A Cowboy’s Faith: Slow better than ditch

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Weather can change in the blink of an eye.”

Forecasts had been fairly consistent for several days from one predictor to the next.

“It’ll be above freezing with rain turning to snow.”

Exact timing when transitions were to take place varied moving later in the day with the snow.

“If it starts snowing or the sky looks like it’s coming soon, hit the road.” That was the plan.

Nearly everybody had already left the office early with the holiday weekend.

With most work done best possible and procrastinating on the reminder, headed out the door 45 minutes early.

It was raining, had been off and on, throughout the day, now steady, yet not all that hard. Dashboard temperature gauge read 36 degrees.

Obviously others had followed trend leaving work ahead of time with highways pretty much jam packed.

It was moving fast and smoothly with cruise fixed well above posted signs but generally allowable by the cherry top. (That’s what they used to be called when law enforcement was readily identifiable like Andy and Barney.)

Driving with little thought other than get riding done as soon as at the ranch, eat supper and do nothing.

All of a sudden out of nowhere seemingly passing a semi-truck, the roadway became covered with snow and apparent slickness.

Foot off the throttle instantly, two hands tightly on the steering wheel, driving immediately became treacherous. Everybody was slowed down, there were blinking lights, red, blue, white, yellow all ahead.

Traffic was moving at a crawl bumper to bumper, a couple cars pulled over to the side of the highway. Then one in the ditch on the right and another in the median strip caution flashers everywhere.

Ice treachery increased when at least 15 cars went off the road into the ditches. All within an eighth of a mile distance.

Eyes straight ahead trying best to see any little track. Fortunate other drivers were observant and courteous to allow lane changing at least twice.

Off interstate headed south 16 miles to go sweating all the way despite 32 degrees outside. Almost impossible to see moving in the snow.

Whew, made it safe. The 45-minute drive took two hours. Better than ditch.

Reminded of Job 37:10: “No one can escape the weather. It’s there. And no one can escape from God.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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