Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Travels by Susan L.

  The fog rolled in thick and heavy Christmas Eve day. I left the centre earlier than planned to head for Sarnia after a small turkey lunch. I didn't want to be full-belly, sleepy behind the wheel. I also didn't want to be driving too long after dark especially with the fog. It was pretty close to what the British would call a pea souper. Two thirty looked like dusk. With a short prayer asking for safe travels for myself and anyone else on the road, I was on my way.
  As I drove past the wind farm, only the base of the windmills closest to the road were visible. The tips of their massive white blades appeared out of nowhere. They swept by the earth and upwards to vanish again in the clouds that nearly touched the ground. It was a fascinating sight.
  A darkening and oppressive sky gathered ahead. The clouds glowered like satan's brow must have when Christ was born. I thought it might begin to rain but it didn't. It felt like five o'clock even though it wasn't even three yet.
  The Christmas carols playing on the radio contrasted with the bleak and eerie landscapes my car and I passed through. Thankfully the sky lightened again with no rain but a sporadic, drizzling mist that meant having to constantly fiddle with the wiper blade settings. I was glad for the comfort of the music and sang merrily along except when I drove around a curve in the road or approached a turn.
  I only know by heart the first verse of most carols. Comes from playing an instrument where the other lyrics are written below the music score.
  Fog blanketed most of the route and as it grew darker, my headlights gained strength. Fantastical, mist shrouded trees, mysterious woods, and brief glimpses of stubble coated fields had an other-worldly feel. Christmas lights were often the only sign there was a house at the end of a driveway.
  Despite the weather, I was making good time and made my last zig in the zig-zagging, back roads route just as night closed in. As the fog vanished near Lake Huron, it began to rain. Hard.
  The skies lit up making me jump. The rumble of thunder drowned out the radio and the thump, thump of wiper blades on high speed. I could feel the sound in the steering wheel of the car. Half a dozen times, terrific bolts of lightning flashed over the countryside as bright as day.
  The rain fell harder.
  I was following another vehicle a good distance ahead of me, ever so thankful I was not on the road alone. Like Rudolph's nose, the red tail lights guided me. The other driver would brake just before a curve so I knew what was coming. I was also thankful it wasn't snow. At least with rain, you could still see the road and the car ahead.
  It was the strangest Christmas Eve ever...thunderstorms in December... but as I pulled into my son's driveway, safe and sound, I realized I'd do it all again just to be there.
  "The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children's children." Ps 128:5

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