Now THIS is a white Christmas!
Biju and I debated whether we should brave the roads to head up to my parents. Keeping an eye on the continuously changing weather reports, we figured we had a small window of time to get loaded and out of the house in time to make it before the really nasty stuff hit. We were going to go, then changed our minds and I called my dad to let him know we were chickening out. He said the weather was clear up that way, and I knew our weather was clear for the time being. So we changed our minds again. We got the boys fed and dressed then flipped on some good ole PBS to keep them entertained while we loaded everything up. I asked our neighbor to keep a close eye on the house and gave her a key so she could get in and turn our faucets on every now and then. We surely don't want to have any pipes burst!
And so we drove. It had started icing a bit as we headed out and we had our window defrosters cranked up high to keep the ice clear. The ice mellowed out a bit as we travelled but then came on full force again a little later. The boys were happily watching The Incredibles on the DVD player (thank you, Honda!), I crocheted on Mom's gift while Biju kept his eyes on the road. The wind was very strong and I can tell you we did not get good gas mileage! We passed a number of cars pulled over to the side of the road scraping their windshields. I called family members, or they called me, to keep in contact and updated on our whereabouts and safety. Once we got about 45 minutes from home and were filling up gas (needed a full tank in case we slid off the road and needed to run the heater for awhile!) my dad gave us an alternate route to take home. He figured the other roads would be better to take. The roads got considerably worse and I don't think it mattered which path we took! We lost traction a couple of times but nothing drastic. It was nice to pull into my parents driveway, but that meant we had to get out into the blowing snow and ice! YUCK!
Our Christmas Eve celebration has always been held at my grandpa's house, but we knew early on that once we got to Mom and Dad's, that was that for the evening! My brothers and their families came in and we all made up a nice little dinner. The kids got to open a couple of presents, then it was bedtime. Matt and his crew drove their truck the quarter of a mile down to their place with Jeff and his crew following behind. The roads were definitely worse than what they were earlier in the day. Matt had to stick his truck into 4-wheel drive to get out of the driveway, I do believe.
Ajay woke up at 6:30. He didn't see his pile of the goods from Santa, so broke into tears saying "I didn't get what I wanted!" After seeing that he had, indeed, gotten Hungry, Hungry Hippos and Candy Land, he was a much happier camper! Biju ambled in with Alex on his hip around 7:15am. The kids played a few hours while Mom did some last minute wrapping. It was then time for the rest of us to head to my brother's place for a yummy breakfast of biscuits and gravy. Breakfast was followed by more present-opening. And we all know how much fun that is! We were able to keep the pandemonium to a minimum as we followed the "youngest to oldest" route. Then Dad, Matt and Jeff headed back up to get the tractor to feed some hay to the cows. They were gone a few hours! They had gone up to town and were actually able to break through to the highway. Amazing! They just got back, and said that Mom's van isn't going to make it back up to the house. I guess we'll have to make a couple trips with the truck to get back to Nana and Papa's place. Who knows when we'll be able to get out. Most of the roads are impassable. But hey, at least we have (in no particular order) food, water, family, games and the Internet!!
I hope you and all of your loved ones are staying warm and safe!!