I have always liked that word, and I have sought to make it part of who I am. A good thing, too, because I needed a ton of it today.

This day began with a heavy snowstorm falling between Indianapolis and Chicago/Joliet. Several inches had fallen by the time I left this morning, and it kept snowing. I-465 north around Indianapolis was slick and slow going, and it took me an hour to go the first 30 miles. Once I got onto I-65 north toward Chicago, things got much worse. I began to see one accident or slide-off after another. At times, there was no traffic to be seen for miles on I-65 southbound. Then I would see why: A truck had jack-knifed at one spot; and, further on, several vehicles had collided. Northbound I-65 was no different, as we crept along at 5 miles an hour for nearly half an hour before getting by an accident on that side of the road.

Despite the white-knuckled driving, there was humor in the recognition of Mother Nature walloping me and everyone else with a snowstorm. Didn’t she recognize that I was launching my Route 66 trip?

The first leg of my trip should have taken four hours, rather than the nearly nine hours that it took me to get from Indianapolis to Joliet, Illinois. I finally arrived and was greeted by a friend and colleague, Brother Larry Fidelus, who is part of a Carmelite community in Joliet. Happy to have arrived safely, and to see a smiling face at the end of this first leg of the journey.

--Larry Spears [Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010]