Thursday, December 24, 1998 — Christmas Eve

Well, it’s almost Christmas. My presents aren’t all wrapped (I do have them all, though). But I’m feeling in the spirit; we’re going to have a white Christmas (beautiful carol, isn’t it?), my family is safe, warm, and healthy, and so am I.

Which was actually a fact I was calling into question last night on my way home from work. Story time!

As I dressed for work that morning, I stood before my closet, agonizing over that terrible choice we all have to make: how much protective clothing to wear. Should I wear a heavy coat? How about gloves? A wool hat would just mess up my hair, right? What about a scarf? Finally, I decided on taking my medium waterproof jacket, and gloves.

Off I drove to work, spending a productive day. As I turned out of the Litton/PRC parking lot, marvelling at the beautiful falling snow, I thought, Hmmm. Should I take the nice, clear main roads that’ll be clogged with traffic, or the messy, twisty back roads that will have slightly less traffic? Of course, I chose…the back roads. And as I drove merrily along, I realized that the snow was clicking on my windshield. Sleet. Great.

Now, I drive a 1995 Toyota Tacoma; it’s a light truck, and at the moment I have nothing in the bed. Which means zero traction. Sure enough, I was soon a slippin’ and a slidin’ like an otter at play.

Finally, as I neared home, I realized the poor truck wasn’t going to be able to take much more of this; it was barely getting up the hills as it was. Fortunately, I was near an empty church parking lot, so I pulled in, and as I was parking, my car phone rang. It was Mom, asking how I was (I was already 15 minutes late at this point). We worked out a quick plan: Dad was still on his way home in the nice, beefy Mercedes, so Mom would call him, he’d detour towards me, and I’d wait until he got to me.

So I turned up the heat, turned on the radio, and started pulling things out of my briefcase to read. Nothing to read. Fortunately, I realized there was a 7–11 nearby. Now glad for the medium jacket and gloves, I turned off the heat, turned off the radio, locked up the truck and strolled over there, buying a Washington Times and a Gatorade. Then back to the car, heat up, radio on. Hmm, traffic report. Seems there was a big accident ahead of me, and everybody’s stopped. Hmm. Interesting. Dad’s coming from that direction…Dad’s coming from that direction!! Frantic attempts to call home. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Great; glad to know that Cellular One can’t handle an emergency. And I can’t remember Dad’s car phone number, nor is it in the little directory in my glovebox where it should be!

Finally, Dad called from just up the road; he’d gotten through but didn’t want to chance one major hill between us, because of the traffic. Would I mind walking? Heck no! So out I trudged, to meet Dad as he was helping some others get their cars un-stuck. Lemme put it this way: walking, I made better time than the traffic.

So we finally got home, and I took another car into work today. Roger’s still sitting in that church parking lot; we’ll attempt a rescue today or tomorrow. And today I brought a wool hat and scarf to work. Just in case!

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