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I drove our compact SUV down the mountain road last Friday evening. Keith and I hadn’t been out for days, due to the snow storm. But we’d accepted two back-to-back holiday party invitations and didn’t want to miss.

For some reason, the mountain road hadn’t been plowed after last weekend’s storm. Our neighbors’ heavy 4WD vehicles traveled the road, packing the 18-20 inches of snow. Overnight, their tire tracks froze into ice.

MountainRoadIceDec2018Every day, snow and tire tracks melted then refroze overnight. Friday’s rain accelerated the melting. But not in shaded areas, as you can see from this picture I took on Saturday, after more rain.

I’ve walked and driven the mountain road with ease countless times. Last Friday night was different—dark with heavy rain and snow fog. Noting my concern, Keith offered to drive.

I turned him down. This was my test, because before we left I had prayed for a little humiliation. (#1) Since I’m prone to smugness, among other less admirable qualities, I welcome humbling.

Maybe.

Keith and I wore sensible clothes and shoes on Friday night, in case we had to pull off the road and walk the rest of the way up. He also put his cap, gloves, and ice shovel in the back of the car. So, we were prepared. Still, I was nervous.

Since downhill went okay, I prayed for a little humbling on the return trip. (#2)

But.

Our AWD vehicle made it up the first, gentle quarter-mile in second gear, no problem. Then I downshifted for what was ahead. On a steep ice-covered curve, the car began to slide.

Sideways.

My hands gripped the steering wheel. I hoped the car’s momentum would carry the tires forward to gravel rather than sideways into the ditch. I reminded God that I’d asked for a little humiliation, not a Big One. (#3)

Note: I’m a long-time teacher—we say everything three times.

The car tires found gravel and stayed the course. With some skidding and sliding, we reached our cleared driveway. The dogs met us at the door.

Home. Thanks be to God. And for my little humiliation.

Little, not big, but who am I to judge?

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