From The EastWing, Inside A Snowball

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


My office at Robert Howard Company Inc. is six miles from the EastWing, door to door. It usually takes me 10 to 12 minutes either way depending if I get tied up in North Judson rush hour traffic.


On the morning of February 14th the travel time to the office was 25 minutes without rush hour traffic.  By the time I arrived there I had already decided to get my work and go back home. The time in the office was devoted to taking care of the Office Cats, Miss Kitty & Little Brother, the official greeter of RHCO INC.


With the Office Cats short term future secure, I loaded up and hit the trail back to the EastWing. The decision to be made was the direction to travel, east or south. The distance was the same, the difference was the depth of the ditches along the way. To the east encountered three sections of deep ditches while to the south there were no ditches along the way. W chose the south bound lanes.


I almost forgot to tell you, the big lake just 50 miles north of the EastWing was in the process of another classic Lake Effect Snow Storm. This one destined to be remembered for the ages…. Actually it was not the snow as much as the wind. A devil wind from the northwest drove the snow parallel to the ground at times higher than the legal speed  limit for Starke County Roads.  It was into the wind and weather that I left the office and started home.


South bound and down at a hefty 15 mph for just a little over a mile and then encountered the first of 12 white-outs.  Now for my friends who may have never encountered such, just let me say it like this. Imagine you’re driving in your car with poor visibility to begin with, then within two seconds all windows in your car are painted white. On the outside, painted white. Your car is now inside a snowball. You’re inside the car, inside the snowball and you no longer have control of your destiny. You are no longer a driver of your car, you are a passenger inside a snowball, inside a car.   A total of 12 such snowballs engulfed Mr. Lincoln before we reached our safe and sound EastWing.


You stop your car as fast as you can inside a snowball. You sit with your foot pressed hard on the break. You turn on the emergency flashers. Then realize the only ones being seen are the two little arrows flashing and clicking on the instrument panel you’re looking at.  You hope everybody else on that road also stops. You wonder how long the white out will last. You wonder what if the wind doesn’t stop blowing.  The desire to move your car is so great that just as soon as you’re able to see  a few feet in front of the car, you’re once again rolling down the road. Soon another snowball eats your car.


I rolled past the EastWing at maybe 2 or 3 mph and never knew where I was until I’d reached the east end of the property. There a small wooded area split the devil wind just enough to allow me to realize the I’d passed my house.  Within seconds another white-out made me stop and think. One thing for sure, you never want to back up in a white out, so I just sat and waited until a little break in the intensity of the wind, then went a ¼ mile or so to the next neighbor, turned and felt my way back to the EastWing.


Home at last, home at last. Thank God, Home at last. I do believe that even atheists say prayers in a white out, just in case they’re wrong, and don’t want to take the chance at being on the wrong side of the rope at the big finish. But oh well, they’d just call it hedging the bet. I call it scaring the crap out of ‘em.

Did me, I prayed.


Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.


From The EastWing, Inside A Snowball.

I Wish You Well,