Jeff went upstairs for snacks and came back down to report that it was snowing. Really snowing. Really really snowing. Not just the kind of light snow we seem to always get. But actually really snowing.
"Did any of you listen to the weather today?" It sounded more like an accusation instead of a question, but Jordan, Drew and I both admitted we had indeed NOT listened to the weather.
We came upstairs to find ourselves in the midst of a winter weather storm.
Because Jordan's flight was leaving Kansas City at 9am, my wonderful parents volunteered to take drive her the 3 hours to catch her flight. We stayed up and watched the snow fall, fall, fall. I was beginning to worry that she wouldn't make it to KC through the snow.
Finally about 3am, I called my parents to see if they wanted to leave earlier and to notify them that there was already several inches on the ground. It didn't look like it was going to stop. We began to pack in a fury.
Jordan and I stayed up all night to pack her belongings to take back to school. The huge rugs and dirty dishes (well, now clean dishes, but seriously who brings dirty dishes home with them from college with the intention of washing them?) and several other items were set aside to ship to her.
Finally around 4:30am, she walked out the door again and was gone. I felt the all too familiar lump in my throat, but decided to go to bed instead of crying my eyes out. The girls had gotten up at 4am to hug and kiss her goodbye, and Justine had found her way to my side of the bed. I attempted to go to sleep with one leg hanging off the bed. If you've seen that dang Paranormal Activity movie, you will know why this was a bad idea, but I digress. She and I fought over a small blanket, and she won.
A few hours later, we awoke to this beautiful sight. The snow was still falling in these huge flakes. Knowing how hard it would be to let Jordan go again, we had made plans to go out of town for a few days. With a couple of hours of sleep behind me, a car full of suitcases and kids, we left town at a turtle pace.
I-44 was a disaster. There were cars and wrecks everywhere. We counted 25 from here to Oklahoma. We went 35 mph for several miles. A 2.5 hour trip turned into about a 4 hour trip.
We eventually made our way to a lake house at Grand Lake, Oklahoma. The roads near the lake had not been salted, scraped or even drove on. With our eyes and ears on "Daphne," our GPS and designated member of the family, we wound our way around the unmarked, unpaved, unscraped roads.
Daphne was really having a hard time. I took her advice and turned right.
The tree branches were hanging over the entrance to the "road." The snow had never been traveled on. The road hugged a treeline with a 50 foot drop off on the other side.
"I don't think this is even a road."
But it was too late. Perhaps if Jeff hadn't said it, I would have turned around. But I didn't. Then I realized he was right. Then it was too late. There was no way to back up.
It wasn't a road.
It was a double black diamond ski slope. Well, it felt like it. We went straight down. And I mean straight down this "road." The kids began to whimper in the back seat. I hugged the treeline for fear of sliding off the drop off on the other side. I pumped the brakes and held on for dear life to the steering wheel. If it hadn't been for the fact that no other idiot had driven this way, we probably wouldn't have made it, but the snow crunched under the tires giving us something to grip to, and we somehow made it to the bottom of the hill unscathed.
We quickly made our way to the lake house only to discover that the driveway was as steep as our double black diamond had been. The only problem? It was straight uphill. After multiple attempts to get up the drive, we gave up and parked in front of the house. Sounds fine right? Yeah, except that meant we had to carry our luggage, our food, our everything up that hill. This process resulted in at least 10 trips up that hill. I only fell once and Jeff said it looked like a professional wrestling move. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not, but I do know that my feet went way over my head, which is never a good thing for me.
But once we got inside and settled, it was so worth it. What a beautiful, magical few days we had here. We did a lot of nothing. A lot of ping pong and Wii championships. A lot of eating. And a lot of movie watching.
We even went sledding. (Thanks to mom, who threw the sled in last minute despite much verbal ridicule from others.)
I really wanted to slide down that driveway... but directly across the street was the frozen edges of the lake, and I thought I had already put our lives in danger once so we didn't try it.