Our Christmas season began with a beautiful snowfall on Friday, Dec. 18th. It was the kind I love to watch...large, fluffy flakes. My house was fairly quiet as 3 were napping and 2 others were with friends; so I pulled my rocker up to the window, opened a Christmas novel and enjoyed watching our lawn turn white.
Brian had planned to leave work early that day. When he left work at 2:30 it had just begun to snow. He ran a few errands and picked up the girls at 3:30. He went by the grocery store to pick up a few items and then headed home. When he was about 2 miles from home traffic stopped moving. Evidently vehicles ahead of him were unable to climb the small hills. He called to tell me he was stuck and not sure what to do. He eventually gave up on that route and turned around to try getting home a different way.
An hour later I called to check on his progress. He told me he had given up on route A and was having no better luck with route B. Again cars were unable to navigate the a hill and no traffic was moving. He parked in a nearby parking lot. He felt his only choice was to walk the 2 miles home. My heart sank. Neither Kathryn nor Ashley were dressed for that type of weather. Neither of them had hats, gloves or heavy coats.
I hung up and prayed for God to get them home safely. I tried calling Brian again to tell him just to drive back in to town and stay with friends. He told me they were on their way home. As soon as he got the girls out of the Suburban to begin walking, a gentleman drove up and offered them a ride. He was a native of the area and knew of a 3rd way to get them home. I am SO thankful for God's answer to my prayer.
Once Brian and the girls were safely home, we settled in to enjoy our snowy week-end. Our power blinked several times, but each time it came back on. Around 10:00 it went out for good. We went to bed hoping it would be back on in the morning.
We awoke on Sat. to a cold and dark house. We don't have an alternate heat source, so we put on lots of clothes. We couldn't let the kids play in the snow ,because we had no way to warm them up when they came inside. The "fun" of being Laura Ingles Wilder was quickly dissipating (at least for the grown ups). We spent the day snuggled under blankets, reading books and playing games. At one point I decided to clean the kitchen as there wasn't much else to do and working made me warmer. After a cold breakfast and lunch, Brian knocked the snow off the grill to cook dinner. Having warm food again was wonderful. Finally around 8 p.m. our electricity was restored.
The temperature in our house had remained in the 50's while the power was out. Once it was back on the heat pump began getting things back to normal. I awoke at 4 a.m. however to find Brian getting dressed. He said the heat pump wasn't working and he was going to check the unit. He couldn't find a problem with the external unit. A call to our former neighbor and heat/air guy gave Brian some more things to check. Problem was our friend was out of town. It would be 2 more days before our heat was back on and we could all finally thaw out.
All of this sounds bad, but we were some of the lucky ones. We had friends who didn't have electricity for 4 days. Others in neighboring areas were without for almost 2 weeks! This wasn't exactly the way we wanted our Christmas break to start, but we are thankful for God's provision.