As a child, I’d play in the snow until my feet were numb. To get home, I’d shuffle my frozen limbs. Now, as a forty-five year old woman, to get home, I’m trudging through crunching snow with frozen toes. My cheeks ache as frigid winds sting my face and burn my eyes. Gray skies are no longer visible through this blinding storm that’s burying everything beyond recognition.
I can’t believe I rushed out of the house without dressing. Under this coat, I’m shivering in mismatched pajamas, bare feet are blistering inside these boots, throbbing fingers in wet pockets are useless, and my hair’s damp under a powdery white headdress.
For days, the meteorologists forewarned us. I’ll never forget the smirk on this morning’s newscaster. No one dreamed the district superintendent would open schools today, especially not for two hours. I should’ve trusted my gut.
Already behind preparing for Christmas, I knew I wouldn’t get anything done with the kids home. I finally let them go to school so I could get something done. Trying to accomplish as much as possible, after they left I started wrapping gifts. No dishes, no shower.
I was totally engrossed when the phone rang. Until then I didn’t know it was after 12:00. Looking out the window, I discovered a winter wonderland. The snow was coming down so fast and furious, I couldn’t see our mailbox. Panicked, I called my husband who was working in his home office.
“Ted, the school buses can’t get up those icy hills ‘round the school. No wonder, they’re a problem when the roads are dry. Anyway, the buses turned back.”
“They expect parents to go out in this?” Ted raised his eyebrows as he spoke.
“No, they’re planning to keep the kids overnight in school. I can’t imagine that place filled with kids all night long, and until who knows when!”
“They’ll be fine,” Ted said, refilling his coffee mug.
“Oh really?” With my blood pressure rising, I grabbed my purse, boots, and coat. “Do you think we’re going to sit by a blazing fireplace, eat home cooked food, and watch TV while our kids are stranded? What are you thinking?”
“That they’re safer staying put in school than we’ll be if we go out in this weather.”
“We don’t know how many teachers are there. Where will they sleep? On cold floors? No pillow or blanket? Eating what? Doing what? That’s not my idea of fine.”
No wonder Ted’s not talking to me. I’m glad he ran after me, and the kids were relieved to see us. However, it was insane to listen to him and get out of the car.
Lord, please don’t let us die out here. I have no sense of direction any more. Everything looks the same—mountains of white! Why’s Ted walking so far ahead? I can hardly see him. At least the car protected us from this bitter wind. Eventually snowplows would’ve come. Even worse, he really thinks it’s safer cutting across this field than walking along the road?
I don’t have enough energy to keep fighting. He blames me the car skidded off the road. I blame him for not staying in the car. Was I a bad mother to want to get my kids home?
I can’t believe they’re throwing snowballs and acting as if this was an adventure. I’m never going to be warm again. If we live, we’re all going to have pneumonia till after New Years.
“Lord, where are we? Better yet, where are You? Come on, You led the Israelites through the Red Sea, surely You can show four frozen wanderers the way home, please?”
“Mom, mom, look, there!”
“There! The snow is colored, is it a rainbow or something?”
“Ted! Wait up. Look, are those lights?”
“Could be Christmas lights…yeah, someone just turned their outside Christmas lights on.”
“Thank you God for answering my prayer!”
“But Daddy, there aren’t any houses in this field.”
“True. Anyway, if God used the Christmas star to show the shepherds the way, He can use Christmas lights to guide us.”
“Actually, Ted, haven’t we been walking in circles? That house has to be the one on the hill where we left the car. Think they spotted us and are trying to illuminate our way?”
“Mommy, when we get home, can I turn on our Christmas lights case somebody else is lost?”
“Absolutely…that’s what Christmas is really about, the Light coming to save the lost.”
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