Friday, April 06, 2007

Jesus, take the wheel!

We arrived in Canada last night, but I was too tired to touch the computer til today. For those who prayed for our safe journey - Thank you! I'm writing today to tell you that your prayers worked.

The drive from Nashville to Toronto is approximately 13 hours of driving time. We have done the trip in one day twice now, so we figured we would do it again on Wednesday.

The day started perfectly - clear sky, but not too sunny; cool weather requiring neither heat nor air conditioning; good moods and lots of car snacks. What else could we need?

In northern Ohio, we hit a small patch of snow. We considered stopping for the night, but we drove through it quickly and decided to press on. After all, I have all-weather tires on my car and I took all my driving lessons in thick, Newfoundland snow. I have no fear of weather.

The border crossing was very quick, and we were now facing the final 3 hours of the trip. The weather was clear, our moods were great, and the chocolate-covered espresso beans were keeping us bright and alert.

We hit London around 11pm, and that's when the snow returned. First a few flakes, then almost total white. I slowly brought the car to a slower speed, but we were hit with a driver's nightmare: sudden road freezes. The pavement became an ice-slick.

Within seconds, I lost complete control of the car. Before I knew what was happening we had slid over into the left lane. I realized we were spinning backwards, and the road. "Please God don't let us flip over!" Snow sprayed everywhere. Within seconds, the car stopped, and I realized we were completely off the road, looking up at it from below.

Gerald and I turned to each other. "Are you okay? How's Sebastian?" The first moment of peace came in realizing that, even though we had just spun 360 degrees and flew off the highway, we were both completely unharmed.

Now what?

We were shaken. I tried to drive out of our spot, but a quick inspection by Gerald determined that we were completely stuck in a muddy field. A car stopped by and offered to call 911. Thank you. Within half an hour, the police arrived.

The weather was too rough for towing, so we had to leave the car in the field and hope it would be clear enough in the morning. The police called around to find a hotel that would take dogs. We threw our suitcases and guitars into the cruiser and slowly, very slowly, drove to the hotel.

On the short drive to the hotel, we saw 3 more cars off the road.

The hotel gave us a special rate. Sebastian loved staying in the hotel (2 beds!). By morning, the weather had calmed, so we had a tow truck help us out.

The car was half sunk in the mud, which had also frozen. It pulled out okay, but the tires were caked with mud, hay, and the odd piece of garbage. It felt a little stiff to drive, but when it hit 60 K, it would just start to shake.

We went to a Canadian Tire (so happy to be in Canada in that moment!). The guys spent 2 hours removing over a garbage can's worth of mud and ice from my tires and axles. They thought I had done some serious damage to the car, but once it was clean, it ran just as perfectly as ever.

We got in the car, took a deep breath, said a quick prayer, and drove to Mom and Dad's place.

Today, I am exhausted.

Last night, I saw a short TV clip of a car spinning out of control on a highway. My stomach tightened.

When I think of the 'what ifs', I just have to stop myself. I don't even want to open my imagination to the possibilities.

Our car lost complete control, and yet I, Gerald, Sebastian, and the car were completely and utterly unharmed. We always say 'nothing matters but my family', but I can honestly tell you that, for me, that statement will forever have a deeper meaning. We could have lost the car, the clothes, even the guitars, but my family was safe, and nothing else mattered. We have been so richly blessed!

"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He's watching me".


Marianne Girard said...

Dear Allison,
Thank God indeed that you are all alright. I know how incredibly scarely and fragile those moments were. And an angel's breath between here and Kingdom Come.(Not your time,girl!) That is a mean stretch of highway, right there where you're talking about. There have been many fatalities along there. If it's not blinding snow, it's zero vision fog. I'm glad you are here to tell the story.
Happy Easter, Little Sparrows

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh,

How scary! I am glad you all are alright.