We were only expecting a light dusting of snow.
I took Hannah to school Tuesday morning. I remember asking her if she was sure she was dressed appropriately for the weather.
“It probably won’t even snow here. And this pull-over is so soft and warm on the inside. I’m fine. I just go from the van to the school. And all of the classrooms are SO warm anyway.”
“OK. But you never know what’s going to happen. I just want you to be prepared for anything,” I said thinking about her hats, scarves, gloves, and heavier coat back at the house.
She makes a good point, though. All of those things become burdens to carry around in a toasty school.
And so…we parted ways at the school’s entrance. I returned to our home to begin the school day with the other three kids.
The snow began to fall sometime during math. Of course, we stopped to gaze out the window in awe of ALL THE SNOW. It was really falling quickly and heavily. The kids bundled up to get out there and play before it melted.
Except the snow wasn’t going to melt this time because the temperatures were much lower than we’re used to. Instead of the temps hovering right at freezing, they were in the 20s and dropping.
The first thing I heard them say was, “This snow feels different. It’s powdery!” Meaning, it wasn’t wet like previous snow storms they’ve experienced. It was nearly impossible to gather up and pack together.
About an hour or two later, the school system called to say that they were releasing students at 12:30. Then, Karl’s employer announced they were free to go.
That’s when he called to let me know that I didn’t need to wait another minute to pick Hannah up from school. He had already seen the road conditions; police had already closed off a roadway near his office. Trusting his judgment, I bundled up and went to get our girl from school 2 hours before I was supposed to. I am so glad I did.
Though ice was forming, there wasn’t much traffic on the roads at that time. Keeping the van in its lowest gear, I puttered along at about 10-15 mph. My 3.5 mile drive took about 30 minutes.
Only a handful of other like-minded parents were in line to check-out their students. One fired-up woman voiced her displeasure about the forecast. “They got it wrong! Y’all need to go ahead and start sending kids home now.”
Unfortunately, turns out she was right. Many people ended up stranded where they worked or in their cars for the night. (Karl’s dad was one of those trapped on I-65. We spent most of the day thinking about his situation, praying for his safety, and calling him every few hours.)
As Hannah made her way to the doors, more and more parents and grandparents began lining up in the office.
We made it home without incident. Karl, on the other hand, was not able to make it all the way in his car. His 7-minute commute took 75 minutes. By the time he reached our neighborhood, the police had blocked the road. He had to walk the last mile home, which he was happy to do rather than risk sliding into a ditch or into another vehicle.
We were all home and eating hot soup and quesadillas for lunch by about 1pm. The kids played outside while we watched the traffic and tried to contact family.
Tuesday was an absolute nightmare for so many Alabamians. I felt sick to my stomach for parents who could not reach their children. I thought of sweet little cousins of ours stuck at preschool while their parents were stuck in their vehicles for hours. I thought of Karl’s dad trapped on the interstate for 17 hours…it was awful.
Life was almost back-to-normal today. Karl had to go in to work for a few hours this afternoon. We were able to retrieve his car from where he left it yesterday. Except for the shady spots, the snow is almost gone.
Some things I’ve enjoyed most this week: extra snuggling time under heavy blankets, bird-watching, soup.