Do We Need The Diabetes Box?

It was to be a fun, though driving intensive, round-trip weekend to northern New England for our nephews' baptisms.

On Saturday afternoon we arrived  in the freezing rain at the bottom of a long dirt road to find a police officer stationed there.  "We're trying to get to my sister's house at the end of this road," my husband explained.

"I wouldn't recommend it," the officer replied in a thick New Zealand accent, lending an unexpected and exotic angle to the conversation.  "You see that steep hill there?"  We did.  It was at least a hundred yards long at least a 60 degree angle up. "I just watched someone come back down that hill sideways.  I tried and got halfway up and slid back down.  We've called in a sander truck, but I'm not sure how long it will be. I'd say head back into town for a bit and check back later."

When we returned, no progress had been made.  "Sorry, mate," the officer said, "I don't know when he'll be here.  They've broken two trucks already today.  The whole town's a sheet of ice."

So that's when we made the decision to hike in.  We were just under a mile from our destination.  Our hosts couldn't make it up their steep driveway to meet us partway, so we would need to carry in everything we needed for the night.

Fortunately I had packed all of our clothes for the next day in one suitcase, and our toiletry kits in a backpack.  We put on our heavy boots and all of our snow clothes.  I packed all of our electronics and chargers into my purse and wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag.  If we left the air mattress, the house gifts, and some other non-essential items in the car, we'd be o.k.

"What about the diabetes box?" my husband asked.  I had debated bringing a slimmed down ziploc to begin with, with just a few essentials but decided that we'd be far enough from home that I should just throw the whole box in.  I debated it again.  Could we get by with putting just a few emergency supplies in the backpack?

Then I looked back up at that icy hill and thought about how the police car could't get up it.  Could an ambulance?  Would we be able to get back down it?  Worst case scenarios streamed through my mind.  "Yup.  We need to bring it."

My daughter even agreed to carry it for while, since it provided waterproof shelter for her stuffed rabbit.

Climbing that hill with all of our gear was a challenge, particularly since we had to go through fairly deep snow to avoid the ice.  This wasn't the situation I had imagined when I purchased the waterproof box with a handle for the diabetes gear, but being able to set it down in the snow once in a while was ideal. We were met at the top of the hill with extra hands so that my husband and sister-in-law could go back down to find a neighbor's driveway to park the car in overnight.  On their way back to the house they watched the sander truck arrive and promptly go off the road halfway up the hill.

We had a great night, complete with a warm family meal, a cousin pillow fight and board games.  As the sun came out the next morning, my sister-in-law got us back down the hill with her studded snow tires. The boys were baptized during a lovely mass.  We enjoyed lunch in the church hall with extended family and had an uneventful trip home.

The only thing we needed out of the diabetes box?  The stuffed rabbit.


  1. What do you use for a diabetes box when traveling? I have yet to come up with something practical/convenient. It's ziploc bags here & I don't like them. I'd love a suggestion!

    1. It's a plastic bin maybe two or 3 times as deep as a shoe box with a lid that latches on which has a handle. A picture is in this post:
      It's a little big but fine for car trips and I feel confident I have everything in it I'd need should we need to grab it and go in an emergency.


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