Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow Day!

Last night around 8:00 it started to snow in Kirkland.  I was away from home at a meeting of homeschooling parents, and didn't realize that it was snowing until someone announced it.  A couple of people excused themselves from the meeting early to avoid the snow hazard roads, but I assumed that I would be fine, as my house was half an hour closer than their houses.  I left to go home at 9:30, and it was snowing harder.  Now I know I am from Utah, and that (theoretically) means I have more experience driving in adverse road conditions than many locals here, but this was that horrible, wet, sticky, slick snow that is impossible to get traction in, and the city of Kirkland has only one plow/sand truck, which apparently had yet to be dispatched.  I decided on the most direct route home, as there was plenty of traffic ahead of me to turn the snow to slush, but half way up the hill to home, a car had slipped sideways, and was blocking one lane of traffic, so my lane was stopped.  When the time came to start again, I found that I could not get the car to move forward.  The police officer manning the mid-hill stop point advised me to abandon my car and walk home, but I was over a mile from home, and I didn't want to think about the fate of the car stopped in the middle of a slick road.   I was wearing canvas sneakers, which were a factor.  I managed to maneuver the car around to go back down the hill and try the more traveled road home, which was Juanita Drive.  I was praying all of the time that I would find a way to get home safely.  I called Todd to help calm me down, and as I started up Juanita Drive, conditions appeared better.  Unfortunately, the farther I went up the road, the worse the road got.  By the time I got to the traffic light midway up, I knew that I couldn't stop without having the same problem I had had before of losing my forward momentum and being unable to get the traction to regain it, so I checked for cars and then carefully ran the red light.  When I was half a mile from home, and just passing our church building, I saw that a LOT of cars were stopped ahead.  Todd advised me to attempt it, but I felt better turning the car around (very slowly), and parking at the church.  Canvas sneakers or not, I would rather park safely and walk half a mile home than risk sliding into another car.  I was still praying for a safe way home.  Walking through the mess of cars sliding all over the road between the church and home did not seem like a safe way.  My prayers were answered.  As I pulled into a parking space at the church, a couple of boys pulled into the parking lot in a jeep to do donuts.  Todd advised me strongly not to approach strange, irresponsible kids for a ride, but I remembered my high school friends who practiced donuts on abandoned roads and in parking lots to learn safe snow driving skills.  I always hated it when they did it with me in the car, but I did trust that they had the skills to drive in terrible weather.  I waved down the drivers, and asked them for a ride home.  They were surprised to be asked, but they were really sweet and happy to help.  I asked how old they were, and they said 17.  As we came up the hill, I was glad that I hadn't attempted it in the front wheel drive minivan.  By the end of the night there were at least 40 cars stuck along the stretch between my turn and the church.  As we passed through the melee, I saw a family with small kids abandoning their car, so when I got home, I sent Todd walking the few blocks back to the main road to make sure they weren't stranded there with their babies and no shelter.  He ended up spending an hour and a half helping people get their cars back on the road and rolling.
It was a very scary evening for me, but I am very thankful to know that Heavenly Father heard my prayers when I felt completely out of control, and I was in His hands to get home safely.  His mercies are great.

This morning the children were overjoyed to awake to snow!  They couldn't wait to get outside and play. They ate breakfast and then didn't even bother getting dressed before they pulled on their snow pants and coats to head outside.  Todd slept late after his late night pushing people out of ditches, and didn't get a chance to eat breakfast before the kids dragged him out to throw snowballs and build a snowman with them.
We could have built a bigger snowman, but Jared and Eloise wanted it to be their size.
Jared found a golf ball and some rocks for eyes and a nose.  The arms were found on the ground, and I gave Eloise a stick to make into a mouth.  I had envisioned it being a horizontal line, but I like Eloise's way better.  Now the snowman looks like it is sucking on a lollipop.  

After our snowman was built, Eloise was tired of snow, and B was getting a little bored, since we weren't letting him roll around in the wet.  We went around to the front of the house to go inside, and came upon our neighbors.  The little ones were sledding down the street, and the older boys were having a snowball romp.  Eloise was content to watch the fun for a few minutes before she asked to go in for hot chocolate.  
Jared threw snowballs and cruised down the street, enjoying the snow until his toes were so cold that they hurt.  
I put B down on a sled with Jared to see if he would like it.  That was a mistake.  From then on I was tied to the sled.  B hollered to be put back on the sled anytime I took him off of it.  He would kick his legs and tell me to "Doe!" every time I stopped moving.  
Eventually he started hollering on the sled and off of it, so I knew it was time to go inside. We all enjoyed some hot chocolate, Todd got breakfast, and we waited to hear whether or not we would have church meetings, as many of the roads were still dangerously slick.  Todd walked down to the church for a meeting, and, after stopping to help a stranded driver, brought the car most of the way home before stopping to avoid the really dangerously snowy roads.  
We ended up having only one hour of church, and then marathon story reading at home until supper time.  All three children were fast asleep by 6:45 p.m., so this day is really kind of perfect.  
Happy snow day!  

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