Our family travelled just before Christmas and it was at the height of one of the worst winter storm when we return. We arrived in Atlanta airport for a layover, only to learn that our connecting flight back home to Des Moines was cancelled.
When we approached the airline counter we were told that the next flight to Des Moines would not be until two days later, which meant we would not be home for Christmas. But since I am scheduled to work Christmas in the hospital which includes being in-charge of the ICU, that cannot happen. So I asked what other airports we could fly to that may be near Des Moines and we would just drive the rest of the way.
After checking the computer, the lady at the counter told us that there was a flight to Cedar Rapids, Iowa (130 miles from Des Moines) that she can booked us in, but the plane was leaving in less than 30 minutes so we needed to decide quickly. We said yes, and we proceeded to catch that plane which was in a different terminal so we scurried to get there.
We made it in time, and not too long after we settled in our seats, the plane door closed. As we were taxiing for take off, I wondered if our checked-in bags made it to this plane or they would be delayed or worse, get lost. However, there’s nothing we can do about it so there’s no point of worrying.
We arrived safely in Cedar Rapids though the last leg of the flight was a little turbulent because of the blizzard-like winds when we landed. We were able to rent a car, and I asked for an all-wheel drive SUV as I knew we would be driving in snow covered roads.
Since it was already late at night and driving in the dark would be extremely dangerous with the horrible road condition plus the bad weather, thus we chose to stay in Cedar Rapids overnight. I also feared that if something happen to us on the road, there would be no emergency crew that would rescue us in the wee hours of the night.
We found a hotel near the airport where we tucked in for the evening. At least we were able to sleep in beds and take a warm shower, though we wore the same clothes for more than 2 days straight.
The next morning, we were determined to make the drive home. It usually takes 2 hours drive to Des Moines from where we were, but with the road condition and stormy weather, it could be a lot longer. We prayed for heaven’s guidance and protection, and off we went.
It was -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 Celsius) with a windchill factor of -40 Fahrenheit, and with strong winds howling at 40 to 50 miles per hour (65-80 km/hr) that we made our trek home. I know we were in Iowa, but somehow it felt that we were in the North Pole.
The road towards the interstate was plowed, but the snow was blowing over it. When we reached the interstate, it was icy and we were slipping and swaying as we drove on it. Angels must have kept us from sliding off the road.
After almost 4 hours of white-knuckle driving we finally made it home.
The road as we forge ahead into the new year is also treacherous. Our current situation is unpredictable and our future is unknown. Some of our plans might get derailed. Some of our resources and belongings might get lost.
However, with steel-like determination, deliberate carefulness and prudence, plus trust in God above, I know we will make it through.
I wish everyone of you a blessed and purposeful New Year.
Post Note: Our checked-in bags arrived 4 days later to Cedar Rapids airport, so I have to drive back and forth to get them. At least the road and weather condition were much better by that time.
Extra: video below is a short clip of our drive home.