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O’er the fields we go!

December 28th, 2012 · No Comments

I had been watching the weather bulletins and radar for ten days before our family trip to Ohio for Christmas. National Weather Service declared a winter storm warning for the Thursday and Friday before Christmas; supposed to run right through the corridor that we travel. The snow stayed in Colorado and Arizona. No storm. We arrived in Ohio after an uneventful drive on Saturday.

By Monday, the weathermen were calling for another snow storm to start Monday afternoon and bring Ohioans a white Christmas. We were all at the outdoors ice skating rink when it started to snow. Some of the native Alabamians among us were confused as to what was this “white dirt” falling from the trees… but it stopped completely within 15 minutes. No storm.

Christmas Day was a beautiful day; cold but sunny. Gkids played outside at the park in between family gift opening extravaganzas. They opened their very own sleds with little fanfare. No snow.

Wednesday morning we packed up our cars and began the trek back home. Several people attempted to keep us from leaving. Snow storm! Snow storm! Pshaw! We’ve been hearing about this stupid snow storm for 10 days and it hasn’t happened. We are going home! And…then…BAM! The snow hit. Two cars of family members trudging along I-75 anywhere from dead stop to as high as 25 mph. We passed cars left and right freshly sliding off the interstate to sit and wait for a tow truck. We started to count them, but it just made us more and more concerned. I would text messages to the 2nd car, “Don’t look now, but there’s a jack knife truck blocking the far right lane.” Apparently, after the second slip between changing lanes, the 2nd car gave up and pulled off to the nearest exit. Sari’s Hubby is a native Alabamian and has no clue how to drive in snow. The poor man was totally shitting his pants within two hours of getting nowhere fast. In hindsight, I want to hug him for making that decision. He probably saved their lives!

Hubby, Boy and me continued on in our stubborn quest to just get through the snow. At one point, (after 4 hours of driving and only managing to get less than 120 miles) the interstate had a clear stretch where obviously the snow trucks had just been. Three lanes heading south opened up and we put the pedal to the metal at a whopping 40 mph. Now we are getting somewhere!

Our SUV was in the middle lane, a pickup was in our right lane and to the left of us was a bright blue sedan.  A 6 foot cement barrier lined the center median with an 18 inch shoulder filled with freshly plowed snow. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye the bright blue sedan caught his tire on the plowed snow drift in the shoulder of his lane. He over corrected to the right and narrowly missed our rear quarter panel. He began to careen across three lanes facing the wrong direction and again over corrected to the right. The little blue sedan smashed into that cement median trunk first; took out the next car behind in that same left lane; a semi truck in the center lane slammed on its brakes and shuddered, slipping; while a silver pickup flew from the far right lane straight across the center lane! I didn’t see if the semi truck directly T-boned that silver pick up because that was all I could see from my rear view mirror as our car continued moving forward, the snow blurred our vision and soon, no more cars or head lights followed down that stretch of I-75…None.  We lucked out from what later was reported as a “6 car pile up North of Dayton on I-75”.

And because Sari’s Hubby had already checked them into a hotel several exits back, their car was NOT following behind us as they would have been. PHEW!

Finally, after nearly 5 hours of driving, we were lucky enough to stop at an age-old girlfriend’s house who just so happens to live in Dayton. She graciously guided us into her beautiful neighborhood and we camped out on her family room floor until morning. By then, the snow had long since stopped falling, the roads had all been plowed and salted and for both cars, the drive home was again, uneventful. Phew! Suffice it to say, there will be no more Christmases in Ohio. We are only visiting in the summer from now on!

Tags: Adventures

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