Feeling immense gratitude for all of the people who keep the roads safe....

My intended lovely little road trip with my eldest daughter Brooke, actually turned into quite an ordeal!!! Not 15 minutes off the island in Florida, we witnessed (as the car directly behind it) a head on collision.  Although it happened very fast, to us it appeared to go in slow motion..... as we watched a car pull out from a full stop into head on traffic with no way to call out and warn or stop it.  By the grace of God, there were no serious injuries. I dumped our car on the side of the road and helped the elderly victims out of their car (doors crammed shut, airbags deployed) while another man called 911. Arm chair expert here diagnosed one of the elderly men with a broken wrist and a possible concussion, everyone survived what could have been a triple tragedy. The police, ambulances, and fire trucks were there in minutes.  Needless to say, when we got back on the road, I was very shaken!! My father was always very, very calm in a crisis. He was an ambulance driver in WWII, first for the British Field Service, and then for the US Army under General Patton. His calmness in an emergency wore off on all three of his children. We are pretty calm in a crisis but later need to download the stress of the event. Needless to say, this accident set the tone for a slow and cautious journey.

 Our father Bill Thorn with oldest granddaughter Katrina in North Salem, NY

Our father Bill Thorn with oldest granddaughter Katrina in North Salem, NY

 

Our first stop was Palmetto Bluff to see my sister Puddy and her fantastic husband (who has been in my life since my 8th birthday party!).  Phil is our family's premier chef and superior event foodie provider. Oh how grateful I was to learn that he had made a wonderful paleo dinner to help me through my last few days of the Whole30. He'd researched what I could eat and made the most delicious steak and vegetable kabobs with a sauce to die for. Sunday was spent at the Montage Palmetto Bluff where the three girls had "spa day", lunch at the wonderful Buffalo's restaurant, and a little Christmas shopping. It was a perfect way to catch up with my sister before the holiday rush.

 Photo of a garden in Palmetto Bluff by brother-in-law Phil Doetzel, who is both an amazing chef and a even more amazing photographer!

Photo of a garden in Palmetto Bluff by brother-in-law Phil Doetzel, who is both an amazing chef and a even more amazing photographer!

On Monday Brooke, little dog Finn, and I got back in the car early to head towards Vermont. While talking to my brother, known on my instagram account and in real life as....Mr. Spanky Pants..... we learned that a snow storm was going to hit our little town of Vermont at 3 am.  We had to make some quick choices. Knowing there were no snow tires on my SUV, I wanted to get to Vermont before the storm hit. The thought of being trapped for days in someone else's house or worse, a crappy motel with a little dog fueled my energy to get there. Quick thinking, Brooke and I made a plan to drop her in Maryland with my youngest son Scotty. She would fly to Boston from there and I would power through the night to get to Vermont. I literally kissed my 20 year old son Scotty on the side of the road while I handed over his sister and kept going.  I am so grateful for my family members who kept calling me through the night to check on me. My husband, sister, and stepmother win the prize, staying up much later than usual, calling to make sure I was alert and entertained for a portion of my 14 hour journey. I listened to Diane von Furstenberg read her book "The Woman I Want to Be" on that dark winter night. I am grateful for her company and wonderful stories!

 My air traffic control coordinator Puddy Cat with my weather man Mr. Spanky Pants

My air traffic control coordinator Puddy Cat with my weather man Mr. Spanky Pants

 Mr Spanky Pants all grown up. 

Mr Spanky Pants all grown up. 

Little dog and I arrived to a warm house in the mountains just as the snow flurries began to fall, 2:30 am on the dot.

My family has had a home in Vermont since I was 8. I went to St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York where it's literally a winter wonderland most of the school year. And I have lived in Vermont as an adult for the past 16 years. I know snow. I do snow well. This week I have had my challenges dealing with the snow. I confess to having more than one meltdown moment. I kept thinking of the movie Baby Boom which was filmed in my community. Diane Keaton finally looses it. I was getting close to that point!  We are in a new house this year, having moved over the summer. I don't know where all those winter emergency things are. I had a devil of a time turning up the hot water heater, finding the snow tires in the garage, shoveling with a garden shovel, because our snow shovel seemed to have gotten lost in the move. I cleaned off my car with a broom, dug out all the winter clothes I could find. I was snowed in for two days with only the food in the pantry. This would be no problem except I was on my last days of the Whole30. Eating non perishable pantry food was not any easy way to finish the whole30! Dinner one night was olives stuffed with garlic! These hardships were met with joy as I built large fires, watched season 2 of the Crown, face timed with my darling husband, and needlepointed fabulous Christmas ornaments. 

 Identical twin sons Colin (left) and Willie (right) in "Mont". Weston, Vermont 1997

Identical twin sons Colin (left) and Willie (right) in "Mont". Weston, Vermont 1997

Eventually the plows came, our lovely mountain road has been plowed several times now and sanded beautifully. Our driveway has been plowed by a wonderful family that live nearby. I've managed to get the snow tires on the car, and to the grocery store! The trip here was arduous but oh how grateful I am to be in Vermont for the holidays. The tree went up this morning. The wrapping starts today. I've had lunch with some girlfriends and have run into others. It's SO good to be home.

I have an ample supply of needlepoint kits ready. Photos and the shop will go up tomorrow.

Safe travels to all of you as you make your way around to do your shopping, visiting, and celebrating.  And a big shout out to the emergency responders, the snowplow drivers, and the folks who make and sell snow shovels and scrapers!! 

 Our family one Christmas a few years ago in Lyme, Ct

Our family one Christmas a few years ago in Lyme, Ct