As we maneuvered off the sidewalk toward the parking lot, rain changed to sleet, driven horizontal by fierce wind. It was actually painful. As we struggled forward, the sleet mixed with snow. Visibility was minimal. The couple persevered, depositing me in my car, admonishing me to be careful.
I turned the heater and windshield wipers on full blast, dried off my glasses and waited until most windows were clear. Not that it did much good. The snow was now falling in such thickness that roads, signs, and traffic were almost completely obscured. But I couldn’t stay there.
I drove, inching my way toward what I hoped was the exit, letting others pass so I could follow their tracks. Slowly I made it back to the highway, getting into what I hoped was the slow lane. I headed west, choosing to get off the highway as soon as I could, grateful that increased traffic made the road more visible.
Closer to home, I knew the way. My car knew the way. My garage door opener worked. I was home. And so grateful to the couple who turned back to help a tottering old lady.
And to a car that warmed up and handled slippery streets and a cozy home to welcome me. A glass of wine and a little television numbed winter reality and I went to bed dreading the avalanche that I must assuredly deal with in the morning.
There was no avalanche. Only about an inch of snow. By mid-morning the sun was out, and many sidewalks were clear.