But getting there was no easy task. We hit the road before sunrise the day before Christmas Eve. The rain didn't slow us down, and carried us through Indiana, Illinois and into Iowa. But the rain began to freeze and the roads thickened with precipitation. White knuckles on the steering wheel, we crawled through Iowa, finally crossing into our beloved Minnesota. We made it home safely, but not without incident. Less than a half a mile from Mom & Dad's our low-rider got stuck in the snow drift that engulfed our gravel road. In one of those You-Know-You're-In-Minnesota-When moments, truck after truck of passersby stopped to assist in our bail out. Before long Dad had made his way to the barricade, and after a pull, some shoveling, and a few passes with the truck, we were home free, literally!
It wasn't until Monday afternoon on my way to my uncle's shop to pick up my cousin for a date that I realized my friendly tow had bent up the arm under the car. Ughhh. Long story short, the car spent much of the week in the shop, where it received a toasty home, a new part and an alignment, and eventually it was off and running.
By the time of departure we thought we'd had it all figured out. The car was gassed, loaded; all it needed was to be warmed up. However, at twenty-three below zero, it's easier said than done; the car turned over, but wouldn't catch. So just as the trip began, it ended with my dad saving the day.... a few moving blankets to warm up the hood, and a space heater underneath was all it took to get the car popped off, and off we were: back to Ohio again.
The turmoil with my car turns out to be a fairly accurate metaphor for the trip. There was frustration, agony, a lot of snow and cold weather, but it also brought out the good in people. And at the end of the trip I can look back and say, I'm thankful for the journey.
One of the bright spots of our Christmas Vacation.... Abby finally got to make a real snowman!