Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Eve Smile

I was in a frazzled and dour mood.
The National Weather Service had issued a Winter Storm Warning predicting 5 to 7 inches of snow on top of the sleet and ice we were getting.
I tried to rest for my midnight shift but did a poor job of it with images of iced roads, flying snow, and getting stuck in the ditch crossing my mind.

It was silly. I'd spent the entire day fretting over something that I had no control over what so ever.
Finally at about 7pm, I announced that I was going to get a start.
Silly right?
I had only had a 30 mile drive.

The gravel road allowed for NO mistakes.
It was shiny, wet, glaring ice with minuscule dots of gravel showing in my headlights.

Iced silvery tree branches dipped and bobbed in the slashing wind and...and the
rainy
snowy
icy stuff.

I negotiated the gravel road and dropped back off the ridge and onto the black top county road. The thrill of the black top road was short lived as I followed its snake-like curves through slippery slush, puddles, and patches of snow that hid the ice underneath.

This was to be the nature of the roads this black inky rain slashed night. Rapid fire adjustment to Mother Nature's winter mix was the challenge. And to do it without ending up in the ditch.

I stopped in town for fuel and a cup of coffee.

As I handed over my money for the coffee the woman behind the counter smiled and with true honest warmth said, *Merry Christmas!*

Indeed.

Her cheer was contagious. I replied in kind.
*Merry Christmas!*

I wore a smile on my face as I ducked the snow/sleet/mix and headed for the truck. The weather was horrendous, the twisted roads a white knuckle challenge and yet somehow two words from a stranger had lightened my heart and set my mind at ease.

Merry Christmas indeed.

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