Returning home on the last leg of our Florida journey, we made one last stop at our grandparents’ house in Salem, West Virginia. After all, there’s no place like home – except Grandma’s. Robert, Esther, James, and Daniel especially relished the visit before heading off to the mid west once again. The thick blanket of snow outside made our supper and conversation in the warm house all the more delightful.
Finally we bundled up and re-entered the white night for the short drive home, two miles down Buffalo Calf Road. As we made our way over the packed snow, we were all thinking about the last obstacle to overcome: “the hill”. Our van was not four wheel drive, and this hill, with its sharp curve at the bottom to prevent a running start, was just steep and long enough to make it a major obstacle at certain times of the year. It had been the scene of a couple hair-raising events in the past.
We were all praying as we approached the hill. Dad got as much speed up as he could at the base of the hill, and we spun and slid just a tad at the curve, causing us to fishtail as we started the ascent. We could tell we were losing momentum. Now we were really praying. Our tires started spinning and we were about to come to a stop. “Jump out and push!” Dad yelled. I was buried in baggage, but Donald and Robert, who were by the doors, bailed out. “O no!” I thought, “What if we start sliding with them back there!” I burst out of the bundles and climbed to the door to warn them. But we were still going forward! Dad said later that he looked down and when he looked up we were cresting the hill. Donald said he hadn’t really even pushed the van because the van was going forward while they were slipping in the snow. We all cheered in relief and amazement as we stopped at the top of the hill to let Donald and Robert back in.
But we were not home yet. We came to our driveway to find that someone had plowed it for us! What a blessing!
How fitting to conclude our journey with one more reminder that God is the One Who preserves our going out and our coming in “from this time forth and even forevermore.”