But it kept snowing. A lot. And it was fast and wet and thick. Very, very thick.
By the time we got out of church (1PM), people were starting to panic a little bit. I wasn't sure what the big deal was --I've been through hundreds of snow storms in Utah and Idaho (and Canada and Montana) and so I figured it couldn't be that bad. It had just started! Traffic was slow, of course, and we calculated that our house was about 13/14 miles from the church. It takes us 25 minutes to get to church each week, so we'd probably be home in... an hour?
Try 4.5 hours!
That's right, dear reader! It took us nearly 5 hours to get home. Those panicked people were justified! Here's the story in as little detail as possible:
We got on the main road, but traffic was ridiculously slow. Brandon thought, "hey, we should get off and go a different way" and I said, "heck, yes, we should! Let's go!" So, we did. We went back past where the church was and went over some hills and then... massive traffic accidents, cars sliding off the hills, cars not making it up the hills, cars sliding down the hills... Plan B: go back to the main road/highway and muscle through the slow traffic. So, we did. We went back and drove and drove and drove and there were accidents everywhere, cars sliding everywhere. When we were about 6 miles from home, there was a police blockade blocking the main road. Lovely. So, we turned right to go up a back road and... same situation as what happened the last time we got off the main road. By now it was getting dark, the kids were hungry, and we were needing bathrooms. Brandon got us turned around and back out to the main highway, we turned left to go back the way we came (no choice, what with the blockade) and drove to a gas station about 1/2 mile away. Got some gas (yes, on the Sabbath) and there was a small pizza joint close by. We parked there and took the kids inside to use the bathrooms and to order some pizza (yes, on the Sabbath). The Ox was definitely in the mire at this point! We ate some of the most delicious pizza I've ever had and stayed for about an hour. Brandon saw that cars were going back down the highway, so we decided to give it a go. At this point, we called a neighbor to make sure our heat was on (she was so nice and went out in the snow to get into our house!). We got to where the blockade was before and... it was still there.
Up until this point we had been good sports, laughing, singing Christmas songs, listening to the movie White Christmas in the car, and there had been no fighting. But when we hit that second blockade, the kids started getting scared, and so we started praying. I asked people on Facebook if they would please pray that we could get home.
We went back the way we came, but instead of turning right at the gas station, we turned left. We did some more research and saw several plows coming/going, so we forged ahead, praying the whole time that we'd make it through! We passed dozens of cars that had been abandoned on the side of the road because they couldn't make it up the hills. We passed several accidents. But miraculously, we made it! We got home without a scratch, and the best part was that we did it without getting angry or upset. Brandon was stressed, but he never got angry with the kids or me (he even got out to help push cars when he could) and I tried to make it fun and light.
When we got home (to a warm house, thanks to Anita!), we started the fire, changed into jammies and got warm blankets, drank hot chocolate, ate dinner, watched sports and the Christmas Devotional, and were grateful for our safe return. In fact, one sweet moment I'll always remember was when we pulled into our driveway. Brandon put the car in park, asked the kids to fold their arms, and proceeded to thank Heavenly Father for our safe return and asked Him to protect those still traveling on the roads.
Because the snow was so bad last night, they had a two hour delay for our school district. The kids were so excited about that, and as soon as they got up and ready, they were outside to play! Our yard has a great slope on it, so they went sledding, built snowmen, and had a snowball fight. It is very wet snow, and so it was perfect!
It's been raining all day today, though, so it's slushy outside, and the snow is melting pretty fast. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow, though...
Anyway, it was quite an adventure, our first snow experience in southeastern PA! I kind of loved it. Yes, the woman who has always hated winter... I did. I'm not sure if this is because I'm learning to let go of the things I can't control (weather is pretty solid in that category) or if it's because if I'm going to have winter, what better place than in the land of my dreams?
Here are some photos from my phone: