It was starting to rain when I set out to pick up Will from school one afternoon recently. With temperatures falling, I suspected it would soon turn to ice. It did, even before we reached the freeway. I was about to get on I-94 when I slid through an intersection on red. Thankfully, no other cars were coming. I realized how treacherous things were going to be on the road and decided I didn’t want to risk getting on the freeway.
I called Tom who was already westbound coming home from work, and he said he would get Will. But trying to get back home, it was evident that the roads where I was were now skating rinks. Trying to climb the hill near our house, our van started sliding backwards. There was no traction at all. I pulled off (slid) onto a side street and parked, and Emmy and I set out to try to walk up the hill. Easier said than done, as the sidewalks were as icy as the streets.
“Mama, I’m cold, I don’t have socks on,” Emmy announced. Wouldn’t you know it? Emmy had pulled on her rain boots instead of winter boots, and the child had taken her socks off, something I hadn’t noticed when she had gotten her boots on.
Trying to get up the hill was unbelievable. We slowly shuffled, with Emmy holding my hand, trying not to fall. Occasionally, she spun out and crashed, nearly pulling me down on top of her. Halfway up the very long hill (the first one we had to climb), she had tears slipping down her face. Emmy is not a whiner and doesn’t cry easily, but it was tiring and her feet were cold. I promised her hot chocolate with “mouse-mellows” when we got home, which definitely had a cheering effect on her, but it was hard going.
We watched a van on the street slide backwards as another driver learned the hard way that the streets were ice. Turning right and shuffling up the last hill, Emmy grew discouraged again. We were passing one of the houses on our street when she suddenly stopped in her tracks.
“Look Mama! Aren’t those lights just beautiful?!”
She was enthralled with the white Christmas lights in some bushes.
“And they have candy canes in their snow!” she added, looking at the topsy-turvy, forlorn looking Christmas decorations in the yard.
It’s just like a child to stand there with freezing little feet and frozen tears on her cheeks and admire something she finds pretty.
We finally made it up the hill, and after getting Emmy’s feet warmed up in socks and slippers, I gave her the promised hot chocolate. Spooning up half melted “mouse-mellows”, she recovered from our icy adventure and our slow climb up the long hill.
Tom arrived home safely with Will, and then he walked down to the van and managed to get it safely into our garage. (Two other cars had spun out and were up on the sidewalk when he got there.) This winter, the thought of moving to a warmer climate has more of an allure than it normally does! Spring can’t come soon enough.