Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unwrapping The Joy of The Unexpected

O.K.  So this title totally ignores the groan I moaned this morning when I looked out the window and saw an unexpected blanket of fresh snow.  Somewhere between third grade and thirty something I lost the easy joy in the unexpected.

I remember it, though.  I remember sitting in the second grade classroom, staring out the window, and seeing the first of the snow flakes that would trigger the decision to send us home early. 

All I remember is the excitement which comes to a child who is dreaming of sledding.

Our bus drivers, though, probably felt a little like I did this morning.

Because at the end of our bus run, they all faced a monster hill off a hard left hand turn at a blind intersection.  The only approach was across traffic from a dead stop. 

On icy days, the bus had little hope of making it up. Those of us who were left on the bus crowded into the seats over the back wheels and the driver would give it several tries. 

Eventually, we were all left off to walk the rest of the way home.  I’m not sure if I ever clocked it later in life to see how far it was.  But I’m guessing now that it was somewhere around a mile to a mile and a half.

In the early years, we begged them to let us walk.  In later years, we groaned at having no choice. 

That’s why I’m remembering those bus rides today.  Because I remember those long walks on snowy days. 

And because in a few minutes, I’ll be taking a carload of elementary kids down several very big hills to the bus stop.  And the last hill reminds me of the hill of my youth.  (poetic, isn’t it?)

It’s really the getting back up that worries me.   This hill sports a long walk home, too.  Something just under a mile. 

I’m taking my camera, and I’ll finish this post when I get back.  I’ll try to have my son get a picture of the hill.  Because you all want to see it, right?  Lol! 

*  *  *

We’ll we made it back.  But my car did not.  Lucky for you, my 10 year old son manned the camera and I’m pretty impressed with his photography!  (Well, except for the pictures he took of things like his nose hairs.)

The point of no returnThis is the top of the poetic hill on the way down to the bus stop.  The bus does not come up our hills for obvious reasons.  In this picture, we have just crossed the point of no return

“Committed” is what I call it.  It’s just after the place where you pause, and pray that no one is coming up.


The point of no return 2This is the point where the kids in the back grasp hands, and if I’m lucky, refrain from screaming.  My son is giddy with excitement, perched on the edge of his seat—as far forward as his seat belt will allow.  I begin creeping down the hill in second gear.


The point of no return 3This is where I see a truck (behind those trees) coming right up the center of the road and I have no choice but to apply the breaks.  Which begins our slide.  See the skid marks at the bottom that veer off the road to the right?  Yep.  There’s a three foot drop off there that someone before me encountered.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize we’re in for a wild ride.  And I’m thinking…crud…stink…not good…and a host of other things I’ll never tell you.

My “No, no, no, no, no, no, no’s” turn into “Back up!  Back up! Back up!  Back up! Back UP’s” as I got closer and closer to that truck.


Back up back up back upThis is where I’m hoping he has backed up far enough because we’re coming down pretty fast and I’m just along for the ride.  (No doubt he’s having the similar thoughts!)


Discussing our wild rideThis is me catching my breath at the bottom.  Talking to the man in the truck about my scary ride.  (You can’t see it, but my heart is still in my throat.)  As it turns out, our seventy something year old friend had the more wild morning.  He had already tried to get up the hill once, slid back down, and was in the process of trying again…when we appeared on our slide down and gave him a second scare!

We parked at a friend’s house at the bottom of the hill.  After the older kids caught the bus, I decided that my little guy and I would be walking back up.  The car could sit there.  It’d be like old times. 


He was prepared.  I had made sure of that before we left.  Because I’m a good mom.

preparedSee his snow suit and boots? 

However, I (the queen of all preparedness) looked down and this is what I saw…

Oh noLoafers!  Rats!  I had forgotten to swap them for the boots by my front door.  You won’t tell my 6th grader, will you?  (I MADE him wear a winter coat this morning.  Gasp.)

But you know what?  When I called my friend at work (who lives by the bus stop) to see if I could leave my car in her drive, do you know what she said?  “If you need boots, there are some inside my garage door.”

Thank you Lord! 

  • For wonderful friends! 
  • For watching over us!
  • For thrill rides we don’t have to pay for! 
  • For an unexpected beautiful walk in the snow! 
  • For allowing me to have forgotten to lock the house (something I began praying for, 3/4’s of the way home, when I remembered I left the house keys in the car.)
  • For giving my five-year-old the pluck to make the long hike.
  • And for the hot chocolate and cinnamon buns at home to warm up our very cold bones.

Sweet warm reward

It wasn’t so bad.  And my little guy and I are laughing about it now

Thank you Lord for walking with us and answering prayers long before I prayed them.  You knew I needed practice in finding joy in the unexpected!  Even if the laughs didn’t show up until later!!

What are you thankful for today?  And what is God helping you to unwrap?  Join us at  Gratituesday and Tuesdays Unwrapped


Mari said...

Wow! That's quite a hill and I wouldn't want to try it up or down in bad weather. Your son did a great job with the pictures!

myletterstoemily said...

scary story...great pictures!

don't know how many times i have rushed somewhere only to look down with a sinking stomach at my
poorly shod feet!

enjoy those precious boys...their feet will go to
college one day.


G-Zell said...

What beautiful pics.. oh how scary. I am such a big baby in cold weather that is why I live in california LOL...

What a beautiful post.

The Rambling Housewife said...

I'm dying to know what part of Indiana you live in, that has hills like that! I moved here from New Hampshire eight years ago, and a friend of mine tried to tell me Indiana has mountains. I was so excited! Mountains! Where?

"Brown County has mountains." he replied. Yeah. Sorry, those are HILLS! Beautiful, but hills nonetheless.

Glad you made it home ok!

Christina said...

Hehe...hehehe...pictures of his nose hairs? That struck me as amazingly funny. I'm glad you guys got down (and back up) safely. And what would we do without our amazing friends to loan us stuff?

Kathy said...

Whoa. What memories! I grew up in Southeastern Montana where we took off our coats to play when, when it warmed up to 40 degree IN THE SPRING!!! I also recall living in KC., MO for a year. There were the tops of certain hills I just was NOT destined to see during the winter. Please stay safe and keep making those memories! : )