Sunday, December 16, 2007

The long way home

Snow. And more snow. And even more snow.

I spent Saturday at Dale's making tamales. And by "Saturday," I do mean all day Saturday. Pork shoulder, braised in this incredible sauce ... the house smelled completely unbelievable. Dale soaked the corn husks, heated the banana leaves, mixed the masa ... he did allow me to do the dishes, shred the pork and tie some of the tamales.

And they were delicious. Combined with the roasted corn & poblano soup, it was the perfect meal.

But all day long, and well into the night, it snowed. Liesje brought her daughter Rachael over, and she and I went sledding, and had sword fights with icicles. No, I don't care that I'm not a nine-year-old girl; you're never too old to play in the snow. At a little after midnight, I decided to head for home. The weather had eased, there was no more snow falling and the roads were clear. So I headed south.

All was fine until I turned left at Whiskey Corners in Richmond. And then, the snow began again in full force. I couldn't see much at all - the road was white and the air was white and all my headlights seemed to illuminate was the snow. Whenever it seemed to get better, it lasted only a few moments before it all turned white again. I thought to myself, "I have got to get out of this. I have got to pull over and wait it out."

Thankfully, I was only a few miles away from the Original Margaret Rathunde. It was 1:30 a.m., but I knew if I called, I would be welcomed at Christopher's mother's house. It took about a half hour to get to her home in Antioch, and I was finally safe. When I got out of the car, I hurt all over because I'd been so tense the entire drive. It felt so good to be able to relax.

The house was quiet, so I tucked myself into the couch and slept until morning. When I woke up, I felt so completely overwhelmed by the events of the previous night. I was frightened and in a potentially dangerous situation, and because someone I love lives along the way, I had a port in the storm. And because of that, I am now home, warm, safe and happy. And from my vantage point in the penthouse in Arlington Heights, the snow doesn't look nearly as intimidating as it was in the wee hours of the morning.

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