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Thursday, December 19, 2013

"A Glimpse of Heaven" - Short Story about 2011 Chicago Blizzard

In 2011, Chicago experienced a massive blizzard. During the peak of of this record-breaking blizzard, two friends and I had the brilliant idea of going for a drive to pick up some supplies. My one friend owned a 4 wheel drive Jeep, and we arrogantly thought we would be fine. Needless to say, we were wrong. We got stuck pretty badly. But after an hour or so of pushing in the below zero temperature, the car budged from the snow bank, and miraculously shot out of the ditch. In a moment of bliss, we quickly jumped in and inched our way towards safety. On the way home, we passed many cars that were not so fortunate. Yet the conditions were so horrible that we could not stop. Stopping got us stuck in the first place, and would all but guarantee that we would get stuck again.

On our way home, as we passed dozens of cars in ditches, I wondered what uncomfortable situations awaited the people in those cars. I imagined that some cars were filled with families of crying children. I imagined that a married couple with a rocky relationship occupied the next car (maybe this extended alone time was a foreign concept to them?). I imagined the next car contained a 16 year old guy taking a girl on their first date (maybe he knew the weather conditions in advance)?

Upon arriving at my friend's house, I realized that we dodged a rather uncomfortable bullet. If we were not able to get his Jeep out of that ditch, our night of comfort would have been traded for bitter cold, empty stomachs and a likelihood of being trapped in the snow for at least 24 hours (as many people were). Even worse, there was only one small blanket for 3 grown men, which would have made for an uncomfortable sleeping arrangement...

Sitting in the comfort of my friend's house, I had never appreciated the warmth and comforts of home so much. We threw a couple of pizzas in the oven, cracked open a few cold drinks, and cycled between playing Madden football and watching Netflix movies for the rest of the night. Going from icy blizzard to these comforts gave me a small glimpse of what heaven must be like, especially knowing that my work was going to be cancelled the next day.

- Pete Kruse

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