We had seen the weather maps. Yes, everyone knew the snow was coming. I had a trial scheduled this afternoon at 1:30—the court called and cancelled late yesterday, although the weather at the time was positively balmy. The weather guy was adamant that we were going to get dumped on yet again.
Yesterday was my late FIL’s birthday, so last night in his honor (on good, dry roads) MIL, Son and I went out to his favorite Italian restaurant where MIL ordered his favorite Brasiola. We had a good time remembering him. I was tired enough to put off the compulsion most of us have to stop at the grocery story, knowing that I had plenty of food at home.
Howeeeeeeever, when I got up this morning early, I realized that we just might not have enough coffee to last us through a couple days of snow-in. Can’t be having that, now, can we? Besides, there was NO precipitation. Everything looked just as normal as can be. I got in the car and took off to the store (we’re in the country—the store is 12 miles away).
As I turned out of our driveway, the flurries began to come. By the time I was three miles down the road, I could see it blowing across the road. Not a good sign. The weather eased as I came into town. The grocery store parking lot was dry as a bone and, even better, there were few folks in the store.
But I knew it was coming, for sure.
As I stood in the store’s aisle, fielding a call from my brother, demanding to know where I was on this dangerous morning, a woman approached me. She looked to be early 40’s and was quite disheveled, like she had just crawled out of bed. She was dressed in light-weight slacks and a thin v-necked sweater—not winter attire. As I ended my call with my brother, she began a conversation, and this is how it went—very familiarly, like we were old BFFs:
“Girl! We’ve got to get the H out of here…I think it’s gettin’ bad outside!”
She went on to tell me what I never had even thought to wonder: “I’ve been out drinkin’ all night long! Well, me and my husband are trying to get back together—you know, work things out? Well, we got loaded together last night. We got us a room and partied all night!”
Yes, I could smell the alcohol. No response apparently required from me, she continued:
“You know what I did? I got up out of the bed this morning and said to myself ‘Omigosh! I’d better get back home to the kids!’ They don’t know we’re trying to work things out…”
Of course, my lightning quick mind realized that this meant the kids were home last night alone. It didn’t get better….
“I got myself home in a flash. Got them kids up and outta bed, dressed ‘em and dropped them at the bus stop before I came here. And I’m standin’ here looking out at the snow falling and wondering if that bus was even running today!”
“Nope.” I answered. “Schools were closed last night, so there will be no bus to get your kids. How old are they?”
In my mind’s eye I was seeing something like this:
I just hoped this woman had the presence of mind to make sure they had coats.
“Aw,” she dismissed the worry in my voice, “They’re ten and twelve—old enough to get themselves home and get in through a window. They’re fine.”
Really? I would have been absolutely panicked, and I said a little prayer for these children. Something tells me that they probably are resourceful enough to get themselves to warmth, because something also tells me this is not the first time they’ve had to take care of themselves.
How do some kids grow up? By God’s grace alone, some of them.
By the time I got my groceries, the parking lot was white and the air was full of falling snow. We’ll be in all day today—maybe tomorrow, too.
After an hour of snow (with hours more to go), the roads were treacherous coming home. This is the view right now from my front porch.
And here is my backyard through my picture window.
And “they” tell us, it’s only just started.
Hope you all stay warm! We intend to—got plenty of coffee now! C