Tuesday, January 08, 2008


First off, thanks to all the supportive comments on my last post. Managing some of these things has really helped (as has the unseasonably warm weather recently).

Things did get worse before they got better, though: on the day of the post, Willow and the kids were supposed to return home at a late-yet reasonable hour. They had a layover at OHare, and were due into the closest metro airport (usually about 75 minutes away) at 9:30. So my initial plan was to leave around 8, and be home probably around 11:30, which would've even een ok for the kids, who were still on Pacific time

I was getting a little antsy about the impending snow, but the forecast was for snow overnight, with 1-3 inch accumulations: the next day was going to be the doozy, with another 5 inches.

Funny, how delayed flights and faster-than-expect storm fronts can make all that much worse. By the time Willow's flight delays were done being announced (at SFO, and then 3 different ones at ORD), I was leaving the house at 9:30, driving about 45 mph through the driving snow on the interstate, and arriving with some time to spare before their 11:57 arrival. By the time we got the luggage, and got to the car, there were already a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and the drive ahead of us, starting at 1:15 am, was not looking pretty. The first 90 minutes of the trip were slow but steady.

Until we crossed the state line to home state, and slowed down considerably. The Speedometer registered about 35 mph, but with terrible traction, my clock told me we were going closer to 25. When we exited a few miles later, the town, which had gotten a bit less snow than the airport, but no plowing at all, was blanketed with about 3 inches of snow. It was 3:15.

Of course, Rambunctious wakes up having had an accident in his car seat, and Imperia, waking up from the commotion, claims to be sweaty, but in fact has also had an accident. We're five snowy, hilly miles from home, changing the kids clothes in a CVS parking lot, and I. am. freaking. out.

Have I mentioned that I am now verging on neurotically anxious about driving in the snow?

Deep Breath. Getting there was not pretty either. There is one long road with two ridges to cross to get to our neighborhood, unplowed at that hour, and a minivan is hardly the ideal vehicle to tackle it. We probably should have just gotten a hotel for the four hours until some plowing would have gone through, but dammit I wanted to be home with my family. But. After one false start up the first ridge, I found a track made by a truck that had just come down, and followed that track up, getting just enough traction to make it up the whole mile in low gear. When we finally arrived home, I was so pumped on adrenaline, I unloaded the kids and all the suitcases before I could even sit down. By the time the kids were bathed and in bed, it was 4 a.m. I was a wreck.

The good news? We spent almost the whole day indoors. I lit a fire in the fireplace, got 30 minutes at the blue light, watched the snow fall outside knowing we didn't need to be anywhere else, and recovered from the holiday. I haven't had a day nearly so bad since.


Dr. Virago said...

Oh that's all awful -- I'm glad you're all home safe and sound now. And I hope things keep getting better and better.

Sisyphus said...

Ooh, ick. I hope you don't have to do too much snow driving in the immediate future. Maybe a day of playing (not driving) out in the snow with the twins will help combat the SAD?

That and hot chocolate always seems to be an effective medicine for me.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that sounds miserable! So glad you survived it all!

jo(e) said...

Sympathy from me. I hate, hate, hate winter driving.

I'm glad you all made it home safely.

Horace said...

Wow, I feel just a little better, Jo(e), knowing that even denizens of Snowstorm Region like you hate winter driving. I always assumed that you all would read posts like this one, and scoff at we amateurs!