What’s a Little Ice When You’ve Got Angels on Your Side?

5 Mar

After 19 years of living in the Mid West, I think I’m beginning to belong.

I have joined the ranks of Minnesotans who say, “If we stayed home at the least little bit of nasty weather, we’d never go anywhere for six months.”

I have survived two horrid driving events in the past month and a half, and I am alive to tell about it, with my untainted driving record still in place.

Lest you think I am bragging, let me hasten to assure you that I know – I KNOW – that God has at least one angel on perpetual “Keep Gretchen Safe While She’s Driving” duty – so it’s not to my credit that I’m alive…it’s to His.

I don’t know why He has chosen to protect me in this way. All I can think is that He must still have some plans that involve me and it’s just not my time yet. Which is fine with me.


Both of these wretched driving situations of the past few weeks have involved freezing rain. Both involved me saying, “What am I, nuts?” as I drove along the highway at speeds less than half of the 65-75 suggested miles per hour. And both found my husband out of town and my kids and I braving the elements together.

And both, I must admit, did not take me out of the house for life or death reasons.

Take last night, for example. The kids and I drove out to our pastor’s house for a book discussion with some other couples from church. I like this chance to talk about interesting stuff, and the kids like the opportunity to play with their friends. I’d seen the weather report, yes. I knew that the rain was beginning to fall as we left the house…but I’m an optimist. I figured, “Either the weather report is exaggerating and this won’t come to anything or I’ll drive home in the freezing rain and put those angels to work.”

Okay, I didn’t really think about the angels. I just hoped for the best and ignored the worst.

When we left their house two hours later I was slightly worried. As we slid on our tennis shoes across the road to our car – holding tight to each other’s hands – I was a little more worried. As I started up the car, after breaking the ice on the door handles, I was in full “praying mode”.

This was one of those, “Kids, please turn off the radio and don’t talk,” car rides. What usually takes us 13 minutes took us 35. I saw a few semi trucks pulled off the road and I wondered – not for the first time – how truck drivers do what they do.

The temperature was 26 and the rain was relentless. In the dark and the conditions, I managed to make a wrong turn. I forgot to put on the Four Wheel Drive until I was about three miles from home. The ABS brakes kicked in several times.

But, despite it all, we made it home.

When the garage door finally shut behind us, I realized I was shaking.

“I never stopped praying,” Meep, our oldest daughter said.

“I prayed a little,” our son added.

The six year old was asleep.

Yep, she’s a born Minnesotan. “Mom will get us through. What’s a little ice?”

Either that or the angels were singing her a lullaby as they kept our car on the road.



23 Responses to “What’s a Little Ice When You’ve Got Angels on Your Side?”

  1. Beth Ann March 5, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    I must admit that I have had a couple slippery situations of my own this year in this midwestern weather —-coming home from MSP after dropping hubby off at the airport being the latest. Today as we woke up to 6 more inches and more continuing to fall I am glad that I have absolutely nowhere that I have to go. I have had a few of those angels, too!!! Glad you are safe and sound.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      We have been gyped down here in the SW corner of the state in the snow rhelm this year – the second year in a row! So sad. I’m glad you’ve been safe, too!

      • Beth Ann March 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

        I would happily send you some of ours. Tonight they are calling for freezing rain. I prefer snow to that!

  2. Lee Anne March 5, 2013 at 9:09 am #


  3. treadlemusic March 5, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Those of us in MN, and other such regions, have specially assigned angels…of that I am sure!!! I can so relate, Beth Ann! Since moving from MSP (in ’74) to this area (Coulee Region) that seems to get more rain in the winter than summer, we have had many silent trips filled with continuous prayer and wondering “Why am I choosing to be out here”! Today finds us cozily ‘hunkered down’ in our little farmhouse with 8″, approx, of snow on the ground and the heaviest yet to be seen. Off to the sewing room………..blessings, Doreen

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      You are lucky to be getting snow – well, that’s my opinion at least when my whole family is safe at home! I love to hunker down then! But this year – hardly any snow. We’re so dry here. We desperately need rain this spring.

      • treadlemusic March 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

        I did not realize that you have been by-passed by all the moisture that comes from your direction. Seems like we have been in that “tunnel” that has been bringing moisture up from the Gulf! The rain/sleet this weekend might be interesting!. Prayers for you all for your drought situation……hugs, Doreen

        • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

          Thanks! 🙂 Prayers are always welcome! We’re in an anti-rain tunnel, apparently!

        • treadlemusic March 9, 2013 at 9:53 am #

          Rather than tunnel…how about “bubble”!-(

        • Gretchen O'Donnell March 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

          Bizarrely, the bubble/tunnel has burst and we’re looking at almost three quarters of an inch today! HOWEVER…the ground is frozen, so most of it is rushing into Iowa. BUT…it’s still good for the lakes!

        • treadlemusic March 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

          Foggy/rainy here. Planning on church in La Crosse tonight. Think tomorrow morning will be a titch on the slippery side….we usually attend 8:30 a.m. service! Our water is running off, too, but figure any moisture is a “good thing”!

  4. cravesadventure March 5, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I remember those drives of nerves, shakes and absolute quiet – you also know someone is watching out for you too:) Happy Tuesday

    • Sandy Anderson March 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      If it’s any consolation, 4-wheel drive doesn’t help much on ICE. I know from experience. Those who think it does end up in the ditch!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      🙂 Yeah, it’s good to know you’re not alone. thankfully, spring is on the way…at least, that’s what the calendar tells me.

  5. hotlyspiced March 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I definitely believe in angels protecting us. That night drive sounds horrendous. I’ve never had to drive in those sorts of conditions. You’re very brave xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      I’m not really so brave, just tired of staying home! I never really thought aobut how you don’t get the snow and ice there that we do here. I think it’s time for me to move. 🙂

  6. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen March 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I think there were angels singing that lullabye.. what a lovely image you’ve created in my mind’s eye:) I’ve no doubt there are angels around us, we’ve had proof of that just this winter. xx

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Yes, I imagine you get some doozies of storms where you are. For the past two years we’ve had hardly any snow…it’s so sad! I’d take snow any day over the freezing rain.

  7. Karen March 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    Living in a state where snow is so much a part of life like it is in New Hampshire…I still stay off the roads after a snow storm until the road is black. If it is a snow day for the schools…it is a snow day for me as well.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      yeah, I sure prefer that, too. Thankfully I don’t work outside of my home, so mostly I can make that work! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. Sartenada May 9, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Great post. I love the last photo very much.

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