The whirring sound of tires spinning on ice brought a twinkle to the Good Chaplain’s eye. He peered out the window and saw our neighbor, Kevin’s, car stuck between the street and his driveway in a snowdrift.
“Someone’s stuck,” the Good Chaplain said, glee in his voice. “I’m going to go help.”
On Christmas Eve 2009 in Moore, Oklahoma, the Good Chaplain walked around in a funk. So the commander closed Tinker Air Force Base and canceled the Christmas Eve service. The Good Chaplain never canceled Christmas services before.
That day, Oklahoma City officially received 13.5 inches of snow. It was a mess. Although Oklahoma would get some snow and ice in the winter, that amount was a lot at one time. And people didn’t know how to drive in it with their Toyotas, Hondas, and other small sedans. Everything shut down. Cars were stuck all over the place, accidents were happening as cars slid into each other, and unfortunately, some people lost their lives.
But we had just moved to the area in the late summer from Fairbanks, Alaska. So, to us, this storm was a half-day event. So nothing would have closed, and people would be out as usual. And that’s why the Good Chaplain was so bummed.
He quickly donned his winter clothing and went to help Kevin push his car off the street into the driveway. As Kevin explained, his new wife, Jen, was at work about seven miles away. Kevin was trying to go pick her up when he got stuck. It was their first Christmas together as a married couple, and neither one wanted to spend it apart.
That’s when the Good Chaplain realized he could be the hero. Hands on his hips, chin tilted up, he declared, “I can help!” So, he came home, told me what was going on, jumped in our 4-wheel drive, GMC Yukon, and off he and Kevin went to rescue Jen.
Meanwhile, I watched television and read a magazine while my mother-in-law, visiting for the holidays, paced the floor. She’s a Nervous Nelly, anyway, and having the Good Chaplain out in that weather made her anxious. At one point, she looked at me as if to say, “how can you be so calm?” I shrugged my shoulders. He’d been out in worse, and I knew he could drive in these conditions. It didn’t bother me. I was just happy that he could do something productive instead of moping around the house.
It took a while to go those seven miles and back through snowdrifts, around stuck vehicles, and up icy hills, but the Good Chaplain, Kevin, and Jen all made it home safely to celebrate a wonderful holiday with their loved ones.
Until next time,
Do you have any snowstorm stories? Let me know in the comments below.
Shameless plug: My book, Where You Go, I Will Go: Lessons From a Military Spouse, would make a wonderful Christmas gift for that special someone in your life who is in the military. You can buy it by going to the Book tab on this site and purchasing through Amazon or directly from me.