What’s a Little Ice When You’ve Got Angels on Your Side?

After 19 years of living in the Mid West, I think I’m beginning to belong.

I have joined the ranks of Minnesotans who say, “If we stayed home at the least little bit of nasty weather, we’d never go anywhere for six months.”

I have survived two horrid driving events in the past month and a half, and I am alive to tell about it, with my untainted driving record still in place.

Lest you think I am bragging, let me hasten to assure you that I know – I KNOW – that God has at least one angel on perpetual “Keep Gretchen Safe While She’s Driving” duty – so it’s not to my credit that I’m alive…it’s to His.

I don’t know why He has chosen to protect me in this way. All I can think is that He must still have some plans that involve me and it’s just not my time yet. Which is fine with me.

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Both of these wretched driving situations of the past few weeks have involved freezing rain. Both involved me saying, “What am I, nuts?” as I drove along the highway at speeds less than half of the 65-75 suggested miles per hour. And both found my husband out of town and my kids and I braving the elements together.

And both, I must admit, did not take me out of the house for life or death reasons.

Take last night, for example. The kids and I drove out to our pastor’s house for a book discussion with some other couples from church. I like this chance to talk about interesting stuff, and the kids like the opportunity to play with their friends. I’d seen the weather report, yes. I knew that the rain was beginning to fall as we left the house…but I’m an optimist. I figured, “Either the weather report is exaggerating and this won’t come to anything or I’ll drive home in the freezing rain and put those angels to work.”

Okay, I didn’t really think about the angels. I just hoped for the best and ignored the worst.

When we left their house two hours later I was slightly worried. As we slid on our tennis shoes across the road to our car – holding tight to the little one’s hands – I was a wee bit more worried. As I started up the car, after breaking the ice on the door handles, I was in full “praying mode”.

This was one of those, “Kids, please turn off the radio and don’t talk,” car rides. What usually takes us 13 minutes took us 35. I saw a few semi trucks pulled off the road and I wondered – not for the first time – how truck drivers do what they do.

The temperature was 26 and the rain was relentless. In the dark and the conditions, I managed to make a wrong turn. I forgot to put on the Four Wheel Drive until I was about three miles from home. The ABS brakes kicked in several times.

But, despite it all, we made it home.

When the garage door finally shut behind us, I realized I was shaking.

“I never stopped praying,” Meep, our oldest daughter said.

“I prayed a little,” our son added.

The six year old was asleep.

Yep, she’s a born Minnesotan. “Mom will get us through. What’s a little ice?”

Either that or the angels were singing her a lullaby as they kept our car on the road.

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