Wewh... what a couple of days it has been. Let me just recap my "snow day" this week.
Tuesday morning the forecast was for a little "dusting" of snow in the Birmingham area. I watched the weather like normal that morning and really didn't think much of it. Thankfully it was pretty cold and I dressed Fulton in several layers (he would need these later).
This is from my classroom window about 10:30. They had just announced we would be getting out at 11:15. No more pictures until many hours later because that's when the chaos began. The snow came harder and kept sticking and began instantly freezing on the roads. Our busses were late because they had to run the elementary routes first. I decided to try and leave quickly to get Fulton. I got about a quarter of a mile down the road and it was impassable. The cars were wrecking everywhere and I couldn't get out. I made the decision to turn around quickly and get back to school. That was probably the best decision because the roads and conditions just got worse from there.
We were able to get a few bus loads of kids gone but one ended up in a wreck and the students had to walk back to school. Many students checked out, but we were still left with hundreds. We started making lunch, kept them entertained and knew it was going to be a long afternoon. Meanwhile, Fulton was absolutely fine at Mrs. Lavina's house, even though I was panicked that I couldn't get to him. Matt's students were gone and he had three teachers in his car attempting to make it home. He finally did after 5 hours of creeping down the roads. So, here are a couple of my teacher buddies as we realize we are about to spend the night at school. Did I mention the whole time the phones were jammed and wouldn't work?? Ugh.
So, Matt was home, Fulton was having a slumber party with his friends (no parents could get there) and this was my sleeping quarters for the night. My area was the school library with about 100 seventh and eighth grade girls. It was rough, but not nearly as rough as the hundreds of people still stuck in their cars and walking down the side of the road. I was blessed to have a warm place to stay. We fed the kids dinner, let them play in the gym, and then put on a movie until we called it bedtime. I finally was able to sleep from 2:00-4:00 am. The students did an amazing job. So proud of them. We got up, made breakfast and started another day. At this point, I started to get a little upset, thinking I may be staying another night. Matt was doing everything he could to try and get Fulton and me home.
This was the view close to my school and the way I would normally go home. This is the road people. Just pure mayhem. So, Matt and our dear friend Daniel (with four wheel drive) decided to try and get Fulton first. They couldn't get there. The roads were blocked all the way around. They decided then to attempt to get me.
Even though we still had about 75 kids at this point, our principal was letting people leave if they had ways to get out. Matt called and they were close. They couldn't get all the way to my school, but made it within a mile or so. I found some clothes throughout the school, borrowed shoes from a friend, and started walking. Let me remind you I was still in dress clothes from the previous school day.
So, here I am walking the trek hoping to see Matt soon. Daniel stayed in the truck and Matt walked towards me so we would eventually meet. It's amazing though, because once I walked out of that school, I wasn't worried about the cold or the walk. It was pure adrenaline and a feeling of relief to know I was out... now, we just needed to get my baby.
And this is why they couldn't get to me (and why I never could get out when I had tried the day before). I am still not sure how all these cars will ever get out. It was like this all the way down. I finally caught up with Matt and was so happy to see him. We continued the walk back to the truck and made the drive home. I won't say that I didn't freak out a few times on the way home because we were spinning a little. I was so relieved when we made it home. Daniel set out to rescue some others and Matt was determined to find a way to get Fulton before the end of the day.
Matt and our neighbor Brad took off in Matt's truck to meet Mom and Dad (with another 4 wheel drive) to see if they could get close to the neighborhood where Fulton was. They were only able to get within a couple of miles of her house, but parked the truck and started the walk. They made it!! Here they are making the trek back with Fulton in tow.
My boys made it home just before dark. Operation Fulton was complete. I was finally able to rest and breathe now that all my family was safe at home. We were purely exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I got word from our school that there were just a handful of kids left and most teachers had made it home or home with someone.
I slept for 11 hours and my view this morning was so much better than yesterday.
I got breakfast in bed from my boys.
We enjoyed a little snow time this morning, but honestly, I am just ready for it to melt and get over all of this. It has been so horrible for so many people and I know there are still so many that are stranded from their families. The Lord is so good to us. A teacher friend and I just sat at the window in my classroom yesterday and prayed over that ice and that the Lord would melt it and allow us a way home. God is so good to us and he brought us all home safely. So, that little "dusting" turned into quite the experience.