I am very lucky. We travelled to daughter #1’s house before the snow moved in. And when we wanted to go to a wedding that should have been 40 minutes away, we found a ride with a family with a heavier car. And when it took an hour to get there, we knew that it might take longer on the way back, but oh, what if everyone else didn’t show up? How would the young couple feel? Actually, we knew they wouldn’t care. How would the parents feel? So we ventured out, while it was still calm enough.
And of course the wedding was lovely. The hall had these enormous windows with trees on the other side, showing us the power of what we were missing, for the moment. Someone mentioned she heard thunder during the chuppah; I missed that. I heard the wind, though. But our attention was on the wedding. And then, of course, we started thinking about the inevitable; how to get back.
So we set out.
First, we said tefillat haderekh. Usually we don’t do it when we’re in the metropolitan area; usually we do say it when we’re travelling in Israel.
Then, we set out on a desolate street. I’ve been through a lot of snowstorms in my day. This one was weird. It wasn’t violent; the snow wasn’t moving down that quickly; but because it was so light, so fluffy, it was dangerously slipperly. And the smart ones among us knew you couldn’t trust your own instincts or reaction time or reflexes, and you certainly couldn’t trust the ones in front of you or behind you.
Or as it turned out, next to you. There were cars and trucks turned every which way. There were people walking in the middle of the streets. It resembled a zombie picture, if anyone has ever made a zombie picture in the snow.
I was so grateful I wasn’t driving. Our job was to cheer on our driver, and warn him about the other crazy drivers we saw around us, but just to help, not to worry. And when he realized that he really needed to stop the car to clean off the windshield wipers that just couldn’t keep up, we helped him figure out when it would be safe to stop and when to start up again. And when he went into a snow drift, we helped him figure out how to push out into traffic again. And when he missed a turn-off, we cheered him on to find another way, with the help of the trusty GPS, of course. And when the traffic absolutely stopped, we cheered him on to try to get off the highway and try some side streets until we could get back on again, over one bridge and then another bridge. The GPS had a time readjusting itself again and again to all of our changes. Especially the ETA. We made it back in 2 hours! We were grateful it was only 2 hours and we basically kept moving the whole time. Except when we weren’t.
I thought the tunnels would be better.
But we did it.
I mean, he did it.
No, I really mean we did it. But boy I’m grateful he was driving.