Stabbing Northwestward! Or: How We Kicked The Midwest Cyclone’s Ass.

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over. So in a series of kindness there is, at last, one which makes the heart run over.

~ James Boswell (1740 – 1795)

I’m sitting inside the friendly, warm, confines of the Cyber Cafe sipping a $2.00 hot chocolate. And the lady with the really swooshy hair on KSAX just informed me that yesterday’s storm set a record for the lowest barometric pressure of any storm – ever – in the good ‘ole U. S. of A.


We drove through that shit you’re seeing on the news today. Fortunately, the twisters touched down in our wake, but we didn’t miss the snow. It hit quickly, and hard. I put the pedal to the metal for most of the 750+ miles, keeping the speedometer comfortably nestled between five to seven MPH over the posted speed limit. And then I had to pee. Waaaay too much coffee. So I pulled over at a gas station in Motley, Minnesota, about twenty-five miles short of our destination, and the snow that had been an unexpected yet minor nuisance started to stick. Pile up. And my front tires? Not exactly new.

We never topped thirty MPH for the remainder of the trip.

I even managed to put the van’s ass in a ditch just outside Verndale. After everyone stopped screaming and started breathing again, I dropped her into low gear, asked the pale and nauseated wife and daughter to rock back and forth violently yet in perfect rhythm with my engine revs, and we got out.


I almost ditched it a couple more times. I never knew I could turn a steering wheel back and forth so quickly. Despite having gripped the steering wheel with a determined ferocity for most of the trip due to the high winds, I found new ways to squeeze the damn thing tighter. My neck and back protested with every swerve. We hit Wadena, and I almost pulled over. Got a room. Something I could have done.

Thanks to you.

In response to my last post, you came through. And in the words of that grandmaster of hyperbole, Dave Matthews . . .

My mind is blown!

To those who gave . . . To all of you, who kept us in your thoughts and prayers . . . I extend my sincerest gratitude.

This blog thing. Some write it off as a distraction. An ineffective method of building a caring community. To them, I proclaim a hearty . . .


Not very original, I know. I’m all out of original at present. We are here. We are sifting through the boxes and closets that hold remnants of a life now ended. We are still crying. Finding fresh reservoirs of tears, deeper than we ever imagined possible. And yet, we are laughing as well. Such paradox. Yin and yang. The balance of this delicate life.

We are living.

We are thankful.

And we are longing for home. Where there is no snow . . .

[Flickr photo is by Hryck and is protected]


11 thoughts on “Stabbing Northwestward! Or: How We Kicked The Midwest Cyclone’s Ass.

  1. Hang tough. Hang tight. Minnesota Winter will kick your butt and test you in ways you never dreamed possible (as you now know). Be safe, take care of your girls, and get home alive.

    1. Hey, thanks for your visit! We are not unfamiliar with the Minnesota version of Old Man Winter. We lived in Fargo and Burnsville for many years. But it has been a while. And it is rather early. But we’ll take it . . .

      1. oh good. now I’m not worried – but your tire comment worries me. there are many ‘out of towners’ who take terrible risks and end up on the Evening News, but you’ve been there, done that. (p.s. – I’m in Minneapolis and I work for the same company that owns KSAX) That wind and snow is fun when you’re safe at home – but on the road, sheesh!

          1. ba ha ha ha! my favorite is when the men have Helmet Hair.
            No, I work in the Graphics Department – we make the swooshy News Graphics.

  2. Glad you made it. My condolences to you and your family. I am very sorry for your loss.

  3. so glad you made it ok. i’ve been in those sorts of storms. on the bright side? it may go melty before you head home. hugs to the entire clan!

    1. It went all melty today. Still windy, though . . .

  4. It scares the crap out of me driving in high winds, and those storms were fierce! I’m so glad you all made it there safely, so sorry again for your loss, and prayers for safe travels back home.

  5. So glad to hear you made it! It is going to be bittersweet…this trip you have made. Allow the sweet memories to shine through the bitterness of your sorrow, and create some new ones.

  6. Stay safe.

    Crying is good. It helps “process” feelings, but I’m sure you know that already.

    Blogging can be such a blessing. Most of my family just doesn’t get it when I talk about my “blogging friends”. They think I’m crazy. But that’s what I have…lots of blogging friends, lots more than in RL friends.

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