Christmas morning somewhere in the middle of Kansas

28 Dec

Maybe we should watch the weather a little more often. We set out on the 23rd of December for Grandma Teague’s house in Missouri. Half way there, I decided to tinker with my cell phone and pulled up the weather channel app.

And to our shock, it showed a winter weather advisory for, well, most of the country.


The cowboy said they were probably blowing it all out of proportion and we’d be fine.

Okay, I’ll go with that. For a while.

We get to Grandma’s house and had a wonderful time with the family. Christmas gifts were exchanged and threats were issued over the last serving of peach cobbler. It was great.

The next morning we get up to head back to Oklahoma. We run on a pretty tight schedule around here and don’t have much time to spare. We had colts in the pens and hay to move around. Plus, we needed to be home to do Christmas morning with the girls.

For some reason, the cowboy flipped over to the weather channel. Which indicated that there was severe winter weather making it’s way across the country. About that time he started sneezing and coughing. So he took a lot of cold medicine, loaded the truck up, kissed his mom and handed me the keys.

He was out like a light. Which was fine with me. He tends to yell a bit when I drive. So I found some Christmas music on the radio (um, just turned the thing on — they were all Christmas all day), handed the kiddos their milks and off we went.

No problem.

Until we hit Kansas.

Within two miles, it went from just a drizzle to ice covered highway. The cowboy woke up to ask me “What the h—- are you listening to?” and noticed that I couldn’t even reply.

Apparently, gripping the steering wheel tighter does not affect your ability to keep your vehicle on the road.

I gently pulled over on a gravel road and after the cowboy peeled my fingers from the wheel, I slid over and let him take control.

He’s just fine at this. In fact, he’s giving me pointers on driving in it. Um, for a while.

I’m glued to my smart-little-phone trying to pull up the road conditions.

After about fifteen minutes, he lets me know we aren’t going to make it home.

Fifteen minutes later, the wind is blowing us all over the road. Wherever there are trees or such blocking the wind, there is snow piled up on the road. It was a bit scary. I began to try to squeeze the life out of the arm rest.

Five minutes later, we pull into a country gas station to fill up. The cowboy hands me his wallet and tells me to go in and get dinner. Um, yeah. From a gas station.

Our next stop is going to be a motel. Any motel. Just a motel.

At this point, we realize that the cowboy has no coat with him. I get yelled at a bit. Then I yell a bit and stomp off to the gas station in search of food for the kiddos.

While standing and staring at the cans of spaghettios and cheese-filled crackers, I realize that this is not the holiday experience I was looking for this year. I started to tear up. They had no oreos.

By the time we pulled out on the road, it was so bad that we couldn’t see anything. Five miles of complete silence and we finally saw a motel sign. But we couldn’t figure out where the road was to get us there. The cowboy put the truck in four-wheel drive and told me to hang on. And he guessed.

Thank goodness he was right.

And thank goodness there was room at the inn.

While Mommy and Daddy were not completely thrilled about spending Christmas Eve in a motel in the middle of Kansas, Bailey and Dally thought it was a great idea.

Until they woke up, and found that the only presents we had to offer them came from a vending machine.

But with one look out the window, we were able to explain that Santa hadn’t been able to get through all the snow and had left all the gifts at our home. After all, with no fire in the wood stove, he was more than able to go down the chimney.

We hurriedly packed, ate breakfast and headed out to make our careful way home. Oh, there were a few moments when I still gripped the arm rest really tightly. After all, the roads looked like this.

And I had to drive the last hour by myself because the cowboy left his truck at the dealership in Ark City, Kansas. I was a nervous wreck by the time I got home. I just kept saying “I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me.” Until Dally piped up from the back seat — “Yeah, Mom. You could even wreck.”

Gotta love her.

I’m not leaving Cocklebur Junction again until spring. Partly because I’m snowed in, chopping ice and feeding hay. But mostly because this southern girl can’t stand driving on anything slick. All I wanted for Christmas was a tan. Instead, I got snowboots.


2 Responses to “Christmas morning somewhere in the middle of Kansas”

  1. Presents December 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Leave Santa’s boot prints of magic snow throughout yout home Christmas morning leaving proof that Santa was there. Presents

  2. Ally January 28, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    I was getting tensed up just READING about that driving experience! Yikes!

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