January 22, 2012

What a week!

Ice at daybreak...

Well, I thought I'd give an update...what an amazing week!  Let's see if I can remember everything, or at least most of it...

It started to get dicey weather-wise last Shabbat - snow, snow, snow. Netanya bugged out of homeshul early to avoid the forecasted icy roads. And, yep...they got icy, alright!

the snowy view at Beit Henderson

Sunday, we were all watching the weather turn uglier and uglier.

Monday was our scheduled day to take Rosa to Monroe for a family visit. Monroe is a good hour and fifteen minutes away from us, not factoring in traffic...or the weather. We, (Lisa, Netanya and I) managed to get her up there and dropped off, despite snow coming down, especially in Monroe. On our return trip, we had the pleasure of stopping at that really cool antique store to poke around and take pictures. When we stepped out of the store, the snow had really started to come down. We beat it home.


Tuesday morning saw me walking around my yard capturing the melting snow, but that sure didn't last. The news was predicting some nasty, nasty weather headed our way, and by the end of Tuesday, I asked Lisa to come out and stay in Puyallup. I sure didn't want her to get stuck out in Tahuya when we needed to still go retrieve Rosa! So, out she came.

We awoke Wednesday morning to a blanket of white - a thick blanket. Probably 5-6", at least. Beautiful and very, very cold. Sigh...the forecasters were saying it was going to get worse as the day progressed; but there was a bright spot...it was supposed to warm up on Thursday with a rain front moving in to push out the cold weather system dropping all the snow. So, when I couldn't get Speeder out of the driveway for our scheduled pick up of Rosa, all we could do was wait for her to contact us. She most certainly did when her ride wasn't waiting for her at the prison, that's for sure. After some logistics, the prison graciously allowed her another day with her husband in the visitor's quarters. What a blessing! So, all of Wednesday, Lisa and I enjoyed a lazy day in front of the fireplace with hot drinks, our laptops and great conversation.

Speeder stuck!

Thursday brought rain alright...freezing rain! It was incredibly beautiful but oh-so dangerous. The freezing rain had coated absolutely everything in a half inch casing of clear, sparkling ice. Everything. I've never seen such a thing...




The roads were as slick as an ice skating rink. But, since the freezing rain was supposed to turn to warm rain in the afternoon, we prepared ourselves with extra blankets, first aid kit, snacks and set out to pick up Rosa. Thankfully, we were able to pick up Barb along the way and off we went on a grand adventure.

look closely...that's ice!



The way up was a test in driving prowess; plowing through ice-encrusted snow, driving in rutted tire tracks on snowy, slick roads, avoiding downed power lines due to the ice damage (so many tree branches broken and down due to the weight of the ice), and ever-seeking the safest, flattest and most traveled lanes. And all this was the easy part! We did manage to find an open Starbucks, though...hurray!

outside the Starbuck's

When we arrived in Monroe, it was quite a bit snowier than when we dropped Rosa off, that's for sure. And, it had taken us twice as long to get there as normal - 3 hours in the snowy conditions left my nerves a bit jangled, for sure. We arrived at 4pm, but Rosa wasn't 'processed out' for another hour and a half. By the time we got her in the vehicle (which was an adventure of parking here to wait, then going to a different place to wait at the prison's direction, getting stuck on a snow-covered hill, and trying not to get stuck tight in the deep snow), it was dark. Oh goody. We were facing a icy, snowy trek back involving not only snow covered freeways, icy overpasses and insistent, cocky truckers, but backroads and sidestreets that were so covered with snow that I couldn't see where the road ended and ditch began. And so, with Rosa safely in Speeder, we started for home.

We chose I-5, since it was the most traveled. We got onto the freeway well enough, but as we headed south, things quickly went 'south'. Once we hit Shoreline just north of Seattle, it was most definitely a test of my icy driving skill, as we fishtailed all the way from north of Seattle to just north of Fife. I cannot even express the intense-ness of the situation - it was down-right dangerous. There were spin-outs every so often, and the truckers...oh, the truckers! They are so cock-sure that it makes driving with them on the road quite intense. They are so heavy that they can go faster on the ice, but that sure makes for a hazardous time for the rest of us little folk. You couldn't see any lanes, so everyone was staggered, speeds varying from 20 to 45 in some spots - gosh, that was harrowing. I was trying to stay on the snowy parts of the freeway as to avoid the ruts that were pure ice. Like I said, there aren't words to express the white-knuckle experience that was our drive home.

Once we cleared Federal Way and headed towards Fife, the snowy roads started to turn to slush, for the most part anyway. A much needed pit stop in Fife gave us some relief with food, hot coffee and a chance to get out and shake off some stress, then it was back on the road for more winter driving fun.

Good friends were waiting in Tacoma at Rosa's vehicle - which was such a blessing! They were going to make sure she got the rest of the way home safely, so she didn't have to drive in the icy-snow. We dropped her off and made for Puyallup...more fun awaited. Back to the icy streets, deep icy snow, broken branches and power line-issues. But, oh, there's more...we had lost power in the midst of the day. The kids were home with no power, and driving Barb home through neighborhood after neighborhood with no power is eery-creepy. No street lights, no house lights, just darkness...and dangerous-icy roads. We delivered Barb to her 45 degree house and we picked our way back to South Hill, where there was more snow awaiting us. Amazingly, we made it up the hill to the neighborhood, but gosh, the driveway was like pushing through clay. Frozen, dark and forbidding.

We made it. Finally.

Into the dark house, we set up the homeshul for no power - collect all the candles, matches, flashlights. Keep the fire stoked and get the food organized. Lisa stayed the night, obviously, and we camped out Thursday night, everyone trying to stay warm.

ice coated everything

these icicles look like tzitzit!
Still no power on Friday. After making the first foray to the grocery store (first two without power, finally got to Fred's that was operating on axillary power), Lisa needed to get home. Her car had to be de-iced (it was encased), then pulled out of the driveway, first with the quad (no luck), then with the neighbor's tractor. She carefully made her way home to Tahuya. Alex accompanied her, as they were going to get more wood (filled up her trunk), and pick up Jacob (who was home alone, but with power). Meanwhile, Morgan, Taylor and myself tried to go pick up a few more items needed for Shabbat.

Lisa's car encased in ice!
Netanya and Jim were absolutely stuck in their apartment in Lakewood with no power, so Jim was kind enough to bring her out in the wonder-van and drop her off for a hot shower (gas water heaters rock!) and company, as he booked it to his brother's powered apartment. Netanya, Morgan, Taylor and I cleaned up the homeshul and anticipated the return of Lisa, Alex and Jacob.

Unfortunately, the ice had closed the Narrows Bridge shortly after Lisa and Alex got across on their way towards Lisa's home. Not ice on the roadway, but falling ice from the overhead cables! So, they ended up adding 90 miles to their journey back to Puyallup having to backtrack and go south around Puget Sound and then back up through Olympia. Sheesh! They finally made it, unloaded the wood and we were all set for erev Shabbat. Even Barb made her way back to the homeshul for some fellowship after dinner.


Shabbat found us all scrambling to get things ready for a day of rest with no power. We had just gotten all situated when suddenly...power! It came back on...everything came back on! You should have heard the whoops and hollers coming from the electronic starved group that had gathered. We were thrilled, to say the least. Quick, get everything on a charger before we lose power again!!

But, we didn't lose power again. Shabbat was incredible, with much thankfulness for all that had taken place. We are still catching up with laundry, etc. after being with no power and lots of snowy clothes piling up. And what of my husband during this whole ordeal? Bless his heart, he was working his tail off - long hours, commuting in the treacherous conditions (one day it took him four hours to get home), and sleeping in a frigid house with no power.

Well, all's well that ends well, I always say. More experience for me driving in winter conditions. More things to be thankful for, most definitely. We managed to facilitate Rosa having her quarterly visit with her beloved hubby and the fellowship on Shabbat was some of the sweetest I've tasted.

Yes, thank the LORD...for us, things ended well.

6 comments:

Netanya said...

It was an adventure for sure! So glad I got to share it with you!

Mama Cache said...

My comment might more appropriately go on your Grateful Friday post.

Can't express how grateful I am that you all came through this week safely. There were obviously countless opportunities for . . . well, I'm just not going there. I'm thankful. Period.

Mama Cache said...

Mercy, and more mercy -- I am so thankful that you all are safe.

Ari C'rona said...

Yeah, what a week - so many things for which I'm grateful! Now, I'm home with several inches of really sloppy snow with a nice thick layer of slush on top of it. What fun... well, not really.

Kaaren said...

Wow! Great that all is well!

Hendel D'bu said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for the suggested edit. You are absolutely right - I realized my error and I made the change immediately.

It should be noted that the definition of the word in question is "relating to the marriage relationship or marital loyalty", however, I understand that the connotation could be misunderstood.

Thank you for reading. ~hendel