We were expecting it and had gotten everything as ready as possible on the weekend. Then, on Sunday night, our friend, Tom, called to tell me his friend, who was going to drive him to Mayo Clinic, had come down with RSV. Oh oh! He asked me if I could do it. And, of course, I said yes, kind of worrying about the huge snowstorm that was making its way from the West and was supposed to dump many inches on our lovely state, starting on Tuesday. Yup, that’s when we were driving down! I’ll admit to praying a lot about it and we made it down in very good shape; no snow at all! The storm had sort of stalled in the Dakotas, temporarily. Well, Tom had his biopsy on his brain tumor and, thankfully, it came back benign. But the storm was headed for us, starting Wed morning, when we were going to head home. After all, it’s only a 5½ hour drive in good weather…

This is what it was like, driving home yesterday evening.

We headed out and got about halfway before running into some frozen slush on the freeway. Tom kept on his phone and Google said we should go west to avoid the snow. I preferred to stick to the freeway as the plows are out 24/7, keeping them open. But Tom wanted to go west, so west we went. I’m not a fan of the Google assistant. “She” sent us down a not-yet maintained secondary highway, then onto miles of a non-maintained farm road. And we’re wading through a foot of heavy wet snow without traction control on my car. (I have an appointment on January 2nd to get it fixed; there were no faster appointments available.)

I was so glad to see that Will had plowed the driveway.

Then, we hit a more-traveled, lightly plowed two-lane highway but the road was still bad. To make a long story short, we went about 200 miles on (mostly) unplowed roads, following very few vehicle tracks in the snow. Whew, was I ever glad to get home after nearly 8 hours, to see Will had plowed our driveway’s foot of snow, nice and wide. I’m glad I could make the trip for Tom but was sure glad to get home.

Last night, we got another foot of snow, on top of the foot we’d gotten on Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Last night, it snowed another foot, so we have lots and lots of snow, still to deal with. But I’m home. — Jackie


  1. We ended up with 26 inches here in my part of Maine. We haven’t had that much at once in years. And we have to hustle to get it cleaned up because we are getting lots of rain on the 23rd. Then our temps drop like a rock (like just about everyone’s will) and we will be left with ice. Oh yeehaw!!! So glad Tom seems to be better and that you arrived home safely. You must have been exhausted. Merry Christmas to you and Will. Pyro

  2. Praying for Tom’s recovering, Lord have mercy! And great scot, that trip of yours!!! You’re a giver, Jackie. What a beautiful community of friends you have. Oh, that we all had that. Your snow pictures are absolutely gorgeous!!!

    • That snow is beautiful, just part of living in the north woods. We pray for Tom, too. It’s looking good so far.

  3. Glad Tom’s tumor is benign! Praying for his improved health. You got feet of snow we got about 8 inches in SE Idaho. Husband, who is still learning to drive in snow got the car stuck at the road plow hump of snow. Thank -fully a neighbor came to the rescue. Got car back in driveway and then plowed the place for us. I want a snow blower really bad but budget with the 800 mile move is tiiinnyy. I’m now the “snow plow” (read snow shoveler). 😆

  4. So glad you got home safe. Tom is sure lucky to have you for a friend. Snow is beautiful as long as I don’t have to leave my house, lol. Prayers for a safe healthy week.

    • We are too. I was lucky to have Tom for a friend after my late husband died and I got cancer, then was undergoing chemo, surgery and radiation while having our log home built! What comes around, goes around….

  5. We have a couple of inches of snow every now and then; but we have something called freezing fog that is very icy and dangerous. They even brine the main road here because it is so slippery. Every region has its drawbacks; but I still would choose living in the country over the city any day. So glad you made it home safe and sound. Now just stay there and eat your canned goods until spring! Your snow pictures are beautiful.

    • Yep, there is no perfect place to live. They all have their own set of challenges. I, too, would only live in the country. Cities give me the willies!!

  6. No matter how humble it is, there is no place like home……. Especially after a trip like you had. Thank God you made it safe. That is what is important.

  7. Glad you at least got home safely. We don’t really have alternate routes for us to see a specialist, the only option is to make an appointment in Palmer/Wasilla or one in Anchorage, Alaska. It is easier to do a “turn and burn” as people around here call a same day trip to Wasilla even though Anchorage is only about forty miles further and a couple doctors I see have offices in both places. Biggest problem is we currently only have PAs and nurse practitioners here in the Copper Basin and they closed the last 24 hour emergency room near hear (40miles) so the closest is currently Valdez, on the other side of one of the snowiest passes anywhere! Such is the way medical care is going!

    • Yep, getting real good medical care can be hard. Luckily, we’re only 5 1/2 hours from the best in the world, Mayo Clinic, for the real difficult medical problems. Getting an appointment can sometimes be a waiting game though.

  8. I am like you, stick to the main highways!! But, thank God, you made it home! You yard is so pretty with the snow but I’m sure you will be sick of it one of these days.

    I wish you and Will and very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

    Thank you sharing all that you do!!

    • Thank you, Cindy! Even though that deep snow is a bit difficult to manage in, we’ve got it down so it isn’t so bad. The beauty makes it worth the extra work. Merry Christmas to you too.

  9. glad you are home safely. Google is not the most reliable direction giver as I found out when helping with the census a few years back. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Oh..Fergus Falls “only” had 10 plus inches of snow so far!
    katherine Jordahl

    • This past summer google earth was wrong for several people here searching for a boat ramp on Lake Shasta. Even an r.v. pulling a boat had trouble navigating our narrow private street/driveway. Imagine seeing that one backing down to turn around! We thought everyone was coming to case the joint after a recent break-in and robbery on the house we were building. But, after so many lost on our mountain, far from Lake Shasta, we knew they were telling the truth after all!

    • Yep, just try to find our address on Google!! It puts “us” about 5 miles from where we reallyl live. I guess that’s not so bad a thing, after all…..

  10. I have had you on my mind all week since reading about your trip to Mayo Clinic. God takes care of His kids. Thank you for letting us know you’re safe at home.

    • I totally agree, Sheryl. I was having a pretty steady conversation with God for much of that trip, you can be sure.

  11. Be very cautious about relying on GPS or any similar technology, especially in bad weather like this. There are horror stories of people getting stranded and dying because they relied on GPS when it should have been obvious that something was wrong. The GPS was directing them into more remote, desolate, mountainous areas. The paved road they were on turned into a dirt path. They ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere, and couldn’t call for help, as there was no cell signal. The park rangers have a name for this: death by GPS.

    • Ditto from us over-the-road truck drivers. Worse thing ever is a gps in the hands of someone who thinks they’re the bomb. Best to learn how to read a good old-fashioned (but recently updated) paper road map, especially in bad weather. Glad you got home safe.

    • I agree. That’s why I “argued” with the Google Assistant and went the way I knew I should be heading!

  12. So kind of you to drive. What a tense trip. I had a 50 mile journey in snow and that was enough. I’m glad you’re home and safe. There is nothing like being home. Winter snow has hit us and is mounting up with very cold temperatures to arrive. I “tucked in” all the livestock. Stay warm.

    • We are; more firewood, the stock is tended and we are doing mostly inside stuff, except for some additional snow-blowing, plowing, etc, to get ready for the next snow and cold. I could only help out Tom after he helped us so much while I was undergoing cancer treatment while building our log home; he did much of the finish work, as I could afford to pay him.

  13. Yep, we got a bunch of snow too. Glad I didn’t have to go anywhere except to work one day, but hubbie came home and drove me. He’ll probably have to do the same thing tomorrow.

  14. I am proud to call you friend. You are so kind and giving. Merry Christmas and Bless you and your family.

  15. So glad your home safely, Jackie.
    That had to be a stressful drive.

    Your so caring to get Tom to Mayo Clinic
    and thankful for a good report.

    It had to be a welcome site to see your driveway Will had all
    plowed out.

    You definitely have plenty of snow. A lot more than we do in Iowa right now.

    May you have the best day and get some rest in throughout the work you have to do today around the homestead.

    • We’ve got the snow about tucked in around the yard, drive and buildings. We ended up with 2′ 4″, so far. Now it’s diving down below zero. But we have plenty of firewood and the critters are all set. We’re so lucky.

    • I am so glad to be home. I’m getting back in the swing of things but was pretty tired on Thurs and Fri.

  16. Yowza.. I’d have stuck to the main highway as you are so right about plow being out. When I commuted for work, the worst part of my drive was the first and last two miles. Nothing worse than getting stuck in your own driveway.
    But a good news trip and that helps mitigate the drive home.
    About those like pistachios beans – any thought to holding with a pair of pliers and using a utility knife to slit the hull? Or is this another one of those oh-so-good but labor intensive foods lol.

    • They resist any easy methods; the pods are very thin but cling to the seeds. Wonderful, beautiful and tasty beans but really hard to shell in bulk. Easy enough for home seed savers though; you don’t need so many beans to grow out the next year.

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