Thursday, March 24, 2011

St. Michael, Protector

It may be spring in the rest of the world but here in Minnesota, winter refuses to give up.  Tuesday and Wednesday brought March's characteristic temperamental weather, and naturally I had to drive through some of the worst of it.
I thought I might get home without trouble Tuesday night.  When I left school, the weather was quiet, with just of bit of rain.  I knew that things were supposed to get nasty, but hoped I would have an hour to get home before the rain turned nasty.  I don't remember when I said my guardian angel and St. Michael prayers, whether it was before or after the rain picked up, but I do know I prayed them.
I didn't get far before the light rain turned heavy, and I could see sleet on the hood of the truck as I waited at the last stop light as I headed out of town.  Still, it wasn't too bad.  Everyone was going slow.  It was hard to tell if it was raining or sleeting, but the roads weren't slippery, so I wasn't too worried.
I was half way home when I started wondering what I would do if I had to stop.  The wind and rain were picking up, and I could see the sleet building up on the road.  I was still going fairly slow, and I couldn't feel it, but knowing it was there made me mentally prepared for trouble.  I was also worried about flooding.  This is my first spring driving these roads, and I don't know if they have any problems.  I could see, even in the darkness and rain, that the small, quiet rivers were rising quickly.  Even on my regular route I knew there was a risk of flooding this year.  But, with no place to stop and my sister to pick up from her classes, I figured I should keep going until I had good reason to stop.  But I knew, at that half way point, that the worst was ahead.
There is one state highway I have to take that has a couple of hilly curves.  It isn't a problem most nights, but when the weather gets bad, well, it's been known to get messy.  As I pulled onto the highway, a snowplow pulled on, a car ahead of me.  I didn't expect it to go far - maybe a few miles.  The bright lights were annoying, but I was thankful for the salt spread on the road.  The plow was going very slow, and I started hoping that it would pull off soon.  By this time the rain was pouring down, mixed with sleet.  I could see the spray of the sleet off the snowplow.  It occurred to me that maybe this was my escort, and that maybe St. Michael was driving the plow.  As the miles passed, I could no longer tell where I was along the route, but I just kept following the plow, saying a prayer of thanksgiving for the path it was making and the guide it provided.  We parted ways when I reached the next highway of my route, and I made it safely to my destinations.  My sister said there were at least 6 accidents in the county that night, but I didn't see any, nor did I slip once.  When I told her who I thought was driving the plow, she reminded me of an old story of St. Michael she heard on the radio once.  I'll post that story next time.

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