Atlanta is a mess. I can now say that with certainty.
You see, yesterday was my birthday. (Thank you.) Having been cooped up in our house all week, I assumed we were postponing my celebration for better weather. The kids and CD had not "finished with" my present/s-- I knew that since Bug isn't the best yet at keeping secrets (although I don't know what the gift/s is/are which is really the important part) and while my mom had invited us for dinner and cake, getting to their house seemed impractical. Next week was fine. (Somehow after a few decades the actual date becomes unimportant. Pook, on the other hand, wants us to celebrate CD's half birthday on the 16th.)
CD had gone into work Thursday afternoon. Some roads were in the sun and drying. My father reported the worst road by his house to have been cleared. We decided to change our postponement, and head over for dinner. Now, call me a pessimist, but under the circumstances I say pragmatist. I packed pj's, clean underwear and toothbrushes for each of us. I grabbed Teddy and Pookie Bear. Just before walking out the door, I turned off all lights, including the fishtank. It wasn't that I wanted to spend the night there, but just in case. Plus, if we had to walk a long way, maybe the extra layers would keep us warm. I don't know exactly why I did it, it probably has something to do with being told to keep a blanket and a granola bar in the car when I was a teen driving in the winter.
My parents live about 2 1/2 miles from us, the direct route. The roads we chose to take were a bit further, but bigger roads and hopefully more clear. We left at 5:20 and started with the worst hill. Slow. Like rush-hour-on-ice-slow (a new descriptor I hope to never use again). We took half an hour to go the first mile. If you are moving a reasonable 15-20 mph and you see an icy patch, you simply coast through it until you feel traction again. If you are moving one car length at a time, and crawling along stopped more than moving, and then you find yourself on an icy patch.... your wheels spin. And the car in front of you, and the car in front of that car all have wheels spinning and someone skids sideways and.... It is not a pretty experience.
We discussed turning back. In fact, just at the point where we might have successfully turned back, we discussed turning back. And we didn't. A mere few car lengths later we realized it was too late. Heading home the way we'd come was now no longer a steep wet road, it was a steep road covered in black ice. Night was coming quickly and all the wet pavement was freezing.
We arrived at their home after an hour of agonizing driving. We were greeted with wine/beer and after a while we actually relaxed. (And ate scallops, risotto, green beans and salad, plus angel food birthday cake with peaches, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.) But CD and I knew at that can-no-longer-turn-back moment, that it was also a cannot-go-home-tonight moment. We were stuck overnight.
(Clearly there are worse places to be stuck overnight. We had warm beds and hot oatmeal for breakfast. We even had clean underwear in the morning!)
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Now we are home and I have sent the boys outside to slip and slide on the ice. The ice is so thick they can walk on top of the 5" of snow without breaking through. I gave them opened Lego boxes to use for sleds. They are throwing hunks of ice at each other. We'll see how this ends. At least now I have milk for hot chocolate.
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As my friend Harriet says, " I have it on good authority (i.e., random blogs by people I don’t know) that today is national delurking day, an annual event in which blog authors like myself encourage readers to introduce themselves, all friendly-like. I myself am a veteran lurker and completely understand the impulse to read and not get involved. But at the same time, I love to know who’s reading. So if you are so inclined, say hello and let me know how you got here."