The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines. — Charles Kuralt
What began on December 17th as a soft falling snow, has turned into a relentless,100-year-old, record-breaking snowfall over the past 21 days, crippling the Northwest. We have withstood roofs collapsing, roads made impassable, black-ice slicked roads, school closures, mall closures (a week before Christmas!) and now, as the temperature starts to warm to a balmy 35 degrees, flood warnings. Happy New Year!
My daughter, Kate, was originally due home the evening of December 18th. I paced, anxiously, until 4:00 AM, as the snow first blanketed the lawn, then covered the dried hydrangea flowers I hadn’t pruned, and, finally, obliterated the huge boulder that sits next to the driveway turning my yard into a tundra.
It is normally a 50 minute flight from Seatac airport on the west side of Washington, to Spokane airport on the east side of Washington; it takes longer to drive to the airport than it does to fly across the state.
However, it took Kate two days, a four-hour bus ride back to the university, a total of 10 delay-notifications, two canceled flights, and the extraordinary understanding and assistance of three separate Alaska Airline employees (my heartfelt thanks go to Lisa, Bill and Darcy), to finally board a plane and make it home to her anxious mother (that would be me).
As we slowly made our way home from the airport in the relentlessly falling snow, I attempted to feed my hungry child who had been stuck, that day, in the Seattle airport for seven and a half hours. Before we had even made it into the drive-thru, we got stuck in some slush in the sub-zero late hours. Mercifully, some other late-night snackers realized we were spinning our wheels on the frozen ground. The young man, his mother, and Kate, pushed the car out of the muck. Apparently, my new right front tire does not like snow, as it has mired us in slush two more times in the past two weeks, always in a remote location. EACH time, within minutes, someone has come to our rescue.
I know this is the season of miracles, but I have felt particularly blessed these past weeks. If my faith in the unseen has been challenged of late, it has been restored by the kindness of strangers and the powerful forces that have put these earthly angels in my life. Yes, Virginia, it is, indeed, a Happy New Year.