“Go buy bottled water!”
“Get enough vittles to last a full week!”
Often, the weathermen on TV try to scare their viewers half to death, sounding alarm that the BIG SNOW is about to hit.
On January 21st, the 8th-graders of St. Gertrude School loaded the bus for their annual pro-life trip to Washington DC. Yes, snow was in the forecast, but is it EVER as bad as they predict.?
“I was not too worried about the weather because I didn’t realize how much snow we were supposed to get,” Cara Lause said. “I don’t know if the parents were worried, but I think most of the kids were excited because we haven’t had much snow yet.”
The 8th-graders’ bus drove all day and all night, just ahead of the storm named “Jonas.” Perhaps an 8th-grade vocabulary lesson doesn’t include the definition of Jonas, otherwise referred to Jonah, as “any person or thing regarded as bringing bad luck.”
It’s a good thing the trip planners included an extra day for sightseeing before the Friday march. Hundreds of students met at the Washington Mall, and that’s when the skies opened up for a beautiful, but steady, snowfall. Earlier in the day, the parents of the St. Gertrude students knew the storm was coming, and they faced an important decision. ”Friday morning the parents had a meeting in the hotel lobby,” parent Joette Meyer said. “It was either leave right now or not leave and take our chances.”
In no hurry to head directly into the big storm, the St. Gertrude gang returned to their hotel, and enjoyed an ultimate snow day. “We were “stuck” in the hotel on Saturday as the snow was still coming down heavily,” Jack Czeschin said. “We hung out in the hotel ballroom playing cards, football, tag and different games to keep us occupied.”
But many students from other schools had a much different experience. Schools from all over the Midwest attempted to beat the storm out of town, and one bus after another came to a snow-packed halt. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was backed up for more than 30 miles, with traffic at a standstill for more than a day. Priests from the Des Moines diocese were able to celebrate mass after students built an altar of snow.
Also stranded, but comfortably in D.C., the students from St. Gertrude were finding the silver lining in the storm. “We were able to sled down Capitol Hill, legally, for the first time in 144 years. It was AWESOME,” Jack Czeschin said. “Everybody had a great time having snowball fights and sledding. It was the highlight of the unplanned part of the trip!”
Joshua 1:9 reads, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Even on a bus to the nation’s capitol.
Even sledding down the hill at the Capitol.
Even when walking through 20 inches of snow to see the White House. He is everywhere.
“God was with us the whole time, keeping us safe through the weather and the 18 hour bus ride. We prayed the rosary to and from D.C.” Jack said.
“I know that God was with me throughout this whole trip,” Jared Lause said. “Especially when we went to mass. I felt God there, and I knew he was there because even though there was a blizzard we were still able to get to mass with the help of God.”
“He was always looking over us, keeping us safe,” Aaron Meyer said. ”He showed us
that so many people fought out the weather to march to stop
“Go buy bottled water!”