Snowbound

white snowy environment with pine trees

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Bright afternoon blues began to darken

Winter’s cold blanket prepares to descend

Snowflakes twirling and dancing, at first glance

Ol’ Man Winter, with a message to send

 

Grandfather clock proclaims each passing hour

Intricate flakes, magnified in their size

Winter’s harsh intensity growls and howls

Like a hungry wolf, seeking his one prize

 

Outside, barren landscape feels overwhelmed

Pristine white becomes the color tonight

Modest cabin remains toasty and warm

Ancient kitchen stove consumes wood all night

 

Staying indoors, cozy and safe

Snowy frenzy roars, no ending in sight

Minutes turn to hours, forwarding to days

Snowbound but home, never a hopeless plight

snowy brown house near tree

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Winter’s Arctic Grip

man in brown parka jacket walking beside woman in maroon coat

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Bone-chilling winds turn life upside down today

Delivering frigid, Arctic storms to every town

Thickening ice, spreading across the lake’s bay

People running straight into gusts, heads down

 

Wind chimes endlessly sing a winter-filled blast

Watching the thermometer effortlessly dive

Wondering, how long will this deep freeze last?

Somehow, everyone remains warm and thrives

 

The townsfolk cope, accepting winter’s greed

Facing long, harsh winters, most every year

Helping others to survive, when one’s in need

Winter’s severity never brings about fear

 

Finally one day, the wind changes its sound

Pitching warmer air, by way of a chinook

Lightening the load for everyone around

Smiles arrive, from every cranny and nook

 

Finally one day, the wind changes its tune

Pitching warmer air, by way of a chinook

Lightening the load, no longer marooned

Smiles arrive, from every cranny and nook

man standing on riverbank

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Waiting For a Call

woman wearing gray topcoat during snow season

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Waiting for its urgent call

Winter’s snow waiting to strike

Where is winter hosting fun?

Playing games in the Klondike

 

School children watch outside

Dreaming of a snow day soon

School’s steady beat marches on

Soon, everyone sings a new tune

 

Weather forecast predicts snow

Snowplows prepare for battle

But, this storm slides to the north

Hmm, snow dumps on Seattle!

 

Outside, waiting for a call

Snow shovel dreams of snowfall

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Highway Miscue . . . The Rest of the Story

car road snow winter

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Here is the “Rest of the Story” with a few added spins and twists in this tale.  In case you missed the beginning, here is a link to Highway Miscue.

As the story ended, we were reading . . .

My road-weary eyes spotted a tow truck along the interstate highway, and then I could see another vehicle buried in the median’s deep snow.  Beginning to brake and slow down my speed, my curiosity was taking over.

The tow truck driver was digging around the car in an effort to create a clear path to pull it out to safety.  You ask, where was the driver of the buried car?

Standing off to the side and watching (more like supervising) was a highway patrol trooper.  His marooned patrol car was buried in the deep snow, unable to move out and needing a tow.  The look on the trooper’s face was one never to forget . . . not too happy and certainly feeling embarrassed!

As I drove the final couple of miles to Missoula, my mind was filled with all of the stories and teasing the trooper would likely have to endure about his thrilling drive along Interstate 90.

But wait . . .

As American radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story!

Let’s back up the story just a bit.  Here is a significant, missing piece left out before I witnessed the highway patrol trooper stuck in the snow.

Upon reaching Interstate 90, less than an hour of driving time remained before reaching my final destination of Missoula.  The highway from Lincoln had been remarkably clear of snow so I was driving at about the speed limit.  I was feeling confident about the rest of the trip, and looking forward to reaching my destination safely.

A word of warning should have been lighting up inside of my brain.  Overconfidence when driving in the wintertime is never a sound approach to traveling on snow-covered or icy roads.  A surprise can lurk ahead on the road, hidden from view just over the next hill or around the approaching curve.  A driver must stay alert!

Driving up a hill, the highway surface began to gather more snow.  Obviously, the snowplow was missing in action on this stretch of road.

Traffic slowed and became a bit more crowded as I prepared to pass a slow-moving tractor-trailer truck, which was hauling a heavy load.  Even with my reduced speed, I felt comfortable in passing the lumbering truck despite the snow-covered road surface.

Oh, I didn’t mention the type of car I was driving . . . an older model Ford Crown Victoria with rear-wheel drive.  I usually drove a front-wheel car, but not this time around.  Front-wheel drive vehicles handle much better on winter road conditions than rear-wheel ones.

As I began to pass the truck, I carefully steered the car into the left lane.  My speed was comfortably under the speed limit.  Suddenly, the rear of the car began to move to the left.  I was losing control of the car at a critical moment.  The car continued to spin around until it ended up in the median filled with fresh snow.

Guess who was stuck in the snow now?

I have reflected back on this scenario more than a few times over the years.  God was certainly with me for this much too thrilling ride.  Perhaps one of His angels intervened to keep me safe from harm.

First, the large truck narrowly missed my car as I spun out of control.  Fortunately, the truck stayed in its lane, and my car managed to keep moving to the left towards the snow-filled median.

Secondly, my car completed its 360-degree spin and ended up in the median without a scratch and pointed in the proper direction.

Last of all, a Good Samaritan pulled over near the median.  He jumped out of his pick-up truck, hooked up a tow rope to my car, and pulled me out of the snow.

Each aspect of this near-miss accident could have turned into a tragedy with far different conclusions.  I sit here today, and I always feel so grateful for God’s help.

As this very true story concludes, I sincerely hope none of you, the readers, will ever experience something like this in your highway travels.  I am an experienced winter driver, but it only takes one time to give you a wake-up call.

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I am reminded of Scripture from Psalm 91:1-4:

“You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.’  For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from deadly pestilence; He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you fill find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”

Highway Miscue

car road snow winter

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Enjoy a true story!

I was driving along some of Montana’s highways years ago, westbound for Missoula.  The winter trip had been a challenging one with snow-covered roads along the way, especially as I traversed the mountains between Great Falls and Seeley Lake.

Highway 200 became my route after leaving Great Falls.  Rogers Pass loomed ahead, and the road was covered with two or three inches of snow.  I was wondering where the snowplow might be as I continued on my way.

Following the tire tracks in front of me helped keep my car going straight and safe in its direction.  My driving speed was further slowed by a large tractor-trailer truck looming up ahead.  I was thinking to myself, “Let’s just keep all of us moving along slow and safe.”

Passing an historical marker set back off of the road didn’t help my thoughts to warm-up much.  The sign informed any and all about the Arctic temperature recorded in 1954 in the pass when the thermometer crash dived to -70F.  The record temperature remains the lowest ever recorded in the United States, outside of Alaska.

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After reaching Lincoln, the road conditions improved dramatically.  The snowplow had been busy in making the road surface much safer here.  Soon I would reach Interstate 90 and be heading into the Missoula area.

As I journeyed along the freeway, road conditions were becoming worse by the minute.  More snow-covered patches caused me to slow down and use more caution.

Finally, I was just a few miles away from my final destination.  The roadway was free of snow and just wet in places.  In the distance, I could see a set of flashing lights along the left shoulder of the road.

My road-weary eyes spotted a tow truck along the interstate highway, and then I could see another vehicle buried in the median’s deep snow.  Beginning to brake and slow down my speed, my curiosity was taking over.

The tow truck driver was digging around the car in an effort to create a clear path to pull it out to safety.  You ask, where was the driver of the buried car?

Standing off to the side and watching (more like supervising) was a highway patrol trooper.  His marooned patrol car was buried in the deep snow, unable to move out and needing a tow.  The look on the trooper’s face was one never to forget . . . not too happy and certainly feeling embarrassed!

As I drove the final couple of miles to Missoula, my mind was filled with all of the stories and teasing the trooper would likely have to endure about his thrilling drive along Interstate 90.

But wait . . .

As American radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story!

Stay tuned for the finale to this true story!!