The further south the worse it got. I looked over at Christoph who's hands were kept from shaking by the stability of the steering wheel. His quivering breath gave the dire situation away. One more hill to go and we would be clear of it. Driving the whole length of Germany a couple days before Christmas in a blizzard would have never crossed my mind as something I would be doing 3 years ago. But indeed here we were. It was a rare occasion that this particuclar part of the autobahn located in the dead center of Germany, the Kassel Berge(Mountains) would be slick with ice. Don't be deceived by the name. These were not exactly mountains, but very steep extended hills. Have you ever in your life when given a difficult situation felt like if you believe it hard enough, and hold your breath you would make it through? I felt this way on this specific night after almost pooping my pants. We were dodging cars, gliding in awkward directions, avoiding going anywhere near the struggling semi's beginning to shift sideways. Poor Chrsitoph was holding his tongue from profanities being conscious of my parents in the back seat. I was still holding my breath and now my bladder, praying. My parents probably doing the same.
It's interesting to think of what people do or how they react in a crisis. Some people pray, some people think, some people's bodies react in strange ways, like peeing their pants, or even worse. I can't say I have ever been so scared that I would pee my pants. Christoph the other day pretended he cut his finger off. I started crying and shaking uncontrollably and almost ran out of the room. My mind was not prepared to think of such a thing happeneing being this is my worst fear, and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Christoph regretted teasing me in this way after he calmed me down from crying and shaking. Horrible joke. Goes to say, everyone is different when it comes to when your adrenalin kicks in, giving sensation to a whole new mechanism in times of crisis. In this situation of almost getting stuck in one of the biggest backsliding traffic jams I have ever seen, all I could do was hold my breath, Christophs leg, and pray.
This was it. The last of three hills to struggle our escape would let us continue our journey to Gerstetten. Like a dream when you try and you try to get somewhere but you cannot, was exactly how I felt. The car in front of us began to stay in it's place. We had been behind this car since the beginning, and it had struggled just as hard as we had. The success of this car would be our success as well. They finally gave up and swerved to the right to let whoever could make it through pass by. We were one of the last to make it out. All of our prayers were answered. We made it! About fifteen minutes passed and I really had to pee now. We finally stopped at a Burger King, where they had a delicious greasy bite to eat while I had the worst salad ever created by any fast food restaraunt. Then it was on the road again. We had been driving for about 5 hours by this point. A distance that should have only taken about 2 hours. Bored from letting time pass, I decided to play a game on Christophs Iphone. Minding my own business, my parents minding theirs, Christoph still cruising along, everything seemed to be going ok. Instantly I felt a jerk creeping from the car to my stomach. We were sliding....bad. This time we were just struggling to get up a hill, we were speedily and rapidly getting out of control. Luckily Christoph like every other German driver that had to go to a driving class, knew what to do in these situations. All of us were silent as Christoph slid and corrected, slid and corrected. Finally we were going straight again. All of this happened within seconds and we were back to normal again, just a little bit more freaked out then before.
We made it to Gerstetten five and one-half more hours later, ready for bed. The next day we would venture to yet another Christmas market in Ulm before we made our way to the mountains to go see the family. The previous week was spent with my parents parading them around the city I know pretty well now. If we are not going to some random store in the outskirts of Hamburg, I know my way around. My parents were proud of me and had nothing but good things to say about my temporary home. Upon their arrival from the US they brought to me my cat and my keyboard. Just a couple more things to keep me occupied.
The time in the mountains is a whole other story I am going to have to tell next blog.
I hope all of your Christmas's weren't failed expectations or coal filled stockings, but a reminder of Christ's birth and all that He has done for us, as well as time well spent with family.