As promised, this morning was the coldest so far, and it was -19.8 when I woke up. Now, it's up to a balmy:
Yesterday morning, Bundle of Joy's daddy called me to ask if there was any chance I could watch her last night while he went to a 1x/year volunteer firefighter class. So, we conducted the hand-off in the parking lot of work around 5:45. After stopping to pick up the dogs, we were on our way (to her) home. The weather was horrible, though . . . and bizarre! With it being so cold, the temps never having climbed out of the single digits above zero during the height of the day, it shouldn't have snowed . . . but it did. There was about 3" on the highway at that point, and it was coming down HARD! The plows hadn't been out yet, and the friction from the tires of the day's travelers & commuters had packed the falling snow into snow-covered glaze ice on the blacktop. To cap it off, the wind was howling like a banshee - swirling this way and that with winter's version of massive dust-devils everywhere. Bottom line, visibility was less than zero and the conditions nothing short of terrible.
I called the house where Bundle of Joy's mama is convalescing following last Friday's surgery and left a message on the answering machine that we wouldn't be stopping for a quick hello on the way home. A few minutes later, when I was about 5 miles out of town, they called back to say that she was feeling pretty miserable and that they'd contacted the (already closed) pharmacy to see if they could get her any meds. The pharmacist (who offers 24/7 emergency assistance) was waiting for me: would I turn around and head back into town to pick them up? I didn't tell them how bad the conditions were: living twice as far out of town as they do, I know what it's like to be miserable and awaiting the possibility of relief via meds . . . if I could only get my hands on some! So, we turned around and made our 35 mph way back the way we'd come.
The pharmacist was terrific and, new to the community, stepped right up to the "small town" ethic and had the requested meds ready plus an additional one he had in stock that he thought might help AND had put in an emergency request for another that would arrive in just over 12 hours. To top it off, when we pulled into the parking lot and I reached into my purse to grab just my checkbook to take in . . . I realized it was in the bottom of the bag of groceries I'd purchased the night before: on the kitchen counter at HOME! I decided I'd call (Bundle of Joy's mama's caretakers) from the pharmacy for a credit card number. When I asked to borrow the phone, explaining my predicament, the pharmacist said, "Oh, don't worry about that. I'll give you a receipt including the meds that will be in tomorrow morning, and they can just stop and pay it the next time they're in town." Sah-weet!!!
So, after that stop which included begging the use of the (private) potty for 2-year old Bundle of Joy*, we set back out onto the roads for the 19-mile drive.
* Halfway back into town, Bundle of Joy, holding her stuffed puppy, said, "Puppy has to go potty." I asked, "Does Puppy have to go or do you?" She replied, "Puppy does." Okay, I thought, no worries in the middle of this storm! Then, a couple of miles later, "Bopee? I have to go potty!"
About 8 miles out of town, we hit HORRENDOUS conditions! The snow was even deeper (and the plows STILL not out), and the commuters plus several semis were crawling along. As I said, I was going about 35 mph and, at that point, caught up with a line of traffic going between 12 and 17 mph. The lead vehicle was driven by someone who was either drunk or from Florida (and had never driven in these conditions before) or who just COULDN'T see. The truck would go from our side of the road to the other to the middle and back again. I knew an accident was imminent and even reached for my cellphone to call the cops to have them get him off the road (or, at least, get the plows out!), but I didn't have reception. Soon after that, an ambulance, lights flashing, came
Still, it was 8:00 before we got to Bundle of Joy's house - 2+ hours after the hand-off when Bundle of Joy's papa admitted that he hadn't had a chance to feed the little one yet! The nice pharmacist had asked, when we were there, if she could have some M&Ms and kindly added a (free) little bag of them to our purchases. But, mean ol' Bopee only let her have two helpings of 3 each on the drive home, knowing she hadn't had any dinner yet AND hadn't eaten very much at lunch. FORTUNATELY, I also had a bag of organic, high-nutrition nuts in the car, so she munched on those to tide her over until we FINALLY got home.
It was just before 10:00 when the daddy got home and I was able to head out to Swamp River Ridge. The drifting had already gotten a hold on the highway although the plows HAD come by, so we were all eager to see me arrive safe and sound at home! With a promise to call as soon as I made the normally-half-an-hour-drive, I set out. And, thankfully, the winds decreased the further away from the lake I drove. I'm amazed there weren't any trees down, though, the way the wind was whipping! My winter driveway wasn't NEARLY as bad as I'd expected, and I got home in about 45 minutes in the now-sub-zero weather (and that's, of course, without the windchill!). The relieved daddy said, when I called him, "Oh, good! I think I'll have that cocktail now!" :)
Looking out at the bright-blue day today, you'd never guess that it was as nasty as it had been . . . fewer than 12 hours ago!
And, with that, I'll get on with it! There's laundry to be done, the thermostats to turn up, and vacuuming awaiting my attention!