Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The adventure of January 28th

January 28th started out just like any other morning.  Logan hopped in the car of our carpool friends and he was off to school for the day.  I dropped Owen off at school and then took Nathan to ACT Clinic.  Nathan was observed by a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist and a few other people for about an hour working on and accessing different communication devices.  We have decided to go the augmentative communication devise route with him too in addition to continuing to work on his speech.  He did so well in the clinic!  We were so amazed at all his knows and could clearly communicate with us on the devise.  It was truly amazing.  I am so excited that he will be getting this and I think it is going to open his world in terms of communication.

While we were sitting in the clinic one of the ladies opened the blinds of the room to show us it was snowing.  While yes, a big deal for Alabama there had been no forecast for snow in our area so we all thought it was cute....knowing it would not last more than a few minutes.  Thursday was above 50 degrees so I assumed the ground would not be cold enough for anything to stick.

Nathan and I left the appointment and headed back to his school to drop him off so he could finish the rest of the day.  I noticed the snow started sticking and I was wondering if I should just get Owen and take them home.  I arrived at the school at 10:28 and immediately I received a phone call and e-mail that the school was closing.  They brought Owen to the car and we were on our way home.  I texted our afternoon carpool friend to see if she was still planning to get Logan if school closed early. She was, so I continued in the direction of our house.  My 2 1/2 mile trip took about 40 minutes.  The roads were already bad.  There were some areas of medium hills that cars were moving so slowly over.  I was dreading the HUGE hill to get into our neighborhood.  I had no choice but to get home.  There is no way I could get Nathan and Owen home if we had to walk.  I had 1 of their handicap strollers with me.  It is really heavy..and only one would fit in.  I would have to carry the other one and up a very steep, slippery hill I just did not see this as an option. I made it up the hill after several minutes...which is truly a miracle from God.  Once I got to our stop light my car refused to go any further.  I then decided to turn and go into our neighborhood from the oncoming traffics right turn lane (no one was coming at the time).  The van started sliding sideways down the hill.  After several attempts (and being nervous I was going to hit the car that had already been abandoned there) I made it!  Once I turned in to the neighborhood the street is pretty flat.  I even attempted our driveway...and made it though half way in I thought I was going to hit the wall...but did not.

Logan's school called and let everyone know they were planning to dismiss at noon.  They also said not to worry if you could not get there because they would keep staff there until into the evening.  At 10:45 the father of our afternoon carpool, Paul, got in his big 4 wheel drive truck and headed to get Logan and his daughter.  I figured he had a much better chance of making it there than I did.  Preston was not an option either because by this time (10:45) they had closed the road in front of Samford.  I was in contact with our afternoon carpool mom, Andrea all the time.  Paul finally made it to Logan's school about 2:30.  They then started the adventure home. 

The interstates closed, roads all over town closed, 4,000 people abandoned their cars because they literally could not go anywhere.  It was absolutely insane.  Preston planned to spend the night at Samford.  We later decided it would be good for him to walk home because he may need to walk and get Logan from wherever Paul made it.  Samford is only about 4 miles, but it was cold...being in the teens.  Preston made it home about 5:45...still no Logan...but in contact with Andrea. 
(Photos from Preston's walk home)

Paul did an incredible job and Logan made it home about 8:30.  Paul literally went way out of the way, avoiding Shades Mountain, the interstate, etc. and got him home safely!  Preston walked down to the BP at the bottom of the hill about 1 mile away to get Logan from Paul.

My Mom was a part of all this craziness too.  She left her office downtown at 11:00.  We are about 6 miles south of her office.  She ended up at the BP the same time as Logan and Preston and walked home with them, arriving at 8:30.  It took her 9 1/2 hours to get here and there is no way she would have made it to her house.  

We have so many friends that have their kids still at school, spent the night in their cars, walked miles and miles to get their kids or get home.  It was absolutely insane.  The ice was crazy and this was not forecasted...which is why we were not ready.  The weather has never been this bad in Alabama and Preston says the last time he remembers anything like this was 1982.  We are all at home chance of going anywhere.  We are excited to have Oma here with us today.  The weather is not getting above it will probably be Friday before the kids have school.

The nice thing is all the snow is still on the ground so we will be able to have some fun out there today!

Just a few random pictures from around Birmingham for out of state friends and family.

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