December 18, 2009

Flashback Friday (Christmas Edition): "Driving Home For Christmas".

Let me finish this working week with yet another post about that enchanted precipitation we call snow.

On the 23d of December 2001 I was driving home for Christmas, just like the title of this lovely Christmas song below states. The ride was going to take me from Jutland in Denmark to southern Sweden, where my parents lived at that time. All by highway, passing two super bridges, the trip should have lasted about three hours tops. That was the plan at least.

I have not driven this route before - in fact this was my first trip driving alone. I packed everything the night before, which was a grey, foggy and drizzly winter evening, so very common in our part of the world. When I woke up early next morning, imagine my surprise as I looked out of the windows; white landscape and heavy snow fall met my gaze. It was magical and simply unbelievable.

I was so caught up in the spirit of Christmas that I refused to cancel (or postpone) my trip and decided to drive into this storm. I had no equipment and no winter tires on my little Toyota. To this day I can feel the pain in my muscles from the way I tensed my body during the whole drive. Barely seeing the highway at times, the trip took seven hours without any rest or stop. Sometimes I did not know if I was going to make it. I saw luxury cars and large SUVs all around me in ditches or barely moving. But my spirits were lifted when I realized what my car was capable off. I felt like the king of the road, as my FANTASTIC Toyota with its narrow wheels cut through the snow like a knife through butter - while other luxury makes would glide on their wide tyres unable to continue. I love that little car.

I have no idea how I made it, but I did. This was the last Christmas to date that I recall being white. And I recall something else as well; Chris Rea's soothing voice streaming out of the car radio, singing this particular compilation, keeping my spirits up throughout the trip. I had it on repeat in my tape-player and it gave me courage to continue, as I sang along for hours, the sentiments in it making me feel as if I was not alone.

I dedicate this to everyone who is driving home this Holiday Season; have a wonderful and very safe trip.

23 comments :

Julie Hibbard said...

I have had experience like that driving in the mountains in cars! It's terrible to feel the car sliding and not have total control! So glad you made it through!
I will be driving to WORK for Christmas...down the coast--no chance of snow...
Have a GREAT weekend!! Thanks so much for your beautiful posts each day!

Kath said...

My husband and I love this song. It reminds us of when he was seconded to his Dublin office for a year and he remembers this song playing in the taxi, bringing him home from the airport at Christmas. Kath

Elizabeth said...

Lovely song, Chris Rea has such a warm voice, love it.
Hope you are not going on expedition again this year because there is already so much snow and more to come. If you do, please be careful.

Have a great weekend.

Brian Miller said...

have quite a few memories of driving in the white stuff. wont lie, it stresses me. we are now supposed to get 13 inches of snow today....cant wait!

steviewren said...

I've never driven in snow other than snow flurries. We do have patches of black ice on the roads during the winter sometimes that we have to be careful for. I love this guy's voice, but I've never heard the song before. Like you, when I like a song I replay and replay it until I've had my fill.

♥Mimi♥ said...

I recall more than one trip home just as you described. It seems that the instinct to be home for the holidays is akin to birds that migrate - you go - don't mind the weather - you just go.

Miss Eve said...

What a beautiful post dear Zuzana. I love this Chris Rea song oh so much!

I'm so happy you safely made that trip. You are brave girl I'm telling you.

I know very well the feeling...when I was driving from Budapest to Norway, once I lost and I had no idea where I was...I was driving through lands without any houses or people for like half an hour...than I had that feeling: maybe I will not make it...it was no snow but it was a little scary anyway.

It was just me and my car and the navigation system (yes what drove me into nowhere) and there was a certain minute when I thought I will not make it...

But I did and found my way back to the highway after 45 minutes and I was sooooo happy LOL.

Hope you have a peaceful and lovely weekend ahead dear Zuzana...(have you finished all the Christmas shopping? I haven't...)

Much much love from the cold Norway: Evi

Claus said...

I never heard this song before!, even when I'm having a Christmas radio station 24/7, all through December, since some 4 or 5 years ago. Very nice tune!
I think I would also face a storm if I wanted to be home for Christmas. If Toyota had known your story, I think they would have given your free car services for life! :-))
Have a great Friday! and a great weekend ahead.
*hugs*

Sumandebray said...

A great post. And that was quite an adventurous drive ... a bit risky at that. But as tehy say .. all well that ends well

Very nice song too

Fashion Chalet said...

Adventure!!! :]

Every Christmas 2 cheesy songs come to mind, All I Want for Christmas.. is You (by Mariah Carey) and Last Christmas (every version!) lol.. :)

No snow for us..yet. Supposedly soon? But yes, it is quite the adjustment indeed. Learning to layer and sleeping with so many blankets and items on lol.... I kind of miss shorts and t-shirts. :(


xx

Valentine said...

fantastic indeed! never underestimate the small ones, for sure. :-) sigh.. ive never experienced a white christmas before but my imagination can be helpful when it comes to that.

xx

ps

my dad used to play this song all the time whenever we'd go out on our traditional out of town holiday trips.. good times..

mom & son said...

you're welcome my dear!
i love your christmas story.
we're predicting snow storm this weekend
weather report said that we might have a snow christmas. i;m so excited!

p.s can we exchange links? thanks!

http://momfashionworld.blogspot.com/

mom & son said...

you're welcome my dear!
i love your christmas story.
we're predicting snow storm this weekend
weather report said that we might have a snow christmas. i;m so excited!

p.s can we exchange links? thanks!

http://momfashionworld.blogspot.com/

sprinkles said...

I've never heard of Chris Rea or this song before.

That trip home sounds scary! I'm glad you had a good car and were able to make it there safely. You didn't say but I hope your return trip was just the opposite of going there.

I hate driving in snow. In all the years that I've been driving, I finally figured out last year how to drive in it. There were times in the past where I slid off the road but my car was never damaged and I was never injured. Well, maybe just my pride. I truly thank God for watching over me!

Together We Save said...

Beautiful song. We never have snow so this is not much of an issue for me.

Betsy said...

I hate trips like that...yes, the tense muscles..ick! So glad you made it safely. Wouldn't it be great if the snow would land on the ground but not the streets? LOL!

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

Me the homebody is staying right here. But I've been there on the road (came from Oklahoma) where the wind comes sweeping down the plains along with ice and snow. And you are out on the road absolutely petrified. Brave little girl in her Toyota!
Brenda

Calli said...

That must have been a challenging trip, Zuzana. I must say, I have driven a few times like that and felt so blessed that all went well. Nowadays, I won't venture into that kind of weather unless absolutely necessary. I used to own a Toyota or two, they're great! Had over 200,000 miles on each one:)

Roger Gauthier said...

Yes, I do agree with Miss Eve, what a wonderful post, Zuzana! Fun to read...

And I will not even brag about the fun of driving in a snow storm... with the proper equipment of course...

he he he... just having fun...

Roger G.

Hilary said...

What a great story. I'm beginning to understand why you love your car so much. And I love Chris Rea.. but didn't know this song. :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Well, "home" is driving to daughters next week on Wednesday -also a 7-8 hour trip normally, but hopefully not as treacherous as yours was. You are courageous! There is only one difficult point when there's snow in higher altitudes, called "the Grapevine" it's a long stretch where many cars get overheated. So we'll be driving during the day!

Gal Friday said...

I am glad you made that drive safely to your destination!!
I have driven similar snowy drives--one from Maine to home in the middle of a winter storm (and I know that aching muscles feeling you described, as well as the fear when you see other cars sliding ooff the road) in a little VW Bug and I always associate that drive with REM's "Orange Crush" playing over and over on my car's radio. Lie you with your Super Toyota, I was proud of my little vehicle's capabilities!

Protege said...

Julie, Kath, Elizabeth, Brian, Stevie, Mimi, Evi, Claudia, Sumandebray, Erika, Valentine, Mom and Son, sprinkles, Together We Save, Betsy, Brenda, Calli, Roger, Hilary, jeannette, Tina – thank you all so very dearly for your comments on my crazy trip and for sharing your won experiences while driving or being lost. I always enjoy when you stop by and I read all your kind words with great excitement and expectations:;) At all times.;)
So happy to hear that this compilation was new to some of you, while the rest of you enjoyed the soothing voice of the talented Mr. Rea.;)

xoxo
Zuzana