Saturday, December 26, 2009

Keep your white Christmases to yourselves

Robert and I can't get home after the Oklahoma Christmas blizzard. At least during the storm, we were at the Miller farm by Hydro, Oklahoma, over a hours drive from our house. We're always invited for Christmas because the Millers and we share three grandsons. Their daughter Janelle is married to our youngest.

We stay at Janelle's brother's house, about 100 yards from the main house. We awoke Christmas Eve morning and were stranded at his house. The mighty grandsons (Ryan, 17, 6'3" and 240; Cobly, 15, 6'1" and 180; Shane, 13, 5'7", and 160) fought the wind and battled their way between houses a couple of times that morning.

We watched from the living room window as the visibility would improve until we could see the main house or worsen until we couldn't see the small tree a few feet from the window. One trip Colby made during a lull in the fifty-mile-per-hour wind, the lull didn't last long enough for him to make it to the house where we were. As he blew south, he grabbed a tree and held on. During another lull, he hurried to the house.

About noon, when things were not improving, Randy, our son, and two of the boys took shovels to dig us out and clear a path for us to get to the other house. Janelle's dad came to push her brother in his wheel chair behind one boy with a shovel. Robert planned on following behind, following their tracks, in his power chair. The snow filled in, and Robert's chair bogged down. Randy pushed the chair through the drift and to safety.

Meanwhile I'm chugging along behind everyone with my walker. The wind pushed me, and I was going south. Randy ran back, stood on the south side of me, grabbed one handle of my walker, and placed his other arm around me. He literally half carried me to the other house.

We then stayed inside the main house until that night, when Colby drove our van to the back of the house. The way from the front door around the house to the garage was clear enough Robert could take his chair. He loaded himself in the van as Colby helped, walker and all, out the back door to the van. Let's just say the trip wasn't as easy as it sounds. We drove around the back of Jerrald's, where the house opened into a huge car port. Randy and boys met us there and shoveled a way from the van to the back door. Finally we were inside for the night, and cold son and grandsons headed on foot through the drifts to the main house.

Christmas morning, Robert and I loaded into the van and drove to the back of the main house. Jackie, Janelle's and Jerrald's dad, pushed Jerrald over to the house through the path they had shoveled.

We had a good Christmas day. During the afternoon, Jackie used his tractor with a blade to make a larger path through the snow drifts. We could then go back and forth as we wished.

Robert and I planned to go home today, but when I called a neighbor I was told we wouldn't be able to get to our house. Out here we received maybe four inches of snow, which mainly blew into drifts or continued on to Texas. In the Oklahoma City area, eight to fourteen inches fell, and drifts were much taller than the four foot ones here. Sue told me that even if we could make it to the house over the snow-packed streets littered with stalled cars, we couldn't get into our drive. A drift was taller and larger than my Dodge Caravan, and drifts blocked the walkway and entry way to the house.

Even if we had shovels to dig our way to the door, we physically can't. Ish.

Therefore, here I sit typing my blog wishing I were home. However, I don't know of any "snow elves" who will clear the way for us.

Good thing Janelle's folks and we are good friends.


Rena said...

Awwww, wish I were closer to help. Your blog post reminds me a lot of Prairie Dog Cowboy though. :) I hope you get home soon, Vivian. Stay warm and be safe. God bless.

Connie Arnold said...

If you have to be stuck somewhere, it's good to be with family! Sounds like you have a great one, Vivian! Hope you are able to get home safely soon.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

What an adventure! You'll look back on this one in years to come and say fondly, remember the year...

Anonymous said...

Your real Christmas story reads so much like your 'Christmas Story' of fiction which follows ~ family and dear friends gathered together to recall the magic and joy that is the real Christmas 'spirit' ~ giving not baubles and trinkets, but of themselves. I do hope you manage to get home soon safely. Brightest Blessings ^_^

Holly Jahangiri said...

Wow! I was worried about you when I heard Oklahoma was getting such a huge amount of snow. We had a surprising amount of it in Dallas, but it only slowed us down on the roads between my sister-in-law's house and our hotel (they were solid ice, both on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning). By the time we headed home, the sun had melted the ice and dried the roads, so we had a safe drive home. We just got enough snow and ice to enjoy that proverbial "white Christmas."

Ginger*:) said...

What a mighty wind, what an enormous storm.

Here you have the material for another "Christmas Story." This is a Christmas that many will remember for many reasons and, alas, most of those reasons will include being away from home during this special time of year. This year in NH we were spared the worst of the weather.

I hope you will make it safely home with no one having to hang on to a tree to avoid being blown away.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Joyce Anthony said...

Huge hugs Vivian!!! I don't suppose thinking of this as a vacation helps?? Stay warm and stay safe!

Vivian Zabel said...

Heheh, I could think of this as a vacation IF my husband had brought enough of his meds, but he didn't. We have to get home tomorrow.

However, good news. A wonderful man from our church is going by the house on his family's way to finally have their Christmas and see what needs to be done. He told Robert by tomorrow afternoon we would be able to get in our drive and house. God is good, and He brings good people into our lives. Thanks, Larry, for being your helpful, Christian self. God bless you.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Think happy thoughts, warm weather, snuggle closer to hubby, relax, don't shovel, sit and read. :)

Hope New Year's is better for you.

Vivian Zabel said...

A "snow elf" visited us this morning and cleared our drive and entryway enough we could get to our house. We are home, warm, and snuggly.

We knew a man from our church, Larry Tettleton, was going to do the job tomorrow, but our neighbor across the street did the job. We called to see how the streets were, and his wife told us what he had done. Two very good men exist in our lives, Larry and Richard.

Since another storm is forecast for Wednesday, we are sooooo glad to be here.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Glad you're okay, Vivian. Sounds like you have some terrific people in your lives. Good. Happy New Year. Stay safe.

Vivian Zabel said...

Good news! The "storm" that was scheduled to hit yesterday evening/this morning was some soft lovely flakes of snow drifting through the air, no wind, and no accumulation.

I know winter isn't over, hasn't finished with us,but I'm so thankful we weren't hit by another blizzard.