Friday, February 07, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods... the Schillings' house we go.  Our car knows the way, as it has always, even through the snow!

The snow arrival on Thursday definitely caused some "Plan B's" to be considered regarding our weekend plans.  As if they hadn't already been complicated enough.  Mikayla had a birthday party planned for Friday night.  The snow closure wouldn't effect Mikayla as her school had a grading day-off on Friday.  So, that was already a given.  The original plan was to drive up to Dallas at the conclusion of Nati and Ellie's school day and bring them back so they could participate in the party too.  We would then return with the girls (and the rest of the family) on Saturday morning to Dallas so that we could hang out there, given Mikayla had a major statewide volleyball tournament on Sunday in Monmouth, just ten miles south of the Schilling's house.

By Thursday night, the schools were closing right and left which included Brayden's school, Mikayla's school, and the district where Steph worked.   This meant that Whitley would not be part of the equation as Stephanie would be staying home with her on Friday.  Michele's kids also had their school canceled (which now affects Michele as she's teaching at the same school Nati attends) - so they were rejoicing over their day off, but facing reality that it didn't look like they'd be able to be at Mikayla's party.

However, after talking it over with John Friday morning (and then, likewise, Michele talking it over with Michael) - we decided to just "go for it" and drive up to pick up not only the girls, but Michele as well.  This time, the road trip up was just Mikayla and I.  And, we loved it.
It's one thing to watch the snow coming down from inside your house.  It's another to be out in it, driving back roads, and watching it completely transform the scenery as far as the eye can see. 

As far as driving safety, our rig handled it extremely well.  The only main concerns I had were fishtailing a bit as we were in deeper snow going from one drive rut to the other - and then - this:

These pictures barely do it justice as the camera contrast shows so much more than our human eye can see.  On a few of the back roads, there were no landmarks along the road - just farmland.  So, determining where the road was and your position in the road was very difficult.  It was disorienting in such a crazy way.  Also, for a while, we trailed a white truck that got completely camouflaged in front of us.  He'd literally disappear until we got right on his bumper to see him reappear far closer than we thought.  It was wild.

But it was this too....AWESOME!

We actually made it to Dallas in great time, all things considered.  (Maybe I was TOO confident driving!)  As we were about at the halfway point to Eugene, John called to tell us Mikayla's volleyball tournament had been canceled (very good decision!).  Oh well, committed now to returning, as we'd kind of kidnapped the Schilling girls and had to get them back at some point.  John and I were actually hoping this would be the way it would all work out.

Once into Eugene, I asked if we could swing by Elaina's apartment to see if her and Brad were there.  Thank God, his plane had made it in Thursday night.  If he'd been on flights any later (through this weekend), I doubt he would have made it.  So glad she got to be reunited with her guy without delay.
I didn't spend long there, but was delighted with the rapport that came so easy with him.  He's a classy guy, that's for sure - and as far as first impressions go, seems to be the ideal fit for Elaina.  

Across the street, Michele convinced us to stop and take pictures at the park.

This gives you an idea of the depth of snow we had at our house when we returned.  It's hard to tell because of the addition of freezing rain compressing it, but I'm going to guess that we had about 10 inches total and Michele's home got to about a foot by the time "Winter Storm Orion" had plowed through.

This was a picture taken by my friend Alysha - who ventured up to Spencer's Butte (our highest point in Eugene area).  She took the day to a whole new level of adventure - so gorgeous - I was a bit jealous.

While I prepped for Mikayla's party that evening, the kids took advantage of the snow.  There was definitely no regrets for making the choice to go retrieve our family - the snow just isn't the same without them. =)

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