Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I hate snow. Prayers please. And I hate snow.

Oh my word. The last 24 hours & counting....

Let me first start out by saying that I do not like snow. Since to a nightmare trip in a car to Vermont around 10 years ago I have had a hatred of snow. When I see it, I want to throw up. I don't like to play in it. I don't think it's pretty. I hate snow.

Yesterday, we were not supposed to get snow. South Alabama was supposed to get snow & Birmingham was supposed to get at most a dusting. No problem. Robbie goes to work as normal & I drop Jake off at school at 9. Around 10, I look out the window & it's not snowing, so I don't have any worries. At 10:30, Jake's school calls to say they are closing at 11. No problem. I finish up a work email & start to head that way. Leaving & coming into our neighborhood you have to go up & down one mid-size hill and 2 really large steep hills. Never concerned me because there was no way in heck I would EVER try leaving our neighborhood if it was snowing. It was snowing, but not bad & I was able to get out of our neighborhood fine. But when I got to the 3rd & final hill, they were stopping people from going up the hill because all the cars coming down it were sliding & causing a pile up. So they were telling everyone to turn around & go back home.

Oh no.

That is when my panic sets in. Jake's school is about 2 miles from where I am (I think, I'm sure Robbie will tell me later that it was only a quarter mile). I could have turned around and made it back to the house, but then I would be 10 miles further from Jake. So I park my car on the side of the road and start walking to Jake's school. I have to walk up a huge hill, down it & then turn down the road that Jake's school is on. There is nothing like a mama's determination to get to her child. I couldn't call out so I couldn't even let Jake's school know I was trying to get there. I finally made it. My plan was to get Jake, get back to the car and try to head home. But then the snow started coming down really hard. There were other kids, parents & staff stranded, so we just waited it out.

I have to give a huge shout out to the school's director Mrs. Teresa. She was amazing. So calm, so in control. If I'm ever in an emergency, she is who I would want around me! It wasn't getting any better, so it looked like we would just spend the night there. Other people who had wrecked or cars were stranded started coming to the church for shelter. Then, one of kids mom's made it to the church. They live in our neighborhood and couldn't get out earlier. But her husband had made it to the top of last huge hill, so she was getting her daughter, walking the mile uphill to the car and back to the neighborhood. So I asked if we could hitch a ride. They said of course, as long as we didn't mind walking to their car. So off we went.

5 hours earlier, I had made the walk down that hill & to the school. There were a few scattered cars. At 4:00, there were cars EVERYWHERE. Some stuck, some slid off the road, some wrecked and some just sitting, not knowing what to do. We get to the end of the road the school is on, and have to turn to go up the huge hill. Holy moly. What a mess. There were wrecked cars everywhere from trying to come down the hill and trying to get up the hill. They just littered the road and the sides. There were at least 20 wrecked cars. The other mom & I, and our 2 five-year-olds start the hike up the huge hill. Crazy thing is, idiots kept trying to make it up the hill. Um, did you not see the 20 people in front of you that failed? As we are walking, we see one truck try to make it up, stall out and slide down the hill hitting cars left & right. A few minutes later, another one does the same exact thing. A few minutes later, ANOTHER ONE! The 3rd one though, as it is sliding, it is all over the place and headed towards us. We were trying to get out of the way, but couldn't tell which way the truck was sliding.

I have never in my life been so scared.

The other mom & I pick the kids up & basically toss them on an embankment with the help of a gentleman and then jump on top of them trying to get out of the way of the out of control truck. It was horrible. Thankfully, the truck ended up crashing into other cars which stopped it from getting to us. Needless to say, my nerves were shot.

Jake was so brave and so good. I was so proud of him. Both him & his friend from school got scared when all of the cars started crashing and especially when we were trying to get them out of the way of the out of control truck. But he held it together. He did so good walking in the snow up that huge hill. He kept saying "we're going to make it mommy". I was so proud of him.

We make it up the hill to their family's car. Technically, I probably could have driven my car home, but I was terrified about going up & down those hills after what we had just seen. My battery was dead though (because I had turned on my hazards, because I thought I wouldn't be gone long, ha!) so we just left it on the side of the road. So this sweet family just dropped Jake & I off at our house. The Acadia has probably been hit 4,678 times by now, but I'm just thankful that Jake & I are not stranded in it. I have never been so glad to be in my own house. Jake keeps talking about how loud the trucks wrecking were and that it scared him. Poor thing. I've tried to take his mind off of it.

Robbie ended up spending the night at work. I am so glad he did. He would have been stranded on the interstate had he tried to get home. Once I knew we were safe, Robbie was safe, and my mother-in-law was home safe I could breath a sigh of relief. I called home to make sure my dad had made it home from Montgomery, only to find out that my mom was stuck in traffic on the way to Atlanta to help my sister. Yikes! Back on the knees praying. Thankfully she made it. Once I knew everyone was safe, I could truly breath a sigh of relief, for at least a little while.

The roads are going to be bad today and again tonight, so Robbie isn't even going to attempt to try to make it home. Even if he could, you can't get into our neighborhood. So he will probably walk to a co-workers house that just lives a few miles from his office. He didn't think he could sleep on his office floor another night!

It has been a crazy last 24 hours.

I hate snow.

Please keep the people impacted by this storm in your prayers. It came much quicker and harder than anyone thought. Everyone was caught completely off guard. There are people stranded. People separated from their families. People hurt. My heart breaks for them. But everywhere you look, you see people helping others. Opening their homes to others. Helping out friends. I am so thankful for all the calls & texts from friends checking on us. I praise God for all those helping each other and especially for him keeping me safe as I tried to get to Jake, for letting me reach him and protecting us as we made it home. And we will not be leaving our house for the next year.

And I hate snow.

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