Tag Archives: snow

Fragile

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When normal stops…

Last Wednesday, January 20, 2016, Knoxville experienced the first real snow of the season.  The prospect of snowfall still brings excitement to the childlike part of me.  The white blanket that shrouds everything, the quiet, the glory of winter’s beauty fills my heart with wonder.

As an adult, however, my excitement is tempered by the fact that, snow or not, I still have to get to work.  Most of us do.  It is a reality I have dealt with for a long time working in the media.  Our world doesn’t stop for snow or for anything else.

I have also long prided myself on being a careful, and fairly competent, snow driver, preaching the principles of safe speeds, proper following distances and plenty of extra time to get where we need to go.  I still believe in all those principles.  Being careful is just common sense.

But despite my best efforts, last Wednesday, I wrecked my beloved DivaMobile anyway.

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It seemed to happen both in accelerated time and in slow motion, all at once.  I was driving through downtown. The interstate did not look like it had been treated with either sand or brine, and lane lines were not clearly visible.  A small pickup truck veered in front of me, too close for my comfort, and in trying to avoid crashing into it, I applied my brakes, slid, spun several times and crashed into a guardrail.  I came to rest on an interstate on-ramp facing the wrong direction.  Had the guardrail not been there to stop me, I would have most likely gone down an embankment and landed on 5th Avenue.

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I am OK, physically.  A few scratches, bumps and bruises, but I’m OK.  And by some miracle, in all this madness, no other vehicles were involved.  I didn’t hit anybody, and nobody hit me, and I never lost consciousness.  After I realized what had actually happened, I found my phone, called 911, then called work and Jeff to tell them I’d had an accident.

Here’s the thing.  Seeing the damage that happened to my car, I realized once more just how fragile life is, how quickly an event can change everything.  I took the day of the wreck and the day after off from work, and on Friday I returned.  In more snow.  And yes, I drove myself, although I had to drive the SweetPeaMobile.  Was I scared?  Absolutely.  Will I be scared for a while?  Most likely.  But for all the fragility of life and how scary things can be, I can’t let fear keep me from doing what I need to do.  I’ll just have to do it afraid for a while, praying and trusting God to protect me and those I love, being as safe as I know how to be and getting on with the business of living and working, finding a new car to try to replace my beloved DivaMobile and looking forward to feeling, eventually, a little less Fragile.

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Suspended Animation

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When stillness happens…

I live in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Dixie, The Buckle of The Bible Belt.  This is The South.  We get the occasional snowfall here, but we are not used to ice.

But here we are, iced in due to a winter storm that dumped sleety frozen pellets on us this past Monday and now is dropping snow on top of the ice.  Record low temperatures are predicted for tomorrow night and much of the city has come to a halt.  Many schools are closed as well as a number of businesses.

I ventured out last evening for a rehearsal with Knoxville Choral Society, as we have concerts scheduled this week with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and if at all possible, the show must go on.  The roads at that time were not any trouble to navigate.  My only issues were getting the ice chiseled off my car and eventually getting the door to my fuel tank un-frozen.  It was good preparation for returning to work today.

Monday I was not scheduled to work, and Sweet Pea was sent home early from his job.  It was wonderful to be tucked in safely at home with husband and dog, snuggled under blankets watching TV.  For those few hours, there was no place anyone had to be.

There is a quiet sweetness in moments like these; it almost feels as though time has slowed and the world is in a state of suspended animation.  I know that it can’t last forever.  The quietness eventually gives way to the return of noise and activity, and I have to emerge from the cocoon of icy stillness.

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Snow Day

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There are many kinds of warmth…

Knoxville is not known as a mecca for snow lovers.  We have just received the first significant snow of 2014 and, along with it, record cold temperatures are coming.  I just went outside to get some bottles of water out of my car for fear they’d freeze and I had to go back into the house to get a bottle of warm water to pour down the door seal in order to unfreeze my door to get it open so I could GET the water bottles out.  While I did this, Our Boy Roy went outside for a brief tinkle and was pretty eager to get his business done and get back in the house!

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I scratched on my windshields and the snow looks fluffy, but it’s camouflaging ice underneath, so scraping/hacking/chiseling when I need to drive eventually will be necessary…and not fun.   For today, though, I am burrowed in, snuggled up with Our Boy Roy and grateful to be home.

I’ve called and texted Dad and Reed to make sure they are warm and dry.  Sweet Pea is at work and I am praying he can make it home safely tonight.  Right now the sunshine has broken through the cloud cover, which could actually make weather issues worse if melting occurs where the sun hits and then it refreezes, making ice where the snow used to be.

Days like this make me grateful…and a little sad.  I know that, while my house is not ideal, I have a roof over my head, I am safe and warm and dry.  I think of our homeless population on days like this and pray that they can find shelter and a meal.  I am grateful that I sing and serve at a church that helps neighbors in need and I know that my church and many others are providing warmth and food.  I am reminded of the fact that I and mine, we who are so few, have been blessed with so much, while there are so many among us with so little.  The paradox is not lost on me.

I think of the bereaved and the lonely on days like this and pray that they can find warmth of spirit.  I give thanks for the abundance of love in my life, for the provision of material needs and the gift of health.  I wrap myself in an old quilt, a flannel nightgown and fluffy socks, and settle into the simple comfort of just being warm enough.

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