We had a doozy of a blizzard yesterday. Let me say that again. A D.O.O.Z.Y! It was probably the worst blizzard we've had in our 7 years of living in North Dakota. While the weatherman predicted a strong Alberta Clipper system to move through our area, they had only predicted strong winds and minor snow accumulations. WRONG!
It started with some light freezing rain, then quickly switched over to all snow. We probably only had 2-3 inches of snow, but with the near hurricane force winds, it created chaos over almost the entire state. I could see the weather was deteriorating rapidly so I headed into town to get some basics and while the drive into town was a little slower than normal, it was still do-able. I was headed home by 1PM and it was getting nasty with a capital N. Highway 83 was ice covered and the wind was blowing so hard it actually pushed me around on the ice. By the time I reached the turn off to head East towards our house, the road was invisible. The next 8 miles of a perfectly straight road took me in excess of 40 minutes. It was a complete white-out and I had to stop numerous times since I simply could not see where the road was in front of me. Thomas put his window down and would look out and advise me as to how close I was to the edge of the road. It was inch-by-inch progress when I could move forward. When I finally pulled into our driveway, I felt my muscles relax and my heart return from it's temporary position in my throat.
Marc got stuck in town and slept in his office. All highways and major roads were closed to/from and surrounding Bismarck so in town he stayed which was much better than the 700 people the National Guard had to rescue from stuck vehicles around town. With Marc out of the loop, Madison, Adam and I headed out to feel the horses. I figured since visibility was so bad I would drive to the barn, but as you might guess, I got the Denali high-centered half way between our house and the barn.
I've heard old-timer's tell stories of blizzards so bad you can't see your hand in front of your face and I now know that to be reality and not fiction. When we began walking back to the house, I feared losing the kids in the blinding snow so I used a lead line from the horses and had Adam hold it right behind me and Madison at the end. I instructed them to NOT let go for any reason. The walk is only about 500 feet, but it was a really difficult and truth be told....I was scared. Obviously we made it inside, but I went to bed realizing that in the morning I would have to dig out the Denali and wait to see when Marc would make it home.
Thomas and I spent 2 hours digging the damn car out and we continue to wait for the highways to open up so Marc can head North. Even if he can make it North, I have no idea if he'll be able to head East the 8 miles needed to get to our turn off. Our little road in front of our house is impassable and will probably be that way for several days as they work on the main roads. I hope like hell Marc makes it home quickly because I am concerned I just might cannabalize my children. Yes, cabin fever is that bad....so don't judge me!
On a good note, Marc made it to the accountant yesterday to file our taxes. He called to tell me that we are getting a HUGE...did you hear me....HUGE chunk of change back from the feds. Of course the kids already have some plans for the unexpected windfall, mostly Madison who now has her sights firmly set on that new dressage saddle that carried a price tag of $6000.00. And I would like to soak in the sun, say, in the South of France. But before that can happen, we need to get rid of this damn snow and get the friggin' roads opened up! At least I'm not a Storm Home for stranded kids on buses. Our pastor had a full house last night of stranded kids who the buses couldn't even attempt to get home. Storm homes...who ever heard of such a thing. Crazy North Dakota living!
4 days ago