Tess hopped over the threshold and out into the semi-dark dawn, scampering through the snow and into the yard. I couldn’t tell if it was still snowing or if the wind was just blowing snow off the roof and into my line of vision, but I could tell the driveway was covered back over despite being shoveled out the night before.
It was just before six o’clock and I needed to be on the road by a little after seven – heading for a meeting in our state’s capitol city. The drive normally takes between two and two-and-a-half hours. But with snow and ice on the roads, it would take longer.
I drive a Honda Fit. Sometimes getting down OFF our hill is manageable – but getting back UP the hill can be a nonstarter. And if all the roads looked like the one in front of our house… should I venture out and possibly get stuck? Judging solely on what I could see from our front porch, the roads were going to be challenging.
After Tess finished her business and we hustled back inside, I fired up the computer and started looking for road condition reports online. Those indicated the interstates were in “fair” condition with some snow and ice.
I determined I should give it a go.
While I showered, dressed, and gathered my meeting materials, my husband shoveled the driveway. I loaded in a pair of boots, extra bulky coat, hat, gloves, and a blanket; a few bottles of water and some granola bar type snacks; my iPod of music and podcasts; a shovel; and a travel mug of coffee.
Ready or not…it was time to hit the road.
I managed to get out of our driveway; down the two steep neighborhood hills to a county road; out onto a city street; and then onto a state two lane highway. The roads were still snow covered but the Fit was handling them OK.
So far, so good.
Once I hit I-79, the roads weren’t too bad. I drove under the speed limit, but did not have to creep and slide along as I had feared.
Thank goodness I didn’t let the challenging landscape just outside my front door prevent me from venturing out into the world.
I ran through a couple of snow squalls along the way, but kept my hands on the wheel, my eyes on the road, and my mind on the task.
I arrived at my destination safely, participated in a productive meeting, enjoyed good fellowship with other committee members, and returned home later that day under blue skies. I even managed to make it back UP the hill, down our driveway, and into the garage.
Moral of the story: There are times in life when circumstances seem daunting and possibly intimidating. Based on what you can see right in front of you, you may ask yourself if you are ready for the journey. But with some effort and planning, you can often take yourself beyond the initial challenges and find yourself out on an open road.
(But it also pays to bring snacks. And coffee. Don’t forget the snacks and coffee.)