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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chronicle of the Journey Home for Christmas...

Just decided to journal a little about our 24 hour harrowing trip home...

We began around 11:30 am from Orlando on Friday, December 18. My mother-in-law had told me the night before?? that they were calling for a sounded like it might be "something" and it surely was.

We had the best driving conditions in Florida, but started to hit often heavy rain from Georgia through North Carolina with dropping temperatures. It was around 7pm when we finished our stop for dinner--letting the kids run around (we were caravaning with our friends, the Farr's, and thankfully so...) and then continued on. I kept looking at the temperature as it got dangerously close to freezing (we were still in rain at that point). Jared and I debate about whether the snow started in northern North Carolina or in Southern Virginia, but when it did, it didn't take long for the conditions to deteriorate. We wondered if they OWN a plow in the state of Virginia as nothing was plowed! We began to see cars spun out along the road (hundreds until the journey was done) and our speed quickly went from 75ish;) to 40mph (we were south of Richmond). We were able to travel like this for a while, though we were continually wondering, "should we stop?" Our friend, Jamie, decided the state of Virginia was the last place he wanted to get stranded, and we agreed--so we continued.

The kids had entered their "sleep time". Susie did amazing--sleeping the whole night as we inched along. JJ was awake after a stop at 11pm for a couple of hours (read: "watch dvd's") and "konked" back out, woke up, and konked again until this journey was done.

We travelled along 95 the entire time--never stopping but sometimes inching along at 10-15 mph or less even. Because, as you experienced snow drivers know, you DON'T WANT TO STOP in slippery snow! There were many points where lanes were indistinguishable, several times where we found a tractor trailer and followed it's tracks. Often, every car was spun out that I could see except us and our friends...We pushed through the exhaustion. JARED DROVE THE WHOLE TIME! It was too hard for me to take over when I would be going in "blind" and inexperienced in these conditions...But, I was quite a co-pilot;) I didn't konk out...MAYBE got a minute or two of sleep and rested my eyes. In retrospect, Jared says that the "tense"ness of driving in these conditions kept him awake...and of course, in all of this, it was the Lord's grace.

I did think often, with our two precious lil ones in the car: "if anyone who loves us would see what we were doing (i.e. parents!) they would YELL: 'GET OUT OF THIS AND TO SOMEWHERE SAFE!'"

But, there came a point when we had gotten so far, (like when morning came and we actually had LIGHT!) when the worst SEEMED;) behind us and even if we stopped the kids wouldn't sleep so neither would the adults...that we knew we had to finish what we started...

It is really comical now as we kept thinking we'd get "ahead" of the storm and get to an area where it hadn't snowed. We hit areas of lighter snow, but there WAS snow everywhere once it started and til we were finished we realize we truly drove THROUGH the heart of the storm! Cities like Richmond and DC and Baltimore had record or "historic" snowfalls!

The icing on the cake was when we finally reached my dad and stepmom's street and Jared COULD NOT get up the hill to their house. After all of my Dad said, "Jared had no hills left in him!" So we went back out and tried to go around another way and Jared was talking to my Dad who convinced him to turn back the way we came and turn at the "second light". We tried to find the "second" light passing the one at his street but there was none. Here, he meant the light of the parallel street we pulled into to be the first and the second light was the same one we had come out of with the SAME HILL we couldn't get up the first time. When I told my Dad this, he said, "yes, that's right. Do it again." He was using a bit of hilarious reverse psychology on Jared who was UNDERSTANDABLY beyond "fried" in every way--to help him get past his wall. He told Jared to go faster and DON'T STOP! We did make it up that hill and were finished...AT LAST!!

Honestly, although I'd NEVER want to repeat this trip, the Lord in His goodness showed us so much more of Himself. We knew people were praying for us and I was continually asking the Lord to impress upon people to "keep praying..." When I think about other journeys we might need to take, I know I will go back to this one and how the Lord gave us His strength beyond what we could have imagined to "make it". Truly, we defied human capabilities, I think, or at least our own perceived abilities.

I thought it was so amazing how my dear Mor Mor who has journeyed with the Lord these 96+ years put it. She said, "I guess there came a point where you had decided to go on and you continued in faith trusting that the Lord would protect you as you journeyed on." And isn't this what we are always called to as we "press on toward the upward call..."

Here are some pictures of this snow...

I love this one--Jared was very proud of it too!

How can something so beautiful be so dangerous to drive in?

1 comment:

Shauna and Ben said...

Oh my goodness...what a trip. I felt tense just reading it...I feel like I've been there, driving in bad weather and always wondering if trudging on or stopping would be better. Glad to hear you made it safely and that you had a good time with your family...and that you could finally ENJOY the snow a bit.