“frost heave
n. New England
A section of raised pavement caused by the expansion of freezing water immediately under the road.”

Hubby and I took a quick weekend respite trip to our little cottage in New Hampshire. Being the type of person who rebels against her upbringing, I HATE to ride in a car. (My childhood consisted of regular trips across and around and up and down the country for months at a time.) My solution is to have a nap while Hubby drives, which not only gets me out of the boring tedium of the drive, but also leaves me well rested for the festivities to come. Sprawled out comfortably in the back seat, pillow under my head for comfort, pillow over my head by habit, and a luxuriously fluffy, velour blanket in a the manly color of army green covering every inch of my body, I fell asleep. In the deepest moments of sleep, I was jolted awake when flung into the air. Straight up. Almost hitting the ceiling. Squealing so loud with surprise that I almost peed my pants. But what came next was sheer joy…like the feeling when you reach the top of a roller coaster and you plunge down that deep hill. Weightlessness. The feeling of your stomach coming up into your throat. The quickening of your pulse as you experience the joy of such an adventure. In my case, an unexpected, three second joy! Followed by the hard thump of my body as it hit the seat again. Ah, life is so full of such wonderful surprises if you just know where to look for them!


To read more about my interesting, amazing childhood, please read my book. Here is a link:


The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane


Comments on: "The Hidden Joy in a Frost Heave" (28)

  1. Thank you for the joy in this post, neighbor! — Ann from Massachusetts.

  2. As a child, I remember loving going over bumps like that; the kind that puts butterflies in your stomach. πŸ˜€

  3. I am always so delighted by your posts. You always find the joy in any occasion. It is so refreshing after all the negative news. It’s funny, but I would rather travel by car than by any other method. I never make the destination the priority, relishing in the journey itself. I make a thousand stops from one to the other. This is probably due to the fact that I live on an island! Unless traveling to a neighbor island, any trip is at least a five hour ride of boring, cold, uncomfortable conditions with nary a tree to look at!

    • II can’t believe that of Hawaii! It is funny that the beauty of Hawaii is boring to you while the beauty of the mountains and New Hampshire is ho hum to me!

      • I didn’t mean that I found the islands boring, just the plane ride away from them which is five hours to the Mainland. I love driving through the islands, especially the Road to Hana which is a mere 52 miles yet takes several hours of twists and turns, waterfalls and photo opportunities, homemade banana bread, coconut, ginger mango smoothies, etc. I;ve lived here for 52 years and wake every morning feeling blessed.

      • OOOHHHHH!!!!!! Pardon me! I agree with plane rides being boring…I sleep there, too. I am usually asleep by the time the plane leaves the runway, and I am jolted awake when it lands.

  4. notatypicalmom said:

    I agree with the comment above. The joy of the ordinary moment is key to enjoying the whole deal. Nice:)

  5. Love your ability to delight in the small adventures. Thanks for reminding me. And I’ve told you before how much I enjoyed your book. But I am also telling others. Gave a review of it to a group of retired teachers. Also, I tell everyone I know about your blog. Even convinced one friend to start reading blogs so she could enjoy yours. I am definitely a fan.

    I have two granddaughters with disabilities. One suffers with high functioning autism andat 17 is doing better than anyone ever expected. But her next younger sister has had 16 surgeries for a very complex cleft palate, lip, and deficiency of bone in her nose. She is 14 now and the three cartilage transplants have melted. When she is through growing they can use bone instead. Last summer the 16th surgery was supposed to finally fix a rough scar above her lip and instead made it worse. In December she attempted suicide. She went back into the psychiatric ward again in February. She is very intelligent and attends a magnate school, but seems to have given up and is failing. I was hoping you would include Sophie in your prayers. Thank you for all the hope you give to so many.

  6. You don’t have to look for the surprises in life–they find you! You’re amazing, being able to delight in being flung into the air!

  7. We live on a very curvy and hilly road and I love to see the joy on my kids faces just after I peek the highest hill and the car kind of flies for just a millisecond before once again touching the ground. It’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy.

  8. Brings back fond memories of my father driving through Amish country, which was very hilly. When we’d summit the hill, that bottom dropping out feeling made me squeal and laugh. I get it:).

  9. outdoorswithdad said:

    Just to say that i enjoyed reading that!

  10. Just a safety note. I heard that if one reclines in the back seat (or anywhere) in the car, keeping a shoulder belt on could be a dangerous thing. (There was this news item, somewhere online about a tragedy that happened due to the shoulder belt on someone who was not sitting up in the car. You might be able to find it with a search). Sitting up, with shoulder belt on is the best way to be in a moving car.

    • I do realize that, and I am surprised that you are the first person to point it out. I was naughty…I should have been wearing my seat belt…

      • I mentioned it just because I know that many people didn’t know it. I, myself, hadn’t heard of it (that you must sit up-not lay down in a car), until I read about that particular incident. So, I pass the word on whenever possible, not to argue or correct but just to “share” ideas and information. You have a nice blog here, very informative and sometimes humorous also. It is always good to hear other people’s experiences in life. Great work you do here!

      • Thanks. I sleep across the back seat of the car and I have been known to wear my seatbelt, but on this day I was “free and easy”!

  11. Good morning and congrats πŸ™‚

    I’ve nominated your blog with The Lighthouse Blog Award.

    You can see it here:

    I wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi.

    I totally love the way you can find something joyous about being flung in to the air when asleep. πŸ™‚

  13. My wife (Mainer) calls them “Yes ma’am’s”, which as well as their name is what you have to say in a dry dead-pan voice as you go over them and your stomach comes up to your mouth for a visit.

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