Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Making our escape...

Pat and I spent the last two days planning our escape from our little house on the hill and we accomplished that mission today.
First, our plan required that Pat make it to the house and he did that on Sunday afternoon. He had to park our van at the top of our street and walk the 7/10th of a mile home... that might not sound like a lot, but it certainly is when you're walking in snow and slush. He said the hardest part of the hike was the 1/10th of a mile of our uphill driveway which was covered knee-deep in snow!
I started Sunday morning by calling around to see if I could find someone who could clear our driveway. I called the old owner (who owns a lawn care service) and he doesn't clear snow.
He told me the best thing to do was to call someone who had a tractor because a truck wouldn't be able to get up our driveway.
After calling a few companies, we realized that it might be after Christmas before someone got back to us... and then most of them wanted $180 an hour for their work!
We decided the best thing to do was to at least make ourselves a path to the road because we were going to have to try to get out by Tuesday (when Pat went back to work). From our house, it didn't look like our portion of the road was drivable, but we wouldn't know that until we actually got closer to see how it was at the bottom.
I got up first (as always) on Monday and went out to get the snow off my car...that process took 30 minutes, but I realized that we were going to be shoveling more than two feet of snow in most places.
When Pat got up a short time later we both went out and started working on the driveway while the children slept. When the kids woke up, Pat shoveled on his own and then Savannah and I joined him when Julius took his morning nap.
We got a car length path down more than half of the driveway before Pat started working on a human-length path to the bottom... that was because the snow shovel I bought on Thursday began to crap out and he decided to stop before we had no shovel.
After shoveling into the afternoon, we realized that it was going to be impossible to get our van down the road because we would never be able to get it back up the hill.
We decided the only thing to do was to walk to the van... first with our luggage and then with the children.
We started that effort on Tuesday morning with Pat taking the first load... and once he cleared the driveway and the first hill he saw they had cleared some of the road and it was drivable. He got a ride (thanks to a neighbor with a 4x4 vehicle) to our van and moved it a little closer to the house.
I took the next load and lugged it down our driveway and up the hill to the van. A little boy shoveling snow offered to help me... because I must of looked pitiful lugging a suitcase n a street covered in slush.
It took four trips to get all of our luggage and the children to the van and then we took off to Charlottesville to spend two nights at a hotel before we can leave for our Christmas holiday.
Thank goodness we sent "Santa" home with Mom and Dad a few weeks earlier because we would have had to make more trips to load that in the car... it would have been crazy!
If Pat had left work today there would be no way he could have made it home as our road and the secondary road that we take to the highway are both covered in ice... and walking in the dark would have left him in the ditch.
I'm hoping that we can get home next week when we return... although it looks like the kids and I might be at Mom and Dad's over the weekend. Pat, who has to return to work on Saturday, is going to check out our road and see if we can come home safely.
Here are some pictures from our escape effort... I didn't risk taking out the camera on our journey to the van.
We had plans to go down to Mom and Dad's on Wednesday night so we decided the best thing to do was to all leave the house

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