When we began Valentine’s Day by having a quiet date eating at our local diner I had no idea what the day would evolve into. We spent much of the day after that quiet breakfast taking kids from here to there and there to here. You know your busy when you are reading your bible study chapter (for the next day) at an indoor soccer arena!
After an exciting indoor soccer match ( ours sons team won and he scored too!) we headed to my in-laws home for a visit. This was not a pre-planned visit. We made the decision sometime during the morning. It had been too long since we had seen them and we really wanted bring them some love and some treats for Valentines day. We couldn’t head out until we picked up our daughter from her work at 4pm – so we got a later start. As we drove the forty or so minutes to their home it began to snow. I had known we might have weather but I didn’t think the forecast called for much accumulation. I did know that the temps were scheduled to drop significantly as the evening progressed.
When we got to their home with hot pizza in hand along with some Wicked Good Cupcakes in a jar (sent from my mother) it was snowing pretty hard. I became slightly worried but tried to push it back into the vast recesses of my mind. I wanted to spend the time enjoying the visit not worrying about leaving. I have the best in-laws one could ever ask for. At 89 and 90 they have slowed down quite a bit. My FIL has dementia and though he doesn’t know me anymore he is the always the most polite and gracious host. My MIL has a sharp mind. I brought my knitting in hopes she could teach me how to begin but she had some trouble working my yarn(which means I will) but that spurred her in to showing me all of her knitting and crochet projects she has done. She made some beautiful things over the years. I was so impressed. She gave me some Alpaca wool and I am not worthy yet to use it but I aspire to get there! She was inspired to give knitting a shot this week and I am looking forward to hearing how she did. I love these visits because I can tell they make her world that has shrunk because of her mobility issues bigger. She is like a second mother to me and I know how blessed I am to have in-laws that are so wonderful to me.
Pretty soon it was time to head out and it did not look great outside. The winds had picked up and it was freezing cold. The snow had stopped but I felt leery about it. Marylanders are not the best drivers in the snow. I wasn’t alone in my worry, my mother in law was worried too. I could tell. She kept saying that the snow was wet snow. I didn’t realize why that was worse than the dry powdery kind until we left. I should have just asked to camp out at her home but we worried about our dogs and how they would fare at home all night. Two would be stuck in crates and the other two just hanging out (where would they make their inevitable bathroom if we didn’t come home?) So we headed out the door.
We were met within five minutes to a closed major road that we take home. It was ice- ah the wet snow turned to ice with all the cold wind. We made a U-turn and nearly slid into the next intersection. Hubby said it was driver error(oops) and assured me that our ancient Ford Expedition would get the job done and get us home. All I could think of was some un-confidant driver slamming into us. I wanted to go back to my In-laws and I began voicing that desire in a panic. When I get that nervous I feel sick and I was getting that queasy feeling in my stomach. But the longing to get the to the dogs kept us going. But it was a cluster F out there. (Excuse my French) navigating down one road was like getting through a battlefield. Stuck cars were everywhere -traffic was at a crawl. My husband missed a turn that would have taken us back to the closed road but hopefully north of the closure. So with that out we had to opt to going on another major road instead. When we hit that road we went ten feet and we came to a stop. All three lanes had cars stuck in them. The traffic was horrendous. People were abandoning their cars and walking up the sidewalk! Aghhh!
At one point I thought I was going to rip out my hair because I was getting in a panic being stuck and then the blaring of a fire truck siren behind us was tearing up my slowly melting sanity. Where could any of the 900 cars go to allow the fire truck to get through? Some stuck cars were able to move a bit out of the way and the fire truck managed to twist and turn its way through traffic- it took like 30 minutes- I hope whoever was waiting for it was ok. When the firetruck went through the traffic for a brief minute there was a hole to drive through between stuck cars and a few cars got through but that didn’t last long because a driver in a small pickup decided he didn’t want to be stuck so he began flooring his gas in hopes to propel himself burn off the ice. Well…all he did was burn rubber but he went nowhere. His car just began creating noxious fumes from his truly burning rubber. I know he was like all of us- he wanted to get wherever he was going. He did not want to be stuck – I give him A for effort and O for obnoxious! And I am certain he will need new tires after that show!
By this time I was fluctuating between panic to putting it in the lap of the Lord. I went from saying “I’m going to puke” to staring in amazement at the stuck cars then Id get panicked again! I was not at my best. Thank goodness my kids were either very tired or didn’t care I was upset because they certainly weren’t upset. L snapped a picture after I snarled at him not to. I was that stressed. I felt pictures were not necessary. How unlike me!
The last straw was when some younger guys began to jump out of their cars to help other stuck cars. I was so scared these kids would be injured by a car sliding into them. I wanted to yell at them like some crazed mother. But bless them because they did help get cars moved. Pickup guy did not want to be pushed off to the side and he kept trying to will the truck to get up that hill. Finally he got far enough up the lane that cars could squeeze between him and another stuck car. Part of me felt like we should help these people but the other part of me wanted to just get the hell out of there. And I knew my husband felt that way. He is ever so calm outside but I knew my panic and his inner stress at being stuck for so long was not boding well at us being helpers. So we weaved around pick up guy and we were free. We navigated roads and finally by the time we got out of that backup the other roads never got that busy(because it was getting late) and the rest of the trip was slow but not crazed.
The Ford got us home ( it really is good in the snow). It took three hours but we were safe. The dogs were fine. I’m so thankful for my husband keeping a calm head despite my panicked state and his expert driving skills. What a day! It was a Valentines day full adventure but best of all it was filled with love. I’ll take a little adventure and nausea when it is sandwiched in love!
Thanks for reading.