Friday, January 22, 2010
This morning we awoke to a change in the weather. Instead of the deluge of rain we've experienced all week, snow blanketed our front garden. I snapped a photo from inside our cozy house, looking out through our porch and across the meadow outside our gate.
Our little mountain town, elevation 3800 feet, is only fifty miles east of (usually) sunny San Diego, yet we experience all four seasons much differently than the usual San Diegan. We receive a few snowfalls each winter, usually in January and February; an inch or two is normally all we receive, melting within a few hours.
Around 7:30 this morning I stepped out onto the porch in stocking feet to capture the falling snow. The snow stopped mid-morning, so I took the two younger ones 15 miles down the mountain to Alpine for Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist with Father Acker at Victoria House where Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity meets on weekdays. Following Communion, Jonathan had his guitar lesson with Father Acker until 10:45.
Deciding to skip a trip all the way into San Diego for my chiropractic appointment, we turned eastward and started back up the mountain. Snow started softly falling on my windshield as I boarded the freeway, and we passed a very serious car accident as the snow began to accumulate under my slowly-turning wheels. I took the next exit, deciding to enter our town "the back way" on smaller highways rather than via the slippery Interstate.
But the narrow, winding highways were also snow-covered, so I slowed my speed to 20 mph as "Molly," my beloved '91 Corolla, attempted to keep her balding tires on the slushy road. The snow drifted down in increasingly larger flakes, falling furiously and reducing visibility. I could feel the tires slipping along the paving, the back of the car fish-tailing slightly. Then the snow began to fall in earnest, creating blizzard-like conditions, something definitely NOT seen often in San Diego County. While I started praying under my breath, "Molly" skidded slightly as I edged her up the mountain and into the small community of Guatay. Deciding that conditions were not safe enough to continue, I pulled "Molly" into a parking place in front of the tiny hardware store.
Whipping out my cell phone, I planned to call my husband to fetch us in the van for which we have snow chains, but my cell could not receive a signal. Sighing, I told the boys to stay put in the warm backseat and, taking my cane with me, struggled through puddles and snow to the front door of the hardware store where they allowed me to call home, only five miles away. Keith assured me he would come, so I muddled my way back to the car to wait with the boys.
Ten minutes later, we heard someone from the hardware store calling my name, telling me that my husband was on the phone. I managed to slide my way through the snow drifts again to pick up the phone; the van wouldn't start and Keith told me I was on my own and to drive home slowly. Fortunately, while we were waiting, the snow had slowed, falling now in smaller, tighter flakes that allowed for far better visibility, plus several cars had driven past, leaving melted tracks on the snowy highway.
Turning in my seat, I held a hand out to the boys who placed their hands in mine while I prayed for our safe home-going. I managed to persuade "Molly" to back out of the snowbank that had accumulated during our wait, and somehow she found enough traction to pull us back onto the highway. We proceeded home at 15-20 mph, thankful for the wet tire tracks through the now-slushy snow and the greatly improved visibility for driving. We edged down the hill into our whitened valley, sloshing across the meadow and parking "Molly" in our driveway with grateful hearts.
We certainly experienced an adventure today. The snow continued to fall off and on all day, and many events in our town have been canceled, including our art council's program tonight. I'm thankful to be home, in a warm house with a hot fire in the wood stove, and steaming ham and bean soup for dinner. The word "thankful" seems inadequate to express the relief, the joy, of being home safely.
Gratitude swells in my heart, through my fingers, and onto this blog. Thanks be to God for His guiding Hand in bringing us home safely through the blizzard conditions, something we are not at all used to in Southern California.