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Sunday, February 09, 2014

Shoes are helpful!

Well, last night, we FINALLY, had our first ‘we-moved-up-to-the-top-of-a-big-ass-hill-slash-small-mountain-and-couldn’t-make-it-home’ snowy adventure!  We went to an Engaged Encounter dinner/meeting at some friends’ in Kirkland (about 25 minutes north of us).  We were startled when suddenly a rather large snowball hit the window.  Our boys and their ten year old, had looked out, discovered the snowfall (to which we were all completely oblivious) and made haste to get out there in their jeans and tennis shoes.

For some reason the first thing I said was, “Is it snowing?!”  Um, duh.  And just how much wine had Cathi poured for me?  She reassured me that it was “just a dusting.”

Right, but it might not be just a dusting at our house! Mike and I thought.  We’re definitely now (and have always been, I guess), the Seattlites who panic at the sight of a snowflake.  Agggh!  It’s Snowmageddon!

We quickly packed up and repeatedly told the kids we needed to leave.  Kayli had already changed into her footy pajamas.  (This is not surprising as she changes into footy pajamas about 12 times a day).  She started throwing a fit about having to leave, so I quickly picked her up and headed out to the car.  As I walked out the door with the yelling toddler, I called to Mike over my shoulder, “Don’t forget to pick up her shoes!” (In addition to all the food and stuff he was also carrying out). 

Well, that was dumb.

Mike drove carefully like the experienced snow-driver that he is.  However, there’s only so much awesome snow-driving one can do when you’re in a freakin-no traction minivan that spins out driving through the smallest puddle even.

We decided the only chance we had of making it up to our house was going the back way.  The ‘big’ neighborhood entrance hill is a HUGE, long, steep, freakin-big hill.  The ‘backside’ way to our house is a HUGE, long, not-quite as steep, freakin-big hill.  Um.  Yeeeah.  We didn’t even make it a ¼ of the way up.  We sat in the car for a few minutes debating our options.  Mike could walk/jog the 2 miles (up hill) home and get our all-wheel drive Honda CRV….however, we’ve been having brake problems (and desperately need to get those fixed!!), and that didn’t seem like the best idea.  He could walk/jog home and get the chains for the Honda, but we weren’t sure if they’d fit the minivan, and I really didn’t love the prospect of waiting in the car with the kids (Kayliana was already getting antsy just sitting there) only to have him get back, figure out the chains didn’t work and we’d have to walk home anyway. 

We concluded to just try the walk home with all of us.  The boys, of course, thought this was an adventure and were dying to get back out in the snow.  I reassured them that the walk wasn’t much longer than what we did trick-or-treating (lies).  It just happened to be two miles, up hill, in the snow, in their jeans and tennis shoes with coats but no hats or gloves.  What could possibly go wrong?

I put Kayli’s long sleeve shirt and jeans on over her pajamas to give her an extra layer.  I reached down to grab her tennis shoes…but they weren’t there.  They were still sitting back by the front door back at our friends’ house.  So, there we were with a shoeless three year old.  Mike carried her.  I loaded up with the bags of food our friends sent us home with.  (While it obviously would’ve stayed cold enough, I didn’t want to leave lasagna and garlic bread in the car for who-knows-how-long).  We locked the doors, bid adieu to our studly, manly, piece-a-poo minivan and began the steep trek.

 We’d probably walked three minutes.  I was already noticing that lasagna is kind of awkward and weirdly heavy to carry.  Mike had already switched Kayli from hip to hip a couple of times.  Maybe three or four all-wheel drive cars had easily sped by us up the hill on their way to cozy hominess.  Mike looked back to me and said, “Gee, it sure would be nice if someone offered us a ride.”  I kid you not, within seconds, an older couple in a swanky Lexus SUV pulled up and said, “Can we give you a ride?!”

For a silly reason (habit, I guess), I was automatically going to politely decline, “Oh, that’s OK.  Thank you though.”  However, for probably the first time in history, Mike – thankfully! – opened his mouth and beat me to speaking, “Yes, please! That’d be great!!”

These amazing people, who we’ve never met, drove us home.  We learned that they’ve lived in the neighborhood for over 15 years and have often ended up shuttling people (foolish people without a smart snow-car, like us) when a sudden snow hits.  They were wonderful.  Amazing.  Our heroes.

The snow’s let up.  It’s supposed to warm up today and turn into rain.  Mike’ll do a minivan rescue mission a little bit later.  And we’ve learned our lesson – get and keep chains in the van for future Snowmaggadons.  Oh, and also, make sure all three of our kids have shoes to cover their feet.

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