Monday, December 24, 2007

How to beat the sleet

It is so good to be safely home for Christmas!

My very very first idea was to leave for Iowa right after work on Friday. That idea lasted all of about ten seconds. Because it then occurred to me that driving home in daylight on a good night's sleep with a properly packed car would probably work better. What were a few hours with a whole week of vacation waiting?

Of course, it didn't really work out like that.

Pack properly? The week before Christmas is full of all the non-family Christmas festivities. I had to make cookies and fudge for friends and colleagues, and get ready for the party that someone decided Stacey and I should host. It was fun, just a little late for a Thursday night. Then on Friday night I had to squeeze packing in around washing up the mountain of dishes and visiting a good friend just back for Christmas.

A good night's sleep? Well, I'm sure that would have happened if it weren't for 1) the excitement of going home the next day, 2) the excitement of driving home all by myself, and 3) the excitement of adventurous weather. Apparently the sleet was to hit Ardith's part of Iowa by early afternoon. So I set the alarm for 4 a.m.

Driving in the daylight? Yes, if you don't leave the house at 5 a.m. in December and drive west into dense fog, you might have daylight. Come to think of it, I don't remember even having gray skies till getting well past Chicago.

The most exciting parts of the trip?

1 - Getting off 30 West onto 65 North
2 - Getting off 65 North onto 80 West
3 - Trying to get out of the I-Pass lane at the 80 toll
4 - Getting almost completlely convinced that the car was tilted left and would flip at any moment - till getting back into the right lane
5 - Getting the car to go (around) 70 mph without the constant whine
6 - Getting off onto 380 North
7 - Getting off on the right exit and finding that the directions miraculously worked out to lead to Ardith's
9 - Driving onto Ardith's sidewalk, which was a solid sheet of ice, and trying to walk up to the door

Yes, Ardith's driveway was definitely the most treacherous part of the entire trip. But that's my fault. I arrived too early (10:30 A.M), before she could get back with the salt.

That was Part I of the trip home, and it was so much fun!

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