Wednesday night I was concerned. We were we pretty unprepared for a big storm that had just blown in, and our power had been flirting with the possibility of going out. It would go out, and then 30 seconds later it would flit back on again, causing us to hurry up and load the dishes into the dishwasher, and to quickly find flashlights in the various flashlight hide-outs of our home. However my main reason for concern was that T was still on his way home from work and the storm was looking bad. He had called to say that his drive was going about as slow as possible. He was literally inching his way home. Little Girl did a cute impression of how fast his car was moving by placing a flattened hand on the table and telling us "this is Daddy's car" and then moving her hand at it's slowest possible pace. I figured it would take him an extra hour or so to get home. I figured wrong, and the longer it took him the more on edge I became. I think I have a pretty unhealthy fear of losing a loved one since my mother passed away when I was 20. I often dream of being widowed, then I wake up with such relief that I can't really describe it. It's only second or third to the other nightmares I have of being an old maid or being cheated on by my husband. I think I need therapy. But I digress...
Finally our power did go out forcing us to bed. I had my fire-starter middle son start us a fire downstairs for some warmth. We looked outside at our small wood pile and hoped we could make it last as long as it was needed. Unfortunately T and I were not successful in replenishing that pile. Just two days before, we had tried a few places without luck. We saw huge wood piles just sitting there with signs saying "For Sale" but no one around to buy it from. Weird. If we weren't honest people we could have just helped ourselves. Without power our home gets cold pretty fast and so some of us slept downstairs in front of the fire. I let the two girls sleep in my bed with me and they thought it was a great-girly-sleepover-party. I tried to act happy but by now I was feeling the stress. Last year we lost power for a day and were snowed in for a week with back to back storms breaking all kinds of snowfall records. The memory of last year is still a bit too fresh I'm afraid.
After everyone was asleep I drifted off for a bit then woke up worried. Still no T. I texted my husband and asked if he was OK. He replied that he was. I asked how his gas tank was holding out. It was now about 9:30 pm. He had been on the road since 4:00. He didn't reply. I tried to convince myself that it was because he was driving faster and so he couldn't text. But soon my overactive imagination crept in and told me it was because he was stuck or hurt or kidnapped, who can guess?! My rational side calmed me down and I waited. I waited and waited and waited. I started to hear trees cracking under the pressure of the storm and ice tumbling down my rain gutters (or so I imagined). Then I heard a new sound. The sound of a car stuck in the snow trying to get up the hill, tires spinning. I thought to myself "poor sap." It also occurred to me that this was the first car I had heard outside for some time. No plow sounds either. 'No one was getting in this neighborhood tonight' I thought. I worried more. It sounded like the sap was giving up hope of getting unstuck. His car stopped. Then about 10 minutes later I heard a loud and alarming bang bang bang on the door. I jolted upright and dropped my cell phone I'd been clutching behind the mattress at the top of my bed. Shoot! I'd have to fish that out later. I fumbled for my flashlight and my robe. I ran to the door thinking it might be a stranger who needed to borrow a shovel and I was trying to decide weather to err on the side of caution or humanity. There is no need to tell you how super relieved I was to see that the poor sap at the door was, in fact, my husband! He was the driver of the poor stuck car!!! Happy day! And just as I was letting my stress bubble pop he said something to me that, at the time, seemed like such a strange thing. He said "what a blessing!" Not the first thing you'd think to hear after the man spent 6 hrs on the road without dinner. I acted confused and he explained how lucky he felt to have gotten stuck just outside our home. How fortunate it was that at the last minute he decided that a quarter tank of gas might not be enough, so he filled up the tank. I guess he'd had a few close calls on his journey, almost getting stuck. Cars were being abandoned right and left. He had thought about walking the last 8 miles home but he was wearing ankle socks and sneakers. So, then I understood how "blessed" we were. He woke up a willing helper (middle boy) who loves to shovel and the two of them spent the next hour not only shoveling his car out but our entire driveway as well. We ended up letting a couple neighbors park their cars in our drive overnight.
As I watched them shoveling from my front window, (too wound up to go back to sleep yet) I noticed an exodus of walkers coming down the streets without their cars and felt we really did have cause to be grateful. I am not sure how I would have handled it if T hadn't made it home. I had been sick for the past few days with a painful sinus infection. The kids had been home due to school closures, etc and I have been a bit of a mess emotionally. So I am so thankful for this bright spot this week. Maybe now the normal 45 minute commute won't feel quite so bad for either of us.