driver to deliver you all so carefully. xx

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  14. So thankful to hear that you all made it home safe and sound. Take care. xx

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  15. I am glad you made it home safe! x

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  16. Happy you and your family are safe x

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  17. I hate driving through snow - in fact these days I won't. I understand how horrid, and worrying it must have been. Keep safe. x

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  18. So happy you and your family got safely through the storm. Your description is very vivid. Such a tense time......glad you all arrived home ok. Love the picture of the children in the car :)
    Helen xox

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  19. I hate driving in snow, in fact I won't do it, the car stays on the drive. Glad you got home safe and sound.

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  20. Glad you made it home safe & sound. x

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  21. We've had a few drives like that - once, I was on my own with Angus and almost got stuck half way up a really busy hill while also late to collect Bella from school. After that we got snow tyres and have them fitted each winter. Of course, where we are now, they get snow about once a decade... But yes, you described that so well. It's not until you're safe that you realise how scared you actually were. xx

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  22. You must have been exhausted... in bad conditions I try to be a 'second pair of eyes' for the driver and the tension just builds up. Jx

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  23. I'm scared just reading this! Glad you got home safely.

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  24. Oh Jennifer, so many times I have been caught driving in snow storms, so can totally identify with your terror. I'm glad you made it home safe and sound!

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  25. So frightening for you! We are lucky that we don't have much snow here, but it also means that when we do I am not used to driving in it. Glad you are all safe and sound xx

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  26. I just caught up with all your posts. It's been hard to make it around to everybody I love to read lately. Love the wall you started with the vintage potholders in your one post. I love that look on a wall. Glad y'all made it home safely after that snowy drive! Looks you had some good family time while away. You reminded me that I need to go to IKEA again soon. I haven't been there in a while now.

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  27. What a well described story of your venture home! You are a very good writer! Your kids are so cute and sweet.. your daughter looks a lot like you in that photo. I'm glad you all made it home safe and sound. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  28. I read this and really felt for you and your hubby. Snow is so unpredictable and can make driving even more anxious when there is such precious cargo in the back. My anxiety is always heightened when I have the children with me. I am so glad you are all home safely xx

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  29. That sounds terrifying Jennifer, I'm so glad you all got home safely. We don't have to deal with snow much here, thankfully, but when there is snow it usually brings problems. The photo is lovely, all the more so for knowing the story behind it. CJ xx

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  30. Sounds so scary Jennifer I'm glad you all made it home safe and sound.:)

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  31. I love that photo of your children - they look so sweet and innocent. I hate driving through snowstorms, too and I know when you have children in the car, your anxiety factor skyrockets. xoxo

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  32. Your children look serene and confident, despite the scary ride home, which would have put me in quite a state of anxiety. Glad you got through it and arrived home safely.

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  33. That was really scary! So glad you got back home safely. x

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  34. Glad you made it home safely! Sounds like a very scary journey. I'm not surprised you were clenching your fists! x

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  35. Really scary! Glad you all returned home safely.

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  36. Oh my! Travelling at Christmas in most of North America can be scary stuff. I'm always glad when friends and family (and me too) get home after the holidays. Glad you made it safely to and fro.

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  37. I can feel that stress through your writing. I'm so glad you all got there Safe! And how cute is that photo of your bears! Your son looks so much older in that shot! Happy Thursday Jennifer! Nicole xo

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  38. Thank goodness you arrived home safely. It doesn't snow much here ,London, but when it does its an absolute nightmare . Everything grinds to a halt. I have been driving now for a year .On one of my first ever times without hubbie we had a rainstorm. It rained so hard my windscreen wipers couldn't help. Visibility was zero and it was on a no stopping route of the road . I thought Id crash.I held the steering wheel so tightly my hands ached, my rings dug into my flesh. I was so glad my children were not in the back. It was quite simply the most terrifying thing I have ever had to do. I finally got to a place to stop and I burst into tears. It has affected me so much , on the rare occasions I do go out in the car I read the weather reports and if it mentions any bad weather I don't go out. Its silly really but I know I never want to feel that way again. hugs and kisses to you
    Helda

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  39. These are beautiful hens, indeed! And the don't mind being handled, it seems.

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  40. That sounds a dreadful journey home! I'm glad you arrived back in one piece. Sarah x

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  41. Gosh, I'm glad you got safely home despite the snowstorm. I too hate driving in snow nowadays, which is why I’m happy now to be down in the valley where it doesn't often snow. : -)

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