Christmas 2009, part two

     When last we met, J and I were attempting to get our car up our driveway-and I do mean up.  It’s not a steep hill, but certainly doesn’t help when you are fighting just to move an inch!  We called our landlord to see what he could offer.  My mom had checked with the airlines to see what our options were if we couldn’t make it.  Basically, they would reschedule, for a somewhat reasonable fee, for up to three days.  Of course, there were no available flights within that time period.  To be able to change the flights to another time would have been far too much money.  So it was go today, or not at all.  With not at all meaning throwing a good deal of money down the toilet.  We had to try to drive it. 
     Our landlord arrived in his truck around 9:30am.  There was still a layer of cloud cover over the sun, so there was no melting happening yet.  Jack hooked a chain from his truck to the back of our SUV and pretty much yanked the car up the drive.  It was hideous and not something J or I would ever like to do again.  Nevertheless, the car was up the hill.  Our street was nearly as bad as the driveway, except flat.  Big tractors had been through leaving sizable ruts in the snow and ice.  
     Suddenly, the clouds broke, the sun shone, and the tiniest amount of ice began thawing.   We loaded everything in the car as quickly as we could, tossing the shovel in the back end, just in case.  We strapped the kids into their seats and made them promise not to freak out.  We were going to try our best to get out of the neighborhood, but  we could guarantee anything.  Jack followed along behind us, just in case.  In fact, he gave us a couple of pushes to get us going and I prayed we could just keep the momentum up.
     J’s car was still stuck out on the road.  We gave the key to Jack and asked him to just drive it home when things thawed enough.  We really didn’t have any other option at that point.  Slowly but surely we made it down the road.  There were a couple of times we had to stop-for plows and oncoming traffic-but somehow we were able to start back up.  It was nothing short of a miracle.   Down hill, up hill, all of it without a single skid.  The kids were quiet as could be, but no one freaked out.  We waved goodbye to Jack once we hit the main road.  It wasn’t great, but it was in far better condition that our neighborhood streets.  We filled up the car and even managed to get out of the icy gas station.  The interstate was generally better, though there were still some large icy patches, especially on the interchanges between highways.  Sudden swaths of ice on major highways?  Not fun.  Still, we trudged along with no trouble.  
     We finally arrived at Dulles, parked in the economy lot, and made our way to the airplane.  We were riding a bus thing that goes out on the tarmac to get to our terminal when Jack called to say he had our car out.  Turns out the tow truck guy passed by him while he was working on it.  Jack got the guy to drop of the car he was towing and come back for J’s.  As Jack tells the story, he flagged him down and told him it was a doctor’s car and he needed to get it out that day.  Not a complete lie, I suppose.  🙂  Funny thing is, neither J nor I would ever throw the doctor card like that.  The plows were clearing more and more of the road, so Jack knew it wouldn’t be protected by the snow bank anymore.  It was quite likely that it would have gotten hit.  Knowing that his car was safe at home helped J relax and enjoy the trip.  To say that he was stressed about it is quite an understatement!  
     We loved our time in TX with my family.  We celebrated Little Bear’s birthday on Tuesday with my family with a trip to a cool train exhibit at a mall in Dallas followed by lunch, cake, and presents at my sister’s house.  All the kids (except Little Lamb) had a sleepover at my brother’s house that night. On Wednesday, we spent the morning shopping with my mom, my sister and her kids.  J stayed back at my parents’ so he could finish on a project for work.  That evening, J and I headed out to do a little shopping by ourselves, for ourselves.  We even had dinner out.  J proposed to me on the night before Christmas Eve, so I really like it when we can get out for a date on that night.  
     I’m afraid I’m going to have to finish the rest of this tale another night.  School is back in session tomorrow (BOO!!!) and I know it’s going to be tough to get up and moving.

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