Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Daze

'Hey Lora, we're coming to the McWane center next week.  Can we come stay at your house for a visit?'

That's how it all started.

The day came and I managed to get all the kids in the car and we were on our way before 8:30AM.  Halfway there, I realized my wallet had somehow not made it into the car.

Strike One: I forgot my wallet.  No cash, no ID, no membership card for the science center, no any of the 'necessary plastic' people keep in their wallets.

I called my mother in law to beg to borrow some cash (she lives on the way from our house to Birmingham) and then I called the family we were planning to meet at the science center to let them know we'd be a bit late.

While we were at her house, I buzzed the science center to see if they could look up my membership (our membership isn't actually through them, but they do the reciprocal thing with the science center we are members of).  'No, ma'am, we have no way to verify that information.  I'm sorry.'

Strike Two: We can't get into the science center without paying a fortune to do so.  (And I'm NOT paying to get into a place that I have FREE access to... if I had my wallet, anyway.)  

I called my friend, Bethany, whose family we were meeting at the science center for the day and she said,  'Um, we're turning around and going home.  I have a sick kid.'

 Strike Three: Our planned outing has now completely crumbled.

Perhaps I should have seen the signs.  Perhaps I should have turned that van around and trucked it right on home.  

Instead, I called Lora and told her what was going on.

'Y'all come on for the whole day!  It'll be fun!'

So she called in an order of chicken nuggets that I picked up on my way to her house.  When we arrived with lunch, we threw chicken and carrots and grapes at the mob.  Y'all, we ate the whole stinking tray in one sitting. 

When we picked up the chicken, Sarah Grace commented on the 'tweezers to pick the chicken up with'.  Also, the last time we had one of these chicken trays?  We ate on it for two meals and still had leftovers.  My, how the times are changing. 

It was 60 degrees outside so we voted the older kids out of the house and they happily ran about for the afternoon while we put the youngest three down for nap.

The day was full of laughter and fun for all of us and it was a tired bunch of kids we tucked into bed Monday night.  Lora and her sister, Rebekah, and I sat up and chatted into the night, clueless as to what was ahead.

Tuesday dawned cold and bright.  By 9-ish, the snow started falling tentatively.  We double checked the weather sources to be sure I wouldn't have any issues with our planned departure (after lunch so the kids would sleep all the way home!) and continued on with our visit.

'I'd love to see my house all in snow,' said Lora.

Y'all, from her lips to God's ears.

The snow started falling in earnest, but the reports we'd checked earlier said things like 'dusting' and 'flurries'.  About noon, we fed the kids and checked the weather channel and Twitter again.  Birmingham was a mess of standstill traffic.  And as the snow and the temperatures continued to fall, we made the decision to stay put.

We watched all afternoon as reports came in of people abandoning cars on the roads to seek shelter, schools full of students and faculty spending the night in the school buildings.  Y'all, it was unreal.

I'm gonna go ahead and admit I had a little bit of a break down: I had a plan and knew what all I needed to do this week, but suddenly, I was no longer in control.  I cried as Lora assured me that our being stuck at her house was a good thing.  I knew in my heart she was right, but in my head, I felt like I was imposing greatly.  She pointed out that we were staying in her guest house and that, if need be, we could easily have our own space and give our kids a break to settle down and rest as needed.

It was pride that brought on that fit and I know it.  Ugly thing, that sinful nature of man. 

My 'crisis' was short lived and we had a wonderful (if noisy!) time.  I raided her school books and managed to pull together school stuff for my kids because what home-schooling mama thinks to schedule things like weather days into her calendar??

The calm after the storm - the part where we turn on the telly and slink away to enjoy the quietude.  Twelve kids.  Three adults (all introverts, no less!)   

I can't think of a better way to be snowed in (except to have our husbands with us!).  We're tired and the noise.  Oh, the noise.  But we're safe, warm, well fed, and happy.  And we have had SO much fun!

For those of you who've been around for a while, I felt the need to document the fact that I did more than lurk at windows to watch the kids.  I VOLUNTARILY went out in the snow and played for a few moments.

I'm still at Lora's.  I hope to get home tomorrow because, as much fun as we've had, I miss my husband something fierce!  Her Andrew made it home late this afternoon and has laughed at the three of us ladies sitting around playing with our computers and not saying much.  We're all just ready to sit and be by the time we get the gang down for the night that it takes an hour or so to recover and find the need to speak again...

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