Thursday, January 30, 2014

Our Adventure With the Snow, Part 2 + Pictures

Even after writing yesterday's post, my stomach was still in knots. I was worried about how Robbie was going to make it home, I was worried about my stranded car, all of the people still trying to get home and all of the wrecks all over the city. My amazing across the street neighbor was using his big ole truck (and his very good icy road conditions driving skills) to help out different people in the neighborhood. He took me to check on our car (while his sweet wife watched Jake). It was sitting there all by its lonesome self. Because of the pileup over the hill, no one could get over the hill to slide into my car. For once it paid to be a scared driver! My neighbor jumped me off (since my battery was dead from my hazards being on so long the day before) and moved my car up on the grass off the road. He told me since it was a SUV with 4 wheel drive, I could probably put it in the lowest gear & drive it home. I said thanks for the vote of confidence, but no thanks! The roads were still icy in the morning, I would have to go up & over 2 more hills before our house, so there was no way I was even going to attempt it. He was so sweet and understanding. So we headed back to the neighborhood and I started to feel a little relieved.

Until I got a text from Robbie that he had heard/found some clear lanes and he was going to try to make it south.

I flipped out.

Last time I had talked to him, he was walking to a co-worker's house. I was completely terrified for him. I was scared he would hit an icy patch. I was scared someone would hit him. I was scared that there would be road jams like the day before and he would have to sleep or abandon his car. I was a nervous wreck times 1,000. I am a huge worry wart, especially when it comes to driving conditions. I thought I was going to throw up. My poor best friend Stephanie just happened to call not long after that to check on us. Poor thing had to listen first to my 4 hour long recap of everything that happened the day before and then my 4 hour long rant about why in the world was my husband trying to get home when so many others had failed. While I was still on the phone with her, I get a call from Robbie. He has made it to Westwood Church (Jake's school). Thank the Lord!!! He parked at the church because he knew everything leading up to our neighborhood was blocked. He walked part of the way (snapping the pictures below), caught a ride part of the way and then met me at my stranded car (my sweet neighbor AGAIN took me so I could meet Robbie at the car). Then Robbie & I drove my car home.

I have never in my life been so happy to have my little family of 3 all together under the same roof.

Robbie has assured me that he would have never attempted to head home, unless he was absolutely sure. He had talked to other people that had driven those roads, he was careful, he picked which roads to take wisely and he had great timing (he waited long enough that the sun had helped with the roads, but not too long that he got caught in the rush of other people that got the idea). I am just glad he is home and safe.

Here are the pictures that Robbie snapped as he was walking up the huge hill that leads to our neighborhood. (This is the same hill that I walked up & over to get to Jake and then Jake & I walked up that evening to get to a SUV to take us to our house.) It is a steep and long hill, which explains the mess at the bottom of it!
Believe it or not, but this is actually AFTER they started removing cars & trucks. There were even more earlier.

The other mom & I and our 2 kids were walking up the hill on the grassy sides of the street.
We kept having to run from one to the other, based off of which direction a car was sliding.

These are all trucks that tried making it up the hill, stalled out and then slide back down the hill.
Each time a new one tried, it just added to the line of wrecked ones.
Again, 30 people failed before you. But you thought you were the one to make it.

A very tightly parallel parking job

Even the poor mail truck wasn't spared
This is one of the streets leading up to the road our neighborhood is on. It was full of cars that had wrecked, slid off and just had to be abandoned. This is the road that Jake's school is on. It's about half a mile on down.

Crazy, huh? Wreckers have been working all day to clear out all of the wrecked vehicles and then stranded vehicles can get through. Hopefully everything will be cleared out by tonight and things can get back to normal. The last 48 hours have been crazy, and I've learned a lot. Like....
  • If you are sliding, turn your steering wheel in the direction of the slide and don't hit your brakes.
  • I hopefully will not ever have to use that advice, because if there is just even a 1% chance of snow or even just a dusting, we are not leaving our house. And I am not kidding. After my snow nightmare 10 years ago, I swore that I would never ride in a car for longer than 6 hours. And I have held true to that statement and will for the rest of my life.
  • I do not do well in unexpected events (I kind of already knew that one). I panic. I think the worse. I freak out. 
  • Even in the worst of times, that are so many wonderful people there to offer help. We might not be able to drive very good in snow & ice, but we are awesome at helping each other out.
  • Even when things seem to go wrong, I've got to remember that God is in control. I can look back now at so many things that happened over the last 48 hours, that completely freaked me out and I thought were terrible. Looking back now, I'm so glad each of those events happened.
Like when I was on my way to get Jake, the good Samaritan that stopped me from going over that last hill. He told me that cars were wrecking going down it & trying to come up it and it was causing a pile up on the other side at the bottom (as shown above in the pictures). At the time, I panic, and thought that was the worse thing someone could tell me. How was I going to get to Jake?? But because of that man, I parked on a nice flat spot and my car was spared from getting hit or me getting into a wreck. When I told him I had to get to my son at Westwood and I would just walk, he gave me a blanket from his car. I don't know who this man was, but I will be forever grateful.

Once I got to Jake's school & the snow got worse, I realized that we would not be able to make it back to the car and back home. Again, I panic and think this is the worse. But I'm so glad it worked out that way, because we ended up getting a ride back with someone who was a lot better driving in those conditions then me. 

I panicked when I realized my car battery was dead. But I know that was the Lord keeping me from trying to drive home. I was riding with an experienced driver and he was sliding. I am so thankful was battery was dead so I couldn't even attempt to drive the car to our house.

I was upset that I had to just leave the car, but it worked out, because since Robbie was having to walk home from Westwood, he was able to drive it home. 

Even through the bad things I thought were happening, the Lord was watching out for us. He was protecting us, even though I thought at the time, he was just making it more difficult.   

And the biggest lesson I have learned through all of this?

I hate snow more than I ever thought I could.

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