Old man winter

After getting no snow in November and December, I began to worry that the boys wouldn't get to play in the snow this winter and secretly wished for the white powder to cover our yard. Well...I got my wish...and then some.

Snow. And lots of it. Oh yeah - and more ice than I ever thought possible. I'm not a fan.

Tuesday evening it started falling so sweetly from the sky, blanketing the ground in that oh-so-beautiful wintery way. Overnight, we started to hear ice pelting the roof. Then we awoke to the sounds of branches - big ones - snapping off of the trees near our house. We barely slept. Then around 4am, the buzz of the baby monitor next to my bed went silent. The power had gone out. The temperature in the house seemed to drop instantly (although Ricky assured me it was just in my head). I pictured the boys shivering in their feety pajamas in their bed and by 5am knew that I wanted out of there - fast!

Periodically, Ricky would get out of bed and go outside to attack the ice on our burch trees surrounding our house. We'd had an ice storm before and it left us with several broken burch trunks. This time, some had already cracked, but more scary was that the branches were falling onto our roof and the ones in the landscaping in the front yard drooped so much from the weight of the ice that they had created a blockade over our driveway. We couldn't get out of the driveway!

I quickly packed some bags as Ricky tried to scrape ice and snow away from the garage door. After hearing on our weather radio that we were supposed to get another 1-3 inches of snow, making the roads even more of a mess, I was bound and determined to get out of the increasingly cold house while we had a chance. We got the boys out of bed and bundled them up. By 6am we were on our way. Into a nightmare...

We live on what my mom calls "a mountain". Now everyone knows there are no mountain chains in Southern Indiana, but I guess the settlers got creative and decided to instead just call them "knobs". It may not be a mountain, but Floyds Knobs is definitely not flatlands. We're up there.

There are exactly 4 ways to get down "the hill" to flat ground from our house. Two of them are to the right and two are to the left. We started out going left.

As we crushed through the thick, hard snow in our 4-wheel drive SUV I was already panicking. Then we see a fallen tree across the road. Ricky runs down to see if he can move it out of the way and as he's doing so, a truck approaches from behind. The tree branch was small enough to pull out of the way, but would have to be held as a car passed. So the guy in the truck agreed to stop after Ricky held it to let him pass so that we could get through. When Ricky got back in the car, the truck guy was gone. We were stuck. Apparantly he went down to check things out further down the road, and after finding it unpassable still, he came back to tell us (but we aren't sure if he would have kept going had he been able to)...

Another SUV approached and we all agreed we had to try the other direction. We turned around as more sleet/snow kept falling. The next option wasn't a pretty one. A long, steep, curvy, narrow road heading down the side of the hill. I had to pull my hat down over my eyes. We got about half way down when there was a truck stopped and a guy out cutting trees across the road with a chainsaw. We were lucky to be behind this guy, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten nearly as far as we did, but about 3/4 of the way down a large tree had fallen onto some power lines. Cutting through was not an option.

Luckily we had made it down far enough to be able to turn around in a driveway. I was very close to asking the people in the house if we could crash there (but then felt almost as uncomfortable doing that as I did knowing that we had to head back UP the long, steep, curvy, narrow road). Meanwhile, the kids were being super good hanging out in the backseat.

Back at the top of the hill, we had only one more option for exiting. And lo and behold, a tree on power lines blocked us once again. Defeated, and ready to bundle the kids in umpteen layers, we headed back to bunk up at home. I called a neighbor to see if they had any wood we could borrow for our fireplace and she mentioned her husband had made it to the bottom of the hill. He had cut the tree blocking the road from the first option we tried (we didn't run into Mr. Chainsaw in the truck until the second option). She said the hill he went down was fine but if we wanted down, we needed to go immediately as it was starting to snow and would get very dangerous very quickly.

Back into the car we went. We made it down the hill (but I couldn't tell you what the road looked like as my eyes were shut tight the entire way)! And we headed to a friend's house who still had power. We unloaded and were looking forward to charging our cell-phones, taking a hot shower and being able to eat some warm food. Five minutes later, they lost power too. So it was off to another friend's house nearby. Luckily, they never lost power and they graciously allowed us to stay the night. Thanks Kristin and Chris!

We're back home now. According to our neighbor (who stayed home with a generator), the power came back on in the middle of the night that night.

The ice is still weighing down the trees and although we have about 8 inches of snow, the boys have only been able to see it from inside the warm house. I'm not ready to brave the elements again just yet. I'm mad at old man winter.

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