a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ohio Bound in Winter Storm

Living in the south for nearly 10 years now has made me realize that 'the south' handles snow much differently than 'the north'. In the south, the term winter storm usually means a chance of snow, maybe a dusting, and a complete wide spread panic/mad-dash to the grocery for what most fear could be their last meal in days. Being the 'northerner' that I am, this makes me chuckle every time. However, the southern winter storm this time was in fact a quick-building, fastly falling, true winter storm and we were stuck right smack dab in the heart of it all...in our car...for nearly 30 hours...WITH a 2 year old.

We left our Virginia home at 5pm on Friday night for what we thought was only going to be our regular 8+ hour drive to Ohio for the holidays. Once we began our adventure north, we quickly realized the danger we were headed into. Thank goodness for 4-wheel drive and Oia's Aunt B who did a fabulous job of keeping Oia occupied so Rob and I could focus on the roads ahead. We were stranded in stand still traffic 3 separate times along the highway; once for 3+ hours, another for 2+ hours and finally for another 2+ hours. We were exited off the highway at one point by law enforcement as the highway was shut-down and we couldn't find a hotel/motel/inn with a vacancy and even hotel lobbies were packed with stranded travelers like ourselves. So, at 4:30 am Saturday morning we had to surrender to the cozy comforts within our own vehicle for a couple hours of sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Needless to say, no stores or restaurants were open but luckily a few gas stations were. We were not prepared at all for the conditions and had no 'real' food or drink for ourselves or Oia. We made it finally to Mamaw Teaster's house nearly 30 hours later and what a glorious moment that was.

Oia did surprisingly well. While stuck in the stand-stills, we let her play around in the drivers seat and 'drive'. She only really cried the last 45 minutes of our drive. She has proven once again that she has the patience of a SAINT. As for the adults in the car...we wanted to cry the whole time.

So, I leave you with a few (not so good) pictures of our winter storm that suddenly brought at least 2 feet of snow in the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia.

The ironic part of it all: Ohio, the northern state, had nearly no snow at all. Go figure.
Early into the storm, slid cars at exit ramp off of I-64 near Lexington, Virginia

Cars abandoned on I-64 in mountains of WV

Look closely...a car on the opposite side of the road...under snow. Small portion of the front tire is visable.

Stopped again on I-64 (for 2 hours) just a few feet in front of the New River Bridge in West Virginia. Oia got to 'drive' with daddy while B and I got out and walked a bit to at least enjoy the scenery. Many travelers got out and built snowmans to pass the time away.

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