Friday, March 2, 2012

Leap Day Blizzard 2012

This winter has been more of a non-winter. We've had several storms that have come through as rain or simply passed us by. The couple of times we've had snow it melted within a few short hours. So when this series of storms was forecast, I'm not sure we believed the weather man. The winds began to blow like crazy from the south, and a huge mass of clouds rolled underneath the existing storm from the north.

A week earlier I had called and schedule our tax appointment for this day. We drive all the way to Grantsville to do our taxes. Yes, that's an hour drive each way. Our tax lady is amazing and she gets us good returns every year. It is well worth my sanity to pay her to do our taxes. As we left the house it began to snow, just little flurries. But the farther north we went, the snow storm got worse and worse. I'm sure lake effect didn't help anything. Magna was pretty yucky and of course the plows weren't out yet. At one point, I had to take the "suicide lane" in the middle of the road to keep from hitting the guy in front of me. Reaching the point of the mountain by the great Salt Lake proved to be harry as well, the I-80 was practically a parking lot. We called our tax lady to warn her we might be a little late. She was willing to reschedule and have us turn around and go home, but we were very determined to get our taxes done.

After scary roads and crazy traffic, we arrived on time! We finished our taxes in less than an hour, record time, I think, and headed to Tooele to have dinner at our favorite Tooele restaurant, then pick up our oranges from a friend whose kids were doing a fundraiser. With the blizzard still raging, we ascended into Tooele. We reached a point in the elevation change that changed the roads from driveable to, maybe we shouldn't be here. With a continued prayer in my heart we slowly made it to the restaurant where we ate a scrumptious meal at Hunan Village.

Matt and I both left the house in our Vibrams, so when we get out of the van to go eat and then left the restaurant to get back into the van, our feet got soaked. When we arrived at the home where we needed to pick up the oranges, I called my friend and asked her if she could send someone out with the oranges so I didn't have to get my feet wet again. After all, that's what teenagers are for, right? Tall teenage boy comes outside with no shoes and no coat, tromping through several inches of snow to deliver a huge case of oranges! Okay, he did have flip flops on, but a lot of good those did him!

I texted Sara to let her know we were in a blizzard and to pray for us and go ahead and put the kids to bed. I figured since we took the time to eat the plows should have had time to get through the major roads and Matt's suggestion was to take freeways all the way home. Of course it was several miles before we hit the freeway. One of my headlights was out and the snow was turning to ice on the car. Eventually the build up of ice on the wipers was enough that I couldn't see well, so we stopped at the truck stop to clear the car. After smacking the ice off the wipers, we discovered half an inch of ice built up on the headlights. Have you ever scraped your headlights before? It's kinda funny! Once we reached the freeway, the roads were much safer to drive on and we were able to make progress in our journey; although it was still slower than usual. I-80 to beltway 215 to I-15, which is the long way home. Better safe than sorry! When we reached our exit, the roads were yucky again, but nowhere near as bad as the Tooele roads.

We got home at about 9:30 pm. Prayers had been said and little boys were in bed, but when they heard us come in they came running up the stairs to give us big hugs. Elijah, 9, said, "Mom, we made plans in case you both died. Sara helped us." I couldn't help but laugh. It was a distinct possibility we could get stuck somewhere, but I had not felt that my life was on the line. Anyway, the kids gave us huge hugs. Zack's hug was much tighter than usual which is a reminder that he loves me! All of my kids love me!

It is now March 1st and we finally have snow on the ground. So crazy! Next week we'll reach a high of 55 and it'll feel like spring. I'm thinking mother nature is a little pschizophrenic. Oh well. My boys finally get to use the cool new sledding hill at the park before spring settles in.

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