Usually Idg gets to watch from the sidelines and make amusing comments about events taking place away from her own self. Well not this time people! I was smack dab in the middle of the mess, but as usual, I tried desperately to see the bright side of things......like the freedom to eat as many Slim Jim's as I wanted.
It started out as a normal day, heading out to earn a paycheck, getting kids off to school, planning what to eat for lunch by 7:25 in the morning. (Priorities people!) By 11:00 my life was in chaos. Kids were bolting from schools...when the buses could get to them, people were fleeing from work by the bazillions to make it home for the kids shortly to be deposited at home. By 12:00 I was started to suspect my day was seriously &$^!
The kids were trapped on the school bus, surrounded by accidents, my older son was still at school because the buses couldn't get to that particular school. I had not moved more than 3 miles from my work since I left it.
4 hours later the trapped kids finally made it home, starving and desperate to pee. The older son heard that lunch would be reconstituted for dinner at school and they'd all get to watch Gone With the Wind later as they slept in the gym. He made the reasonable decision to depart school out a side door with 16 of his friends, hike through 2 - 1/2 miles of woods to a friends house.... without mentioning this plan ahead of time to his parents - or the parents at whose house they all arrived at, and I found myself checking into the last hotel room available in the area (thanks to my awesome hubby) and walking to the gas station to find food.
I had not moved more than the 3 to 4 mile mark from my office since 11:00 a.m. and I was fried. But I was safe, I had a place to stay, I could get food............ I was so much luckier than many, many people out there. I did offer to share my room with a few people that looked safe or I casually knew, but between stranger danger and determinations to get to where they were going, I continued to have the room alone.
I had visions of heading to the restaurants across the street from the hotel for a fine, overpriced, overly fatty dinner taken back hot and fresh to my hotel room. Instead I found closed doors and darkened windows. Even McD's was closed. I suppose I assumed that they were all sitting around saying, "I hear Idgie's in the area, let's wait so we can feed her up.' Silly me. :)
So there I was at the gas station. They had a fine selection of plastic mini wines, Slim Jims, granola
Tuesday night was spent watching the drama on the news, talking to my husband, chewing on junk food, and tippling nicely on the tiny wines. (We will not say how many tiny wines I had.) I was also having a group text with all of my co-workers trying to still make it home. The last texts came in at 1.30 a.m. when the last two either made it home or decided to bunk at a gas station.
Wednesday morning I stared desolately out the window watching cars and trucks go sliding by my window, close to clipping my car. I was doomed to not move. The Holler was a sheet of solid ice. I found a group of ladies in the lobby of the hotel chatting with the exhausted hotel clerk who had slept at the front desk that night and we decided to haul it over to the gas station again. On the ice. I desperately wanted coffee and of course a high protein breakfast of more Slim Jims and Beanie Weenies.
Well, that was an adventure of it's own. I can only trust that no awkward camera phone pictures of me make it to someone's Facebook.
I heavily stocked this time as I wasn't sure what the day would bring. I bought another night at the hotel, just in case. The family was all accounted for and we were safe, so my job was to sit and continue to be safe.
Finally, at 3:00 the news announced that the roads were warmer than freezing - but to stay off of them. Of course I promptly ignored them, packed my foraged food and wine and headed out. I told the hotel I might be back, I wasn't checking out. By some miracle, and a drive time of 5 mph I actually made it the 13 miles back to my house by 4.30 Wednesday afternoon. It got a little hairy at times, but never life threatening. Of course, so many people were still stuck somewhere else, so my roads were now clear. The amount of cars off to the side, kissing each other, was frightening.
But I made it home, held on to the wine, dispersed the foraged meal items to the overly excited kiddos and headed for the shower and clean clothes.
I was very, very lucky during this Georgia event. I was safe, warm, fed and my family was all accounted for. I do NOT take this lightly.
*Full Credit to Raymond Atkins for the Title of this post.