A friend told Jessica Reeves that the snow sledding near Interstate 10 and Goat Creek Road was superb. There were excellent sliding conditions with a dusting of snow and ice Thursday. Unfortunately, those sliding conditions are not fun to navigate in a vehicle — let alone a big rig.
When the Reeves’ got to the area, all they could see were big rigs parked on Interstate 10 on Friday morning. They had been there all night. The conditions made driving almost impossible in the Hill Country, couple that with federal law that restricts the hours per day a trucker can sit behind the wheel, and you had an outright disaster in Kerrville’s backyard.
Simply put: “The interstate is a mess,” Kerr County Sheriff Larry Leitha said via text on Friday morning.
Feb 04, 2022 ·
We have been super frustrated about not getting to take Hadley and Ruger to San Angelo to compete in FFA Prepared Public Speaking today because of the ice, but man did God show me why!
He had a much bigger plan for today that came with a much bigger reward than a potential scholarship or buckle.
We live about a mile from I-10 and saw all the truckers when sledding yesterday. We heard the highway got shut down last night, so that meant truckers were stranded all night.
First thing this morning, after the animals were fed and taken care of, Hadley completely cleaned out our pantry…note that our pantry is massive and I’m teased beyond measure about the amount of snacks I keep on hand for our 4 children. The muffins Ruger made were grabbed. All the bottled water we had on hand was also loaded into the back of our four wheel drive ranger. Hadley walked/slid/fell up I-10 for several MILES and handed out every single thing we had. People were so desperate that they tried throwing money at her, but she threw it back and said God Bless You. She met the nicest people from all over the world and heard so many stories. We talked a lot about the 2 loaves and 5 fishes. As we emptied our baskets, traffic was slowly moving as the highway crews were hard at work.
When we were completely empty, we followed the GameWardens back down the side of I-10 and slide all the way home…that’s when the tears started and the prize was won today! She hugged me and just cried…
“Mom, today was so awesome!!! I’m super bummed about San Angelo, but God needed me here! There will be other contests.”
Thank you Lord for providing us with means to serve others. Thank you for giving my children a heart of service.
PS…In Ruger’s defense, he got babysitting duty for his two younger sisters and the 75 baby chickens! He was serving in his own way.
Icy road conditions led to a miles-long backup — extending east and west from Kerrville.
For the Reeves family, sitting idly by is not in their collective DNA — action is their motto. Well, it’s more like service-focused action. OK. They don’t sit around.
Jessica Reeves explains that they got the word from one of her husband’s friends, a volunteer firefighter in Mountain Home, that the freeway was in bad shape. There had already been a fatal crash involving a big rig on Thursday night.
So, the Reeves loaded up their 4-wheel drive Polaris Ranger off-road cart with water, food and some of 13-year-old Ruger Reeves’ freshly baked double chocolate chip muffins and headed to the freeway. Jessica Reeves said their pantry was emptied. While Jessica Reeves and her husband, Jason, went along, they said it was their 16-year-old daughter, Hadley, a junior at Ingram Tom Moore High School, who was the real catalyst for the mission.
“We talk to our kids about living a life of service,” Jessica Reeves said.
For Ruger Reeves, his service was staying home to mind his two younger sisters while his parents and older sister headed out.
“Ruger is a rock star,” said his mom, adding that he was disappointed he couldn’t go but understood the mission at home.
When the family got to Interstate 10, they headed up the eastside ramp and were greeted by a Kerrville Police Department officer, who granted them permission to make their way through the parked big rigs to distribute food and water.
“(The police officer) said he was hoping that someone would do this,” Jessica Reeves said.
Hadley Reeves was supposed to be at a Future Farmers of America speech contest in San Angelo, but the weather canceled that event. Jessica Reeves said her daughter was exactly where she needed to be.
“She told me this is where she was supposed to be,” Jessica Reeves said.
Many truckers prepared for the weather, but others were grateful for the offering, especially one trucker who delighted in Ruger Reeves’ muffins. “(The trucker) said he was so tired and all he wanted was some chocolate,” Jessica Reeves said.
The family worked their way against the stalled traffic, running across other police officers and game wardens, and made it about 2 miles before heading back. Hadley, according to her mom, Hadley used her voice to call out to those in need.
“Hadley will talk to anyone,” her mom said. “My kid got it that God had a purpose.”
Hadley even had a nasty fall on the ice, leaving her bruised but undeterred.
The rest of the way was treacherous, Jessica Reeves said. The thickness of the ice, even in a 4×4 vehicle, proved daunting, she said.
“We slid all the way home,” she said. “My kid got it that God had a purpose.”
Throughout the journey, Jessica Reeves took some photos to show the conditions that she shared with a family group text. Jessica Reeves then shared the photos on Facebook, along with a narrative about the journey. In turn, more than 1,000 people shared that story.
“Today was all about loving and serving others, not drawing the attention to the act or people performing it,” Reeves wrote. “But I want to share because so many lessons were learned today.”
What they learned is that kindness is appreciated and service is paramount.