Friday, December 21, 2012


It was an uneventful wintry Wisconsin evening. Vic and I were on the way back from after school pick up with the darkness of night falling and a calm, serene, post card like scene all around us. As we turned to go the last mile of our homeward trek, I hummed “Silent Night” quietly admiring the beauty of our own personal winter wonderland. When I reached the phrase “Heavenly Peace” I noticed the van skid ever so slightly. “No problem.” I thought. I’ve driven in Midwest winters for the last twenty years. I’ll just compens…” The slight skid was transforming before my eyes into a totally control-free careening towards the wrong side of the road and the drainage ditch! I had no control and we were not only going to leave the road; we were going to leave the ground! In an instant we were ‘airborne’ and in action movie fashion, I blurted the first thing that came to my mind: “BRACE FOR IMPACT!!” I shouted as we soared through the air for what seemed an eternity and we hit the ground with an impact that resembled Chevy Chase’s Family Truckster impacting the desert floor after having by-passed the warning barricades! The only difference was that instead of throwing sand upon landing, we were throwing snow – BUT we were still moving! My gut feeling - which had served me so well to this point - told me not to stop but to keep driving! I glanced in the mirror to make sure Vic was okay. She was as brave as she is adorable, but had a grip on her car seat that equaled the strength of 10 men! We were enclosed on both sides by insurmountable mounds of earth and snow, and I could hear the ice cracking beneath us – “KEEP DRIVING!!” my gut ordered. And drive we did; pushing through the ditch, throwing and blowing snow, earth and debris in a display that must’ve resembled a giant, bionic gofer plowing through a snowy corn field at supersonic speed! Just when I wondered how we were going to get out, I saw a break in the left side mound and the lights of a house through the break. Stuck in movie mode in my brain, I shouted to Vic, “WE’RE GOING FOR IT!” I punched the gas, turned the wheel, slipped through the break and we were airborne AGAIN, just at a slightly lower altitude! We landed with significantly less force and Vic warned, “Daddy, this is someone’s back yard!” In cool George Lopez fashion I crooned, “I got this!” We barreled through the yard, connected to the driveway, onto the cul de sac, down the street, made a series of quick turns to shake anyone who might have tailed us, and were back on the road in a jiffy! Five minutes later we were home! We found Luz in the kitchen firing up another culinary master piece. “Anything interesting happen today?” she chirped. Victoria and I looked at each other, turned slowly back to her and in unison chimed, “No. Nothing…”

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