Don’t know what Handel and frozen water have in common? Well, I’m gonna tell you.
Last night, after a very, very, long day’s driving all over Clackamas county to do an appraisal, Nolemana and I got home only to change clothes, feed Kukui, and go to our church’s Christmas party. A rollicking good time was had by all. It was wild and crazy fun during the gift exchange, with shouts of laughter echoing all over the house.
About ten o’clock, one of the members went outside and told us the roads were freezing over. Personally I think it’s not fair to just have ice without snow; seems to me that snow should come first. But it didn’t, and Nolemana and I had to hustle home so that we could try and make it up our long, steep, 18% grade driveway.
Driving home, I could feel the ice on the roads as we got closer to home; I drove very carefully, not wanting to end up in a ditch. Or someone’s pasture, you know, like meeting an unhappy bull or something. Or yikes, a hungry coyote! Or Sasquatch. But I digress.
We got to the bottom of the driveway, and I soon realized that there was no way in the world we were going to be able to drive up. We didn’t even know if we could walk up! I only had on Birkies with hand-knit wool socks. Ack. I mean, on my feeties. But my Birkies have no traction, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it up with just them on. So bless Nolemana’s heart, he trudged up the driveway, first to see if we could make it, then to snag my tennis shoes if we could. (I really need to get a good pair of boots.) I left the high beams on to help light his way.
I waited in the car. The night was very still and quiet. And did I mention cold? But I was snug in the car, and Pikake and Puakea, our livestock guardian dogs, were nearby; I could hear the horses snuffling in the pasture, so I didn’t feel too alone.
Nolemana called me on the cell phone to let me know he made it up okay and that he’d be starting back down again in a few minutes. I waited, put the headlights on low beam to guide him down again.
With tennis shoes, I felt a lot more able to tackle the driveway, and so at midnight, there we were, slowly inching our way uphill, holding hands. Plant a food, step, slip, plant a foot, slip, slip, step up. We walked on the fallen leaves rather than the asphalt to avoid slipping more than we had to. In a perverse sort of a way it was actually kind of romantic,
walking trudging very slowly up the uneven ground, holding hands in the very dark, quiet night.
And we made it! It took awhile, but we got up to the top of the driveway with no mishaps. We were both really tired, not just from the climb but also from all the driving we’d done. I really felt a sense of accomplishment because with my bum knee it really was a challenge. When we reached our back door, I felt like cheering!
I saw this video on youtube, and thought that The Hallelujah Chorus, and this one especially, was a fitting end to our climb. Both are really quite amazing.