*takes deep breath and starts again*
It's been a harrowing four days. It started with snow in October. A LOT of snow. Over a FOOT of snow. In OCTOBER. Really. See? (before)
Do you know what happens when you get over a foot of snow on trees that still have leaves? They break. Breaking trees are Loud. Trees and branches crashing to the ground are loud. Trees and branches falling on your house are LOUD and cause you to evacuate. At midnight. In the snow. Here's how events unrolled from there...
12:46AM: decide we cannot make it up the hill to the nearest shelter after dodging trees and downed power lines (the shelter is 4 minutes from our house on a good day) and go back down the hill
1:13AM: arrive at gas station that has power, fill tank, buy water, call every hotel and motel in 40 mile radius to find that there is not a single room to be had
1:33AM: decide to see if truck stop a few exits down the highway is open, dodge more downed trees (on the highway!!!), power lines, stuck vehicles, etc.
1:52AM: arrive at truck stop. Thank God that it's open. Use bathroom. Order food. Take various combinations of kids to the bathroom 172 times over the next 2 hours and refuse to buy them any of the requested items from the store that's in between the restaurant and the bathroom
4:00AM: decide everyone's too tired and needs to sleep and go back to van, warm up van, and everyone sleeps except Mama, who keeps the van warm and listens to the news on the radio
6:00AM: Mama hears announcement that highways have mostly been cleared. Wake Daddy and decide to try to make it to Gramma and Papa's house.
6:38AM: Arrive in Naugatuck, drive through downtown to see if Dunkin Donuts is open, rejoice in the fact that it is, buy a "box 'o' joe" and brave the hill to Gramma and Papa's house
6: 52AM: Arrive at Gramma and Papa's house.
I then put myself to bed and didn't wake up until 1PM. We were very blessed to stay with my parents until this morning, when we decided it was time to return home - and when, seemingly miraculously, our house regained POWER! Homeowner's insurance will cover the damage to our house and the removal of the tree leaning on our house and the pile of large branches leaning on our house...if we can find a contractor available to do such things.
Above: All that was ON our house during the storm
Below: The view out our back door - the tree in the middle of the photo
is split at the base and is leaning on our house
This adventure has brought many blessings and a great sense of gratitude. Gratitude that we made it safely through the scariest night of my adult life; that our house wasn't damaged too badly; that my parents welcomed a horde of rannygahoots into their house and took wonderful care of us all even though they didn't have power; gratitude for gas-powered hot water heaters and stove-tops; for flashlights, candles and the hundreds of glowsticks in my possession at the time of the storm; and for the warmth that comes from knowing you have a safe, warm(ish) place to rest your head and your heart.