An Eventful Trip Home

As most of you probably know by now, we have returned to our little home in Chicago. After a week and a half away, I was more than ready to get home and get to work on the mass of trivial but important details that needed to be accomplished before school starts in two weeks.

Stephen and I departed the Quad Cities at about 4 pm Tuesday afternoon after dropping of little Friedrich, picking up James Davenport, and stopping back past the Willcox household to pick up the forgotten Nalgene bottle and iPod (can’t leave that behind!). We had intended to drop in on Stephen’s aunt and uncle in Port Byron with a little loaf of pumpkin bread and our Christmas card. Aunt Melinda was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, so it was even more important for us to see her.

It had snow quite significantly the day before, adding to the 12-15 inches already on the ground. Tuesday afternoon the winds had begun to pick up, and by the time we made it to Jim and Melinda’s house, large drifts of snow had begun to form over their once plowed driveway. They live in the country, and their driveway is quite long. The drifts weren’t too bad at first, and my little Mazda Protege was holding out well against them. But all too suddenly, in the fading light, we founded a bend in the driveway and drove straight into a huge drift. When I say huge, I mean quite subsantial. The drift itself was the entire length of the car, and when we found ourselves quite definitely stuck, Stephen opened the car door in to snow. The snow had drifted over two feet high, and our car wasn’t going anywhere.

I took the wheel and the boys pushed. First from the back, and the from the front. But it was no use. Stephen says he’s fairly certain we burned a quarter tank of gas just trying to get out. When it was quite apparent that we were not going to get out of this without help, we pulled on coats for the long, bitter walk to the house.

The wind was howling, and the windchill was well below zero. None of us had more than small shoes on, and we trudged through drifts up to our knees before we finally reached the house, frozen to the bone.

This is the part where I love being a girl. I stayed inside and warmed up with Melinda and Olivia and got to visit while the boys went back out and dug us out. An hour and a half later, we finally left.

“So much for ‘dropping by,'” I said as we pulled out of the driveway.

It was now quite dark out as we turned once again towards Chicago on I-80. We soon encountered another problem: the moisture on the inside of the windows was freezing. I don’t know if our car doors just don’t quite seal well, or if it was just that cold out (perhaps a combination of both?), but it wasn’t long before all Stephen could see was a little circle in front of him out the windshield.

James and I began feverishly scraping the ice off the windows with the ice scrapers. This helped for about 5 minutes, when we would repeat the process. Because we were desperately trying to get the windows to defrost (the defroster doesn’t really work…), we had it on full defrost the entire time, so there was no floorboard heat. Since our feet were encased in snowy, wet shoes and socks, by the time we finally arrived in Chicago 2 1/2 hours later, my feet were bright red and I could only feel parts of them.

However, we are home safely and not intending to go anywhere for quite some time. I am much relieved. This snowy cold can go away any time it wants to.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jenna on January 3, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    POOR SISTER! I suppose being in the car with the frozen over windshield and toes sort of makes up for you getting to thaw and chat in the house while the boys shoveled you out. Yuck. Winter’s nasty.


  2. Posted by Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Wow! No wonder you got a cold!



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