Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Me and My Bright Ideas
Leave it up to me to come up with a really swell idea. A couple years ago I wrote a Nativity play requiring lots of kids to fill the parts. I was feeling a little stir crazy with all this snow (did I mention that we have gotten LOTS of SNOW?) so I figured I'd invite some people over for a theatrical FHE. I quickly contacted the 3 craziest, spontaneous, up-for-danger, have-several-children-old-enough-to-read-a-part-in-the-play women I knew. This was all somewhat last minute and thrown together, but I offered to stick some chicken in the crock pot and we'd have dinner and a show to celebrate the Season's Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men. Simple enough, right? On a normal weather day-yes.
But this was no normal weather day. It had literally been snowing all day and it was really starting to accumulate by dinner time. I wasn't too worried. John was on his way home from work in the plow truck, and I was sure our good government was right on top of traditional road clearing. I mean, shoot, it HAD been snowing all day, certainly they were well ahead of it. I had heard off and on throughout the day from different people that road conditions were tolerable. The roads weren't quite cold enough to freeze while the sun was up. Unfortunately, our little soiree was due to begin at sunset. Conditions apparently changed quickly.
Coincidentally all moms and dads from the 3 families would be taking separate cars to get here (I guess their husbands all have jobs). My first hint of trouble came when Mom 1 arrived in her mini-van. She said the road she had taken was still quite snowy. Hmm. The next hint of trouble came when her husband arrived in a borrowed 4WD and was perplexed at his wives boldness in driving down our steep, snow-quickly-turning-to-ice covered driveway. (Sidenote: I rarely ponder what a burden it would be to be the Man of the House. I think all men instinctually feel a strong sense of responsibility for the well being of everyone living under their roofs. It seems many Dads take on the roll of 'Fixing' situations especially when the safety of their beloved family might be an issue. I feel for Men and the burden they must carry.) Dad 1 immediately set about trying to fix the vehicle situation. He decided to get the mini van up the driveway to make it easier for his wife to return home after our Magical Christmas Evening together. Sadly, the driveway wasn't going to let him out easily. There was lots of tire spinning, slipping, sliding, and general loss of traction on the uphill exit. He slid into the center island where he dug for quite sometime in an effort to free the 2wd beast. Mom 1 and I were somewhat oblivious to the details of Dad 1's wrestle with Old Man Winter as we were inside the warm house talking about important matters as the kids played together in the basement. Gabe had taken the opportunity to get in on the action and fired up the tractor and got to plowing the driveway.
Sometime during this, Mom 2 called and said Dad 2 was driving downtown on the icy roads. He advised her not to take their car out in the weather. Since Dad 2 had errands to run, Mom 2 let me know she would have to miss our FHE. I was sad, but understood.
Mom 1 and I decided we'd better see what kind of progress Dad 1 was making and we went outside just as Mom 3 arrived in her burly 4wd. When she pulled in and asked me for my camera, I felt a knot in my stomach. Apparently Mom and Dad 3 arrived at Dreamy Draw (our road) together. Mom 3 made it in fine, but Dad 3 was not as lucky. A car coming down the county road didn't slow down on the ice, and crashed into Dad 3's company car. Mom 3 was going to get pics because the police wouldn't come take a report unless it was life threatening (thankfully that was not the case). The knot in my stomach was making me feel a little nauseated. I think Dad 1 was laying in the snow digging to free the mini van from my center island during the majority of this exchange.
My instinct at this time will shed light on what a fiercely independant and resourceful woman I am. I longed to call John to come fix it all. Luckily, he had arrived in the plow truck and came to give Dad 1 a tow. Mom 3 unloaded the kids and headed out, camera in hand. John then commenced in yanking and towing Dad 1 out and eventually up the sheet of ice that had been our driveway. Poor Dad 1 was drenched by this time. I walked Mom 1 to the top of the driveway to see what we could do. John had zoomed off to help Dad 3. Since the snow hadn't let up, Dad 1 was in no mood to wait for the weather to improve. Who could argue with a wet, tired, practically minded Dad 1? After I tried to lighten the mood with some ridiculous attempt at humor, the deal was sealed and they loaded up the kids and caravaned home. (Sidenote: Why do I feel compelled, almost beyond my will to resist, to attempt to make jokes during stressful situations? So obnoxious!)
Mom 3 returned from her photo session and we commenced in feeding the remaining children. In spite of the trauma, I must say the meal was most enjoyable. Mom 3's cornbread and the soup Mom 1 left behind were a lovely compliment to the chicken. The kids were all having a fine time. Just then the phone rang and it was John. He sheepishly asked me to send Gabe to come down the road to pick him up in the Teryx. He had slid off the road in the plow truck. (Sidenote: John is in his glory when he is out pulling others from stuck spots. Gabe is John's small twin.) John pulled out the truck with the Pinzgauer (I guess this storm demanded 6wd).
Then finally, finally, Dad 3, John, and Hank (he had dropped Kristine off for dinner then went to help rescue) arrived to eat what was left of our Holiday Meal. We never did get out the scripts for the play, but I think the hot cocoa worked it's soothing magic, and we were all able to reflect on this blustery night...and laugh. We realized we had all been kept safe (M&D 1 made it home) and the kids had fun hanging out. While it wasn't the Night of Nativity I had pictured, the knot in my stomach was considerably reduced by the time it was all said and done. Maybe we'll give it a try next year-weather permitting.