One of my favorite Christmas memories from my childhood is my Dad shoveling out our truck so we could get to my Grandma’s house. Doesn’t sound so memorable? Please allow me to explain.
We always headed to my Grandma’s house in southern Iowa for Christmas Day. It was about a two hour drive from our house, and so it wasn’t a major deal to hop in the truck and go. We had heard there was snow coming, but in the 1970’s weather was not a deterrent…we were tough Midwesterners and by golly, we would get to Grandma’s!
Our family was the proud owners of a blue pickup truck with a camper topper, something along the lines of this fabulous model:
On Christmas morning, Dad went out to start the truck, while Mom packed up the gifts, food, my brother and me. My brother and I, in a safety-hazard move that would shock the Transportation Safety Board now, were always excited to ride in the top of the camper so we could look out the window at the road while Dad drove. No seatbelts and no backseat for us – we were tempters of fate, daredevils of the camper.
Off we drove into a snow storm, which was topping off the snow that was still on the roads from the day before. On the side roads we drove, hitting icy patches and, of course, meeting very few other drivers. After about 3 hours of nearly white-out conditions, driving at 25 miles/hour, we found ourselves at a complete stop in the middle of Highway 169. The drift was as high as the hood of the truck. My Dad slowly opened his car door, assessed the situation, and retrieved the shovel that he had packed for just such an occasion. And from my perch in the top of the camper, my brother and I quietly watched in awe and admiration as my Dad slowly and methodically shoveled out the truck in the howling blowing snows of southern Iowa.
All so we could enjoy the wonderful gift of family and love on Christmas Day.