We were enjoying a pleasant afternoon, full of sunshine and laughter, as we headed north out of Indiana, bound for Grand Haven, Michigan, to spend Christmas with family and relocate there.
My husband was traveling in front, pulling a U-haul trailer loaded down with our household goods as well as Christmas gifts for everyone. I drove our little Toyota four-wheel drive pickup with our daughter in the seat next to me. As we tooled along, my little one noticed clouds building to the west of the highway. I glanced then went back to our conversation. This was Christmas Eve and we would soon be with our Michigan family. Or so we thought. Little did we know that our usual 4-½ hour trip would turn into a 10-hour nightmare blizzard.
As you pass through upper Indiana the weather can change instantly from one extreme to the other. We caught sight of snowflakes lazily floating across the windshield. No problem. Being true Michiganders we were accustomed to snow, lots of it.
As the sky darkened in the late afternoon, the snow came down more heavily. I turned on the headlights as we jauntily continued on our journey. The snow fell thicker and faster, swirling around the truck in a thick blanket. The windshield wipers were freezing up, leaving streaks of accumulating snow and ice. The defroster could not keep up with the deepening snow.
Now I am not a wimp, but snowstorm driving does raise my comfort level. I attempted to keep my daughter occupied by turning on the radio, only to find constant static. We clicked it off.
My husband seemed oblivious to the fast-approaching storm. He drove on, traveling faster than I wanted to. I blew the horn and blinked my lights, but he kept right on driving. In the swirling snow I could no longer see the yellow line on the road. In fact, I could not even see the road in front of me!
My hands were sweating profusely. I took deep, cleansing breaths, reminding myself to relax so I would not do anything foolish like put us into a snow bank. Maybe my hubby would stop and suggest we get a motel for the night. But no, he kept on driving.
Then my sweet, precious daughter had a brilliant idea. “Mom,” she said, “let’s sing!”
Oh, what a wonderful idea to keep our minds alert and our flagging spirits alive. We began singing every song that came to mind. We sang as we drove on into the night. We sang about Jesus and how He loves us. We sang about how He knows the way we take and will not leave us or forsake us. When we ran out of songs, we put our own words to familiar tunes.
Just as my daughter drifted off, I saw the U-haul’s taillights blink on, then the right turn signal flashed. I tapped the brakes as I did not want to make the trailer a hood ornament for my Toyota. We slid off the highway. Viola! We were in our family’s driveway. Unbeknown to me we had arrived at our destination in spite of the raging snowstorm and blinding snow. My husband had led us all the way without a hitch. Our vehicles were covered in snow and unrecognizable. But we were safe from the storm in the embrace of our loved ones.