On Thin Ice

 It was stormy and miserable.  2 hours into our trip to Boise, some time ago.  I hit a patch of black ice and lost control of the car.  We did two full spins on the Interstate, staying completely centered on the highway and sliding like a rock in an Olympic size game of Curling.  At one point, it all felt like slow motion and I looked out the passenger's side window down the ribbon of highway that should have been in the rear view mirror, and saw a Semi Truck less than 5' from the side of my car.  He wasn't about to stop and I had no control of my car. As unexpected as it began, it ended with us flying head first into the ditch.  For a few, slow seconds, it felt incredibly amazing, in a terrifying way, to be facing sideways, and staring into the front of a truck more than 10 times my size and we didn't die!

This week has been a little like that winter of losing control.  All at once and completely unexpected, we get ourselves turned around and it takes a little effort to shake it off and dig ourselves out of the ditch.  We use to be more nimble than we are.

On Sunday, Spencer was driving to his girlfriend's house, quite a long distance from his apartment, and his car suddenly stopped in the fast lane, in the frantic city of Salt Lake.  It completely died and of course, I got a discouraged and angry call and the whole situation was an expensive mess.  Some kind people towed him off the highway, his dad was available to pick him up and help get the car towed to a garage. I mean, aside from the fact I have to buy a new car this week, it ended as well as could be expected. 

Somewhere in the folds and wrinkles of this little hiccup, I was reminded how fragile we each are.  We handle the day to day or so it appears and then comes along the seemingly inconsequential minutia of life, and we find ourselves in a spin.  We realize that we aren't as normal as we thought and I find myself looking around in amazement at the people around me and the life they live. 

They have normal jobs, they leave for work and put in their time and come home.  They have a pile of kids, two cars or more, a few grown up toys and trailers and toy haulers.  They take vacations, more than one in any calendar year.  I don't get how they make it all happen. 

Every passing day, we just hang on for dear life.  Not a day goes by that someone isn't sick or feeling broken in a million emotional ways and I look at them and I see that we are nothing more than that car, spinning down the highway on thin ice and all I can do is stare in terrifying amazement and wonder how we've made it this far and  it's all going to end. We have reached the dreaded moment I never saw coming when there is absolutely nothing I can do to help them.  All I can do is watch it all unfold before my eyes and hope we don't die trying to stay alive.


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