I'm Not Dreaming of a White Christmas
Be Careful What You Wish For
Have you ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”? This saying is fairly common, and I would assume most people have heard it before and understand what the meaning is. The first time I actually felt the true meaning of this old saying sink in was last year on Christmas Eve. Living in Oklahoma, it is pretty rare for us to have a white Christmas, so every year I always wish that we will have snow on Christmas. Last year, I got my wish. This year, I am definitely NOT dreaming of a white Christmas…and I think if you keep reading you will understand why.
Last year, Oklahoma had one of the worst blizzards we had ever seen.
As luck would have it, the storm struck on Christmas Eve, right before my husband Jake and I were preparing to travel from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. Jake and I both had to work Christmas Eve morning, but we were planning to be on the road by one o’clock that afternoon. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We knew that snow was in the forecast – up to a foot in fact – but we simply thought, “What do those weathermen know? Are they ever right?” Unfortunately for us (and many other Oklahomans), the weathermen were completely correct on this particular day.
I got off work at eleven o’clock that morning, and the roads were not too treacherous yet. Although it was already snowing heavily, I was able to get home with no problems. Jake, on the other hand, did not get off work until after twelve. By then the snow was really coming down and already starting to cause horrific problems on the city streets and highways. After stopping to help pull one of his friends out of a snow bank, he finally made it home around three o’clock. By that time, the snow was coming down in hordes, and was already several inches deep with drifts that were several feet deep in some places, due to the fact that the wind was blowing so strongly. Jake didn’t want to risk going out in the storm and he tried to talk me into waiting and driving up to Tulsa the next morning. Since my emotions were already running high, and I am still very much a kid at heart, this set off a complete deluge of tears on my part. (Yes, I am a drama queen.) I desperately wanted to try to get to Tulsa that night so we could be there on Christmas morning. When I finally talked him into leaving that afternoon, we loaded down the car with all of our belongings, presents, plenty of blankets, food, and water, and we headed off….and promptly got stuck in the parking lot of our apartment building. It took us a good fifteen minutes to dig our way out of the drift we had gotten lodged into; thankfully someone kindly stopped to help push us out. We should have taken this as a sign that we should not try to continue braving the weather. But I felt certain that we would be able to make it one way or another.
When we finally made it out to the main roads, it was literally like nothing I had ever seen before. We were sliding wildly about, and screeching through red lights, stop signs, and narrowly missing other cars. Thankfully, there were not too many cars out. I suppose the great majority of people had the brains to realize an endeavor like this might not end well. Many of the cars that were out were either stuck in drifts, or had been pulled off to the side of the road and deserted. It was extremely creepy to me, and quite sobering to realize that there was a very real possibility that we could drive out into this storm and get stranded in the middle of nowhere. It was tremendously nerve-racking, and I wasn’t even the one driving! We could not even take the most direct route – the turnpike – because it had been shut down completely earlier that day. As we merged onto the highway, it was already blatantly apparent that we were going to be getting nowhere fast. Driving about 25-30 miles per hour was the maximum speed that we could possibly do safely. As the sun began to set and it gradually became darker, it became increasingly apparent that there was no way we would be able to make it to Tulsa that night. The blizzard was so fierce that we literally could not see more that two feet in front of the car. At times it was a complete white out we could not even tell where the road began and where it ended. Travel became progressively more perilous, and Jake didn’t think it would be wise at all to go any further. We pulled off in a little town called Okemah to stop for the night. Apparently, many other people had the same idea to stop before the roads got any worse. After getting stuck in the parking lot (again) about five times, we got the last no smoking room (which I was immensely grateful for) and prepared to settle in for the night. Although I was extremely disappointed that we would not make it to my parent’s home that night, I knew that our safety was the most important thing.
The next morning we set out early. Our goal was to reach Tulsa before ten o’clock. It was still awfully slow going, but after a couple of hours of traveling (it took us more than three times as long as it normally would) we finally arrived at my parent’s house in Tulsa. I had never been so glad to be there! It had been quite an ordeal making it there safely, but we had managed. Normally, the trip from Oklahoma City to Tulsa takes only a little over an hour and a half. This trip had taken us over six hours – and that doesn’t count the time spent in the hotel room for the night! Traveling in that weather was honestly one of the most suspenseful experiences of my entire life, and I have no desire for it to happen again! That is why this Christmas, I am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas.