24 December 2009

Christmas Eve Ice

It snowed yesterday and overnight. The rain began this morning. It was freezing rain at first, then changing over to rain as the temperatures rose. The forecast is for more rain into the night then changing back to snow as the temperatures fall below freezing again. What a mess things will be on Christmas day!

Our neighbor was on his roof removing snow!

Neo and Tristan used the new snow to build snow folk.

I must be distracted by the ice and snow this year because I forgot about my appointment for one of my favorite events of the year: the Christmas Eve American red Cross blood drive at the Alliant Energy center. There is music, Santa, a festive atmosphere. Really a wonderful event - and I missed it.

While Neo was outside in the morning, he was waving a stick around. A piece of ice and the stick caught him in the eye. After Christmas Eve church service at Blackhawk church, I took him to the Urgent Care. He explained to the doctor what happened. He was very brave while they looked for any foreign matter. But he began to cry about 1/2 way through the eye irrigation procedure. What a way to spend Christmas Eve.

I think I hear Santa arrive about 11pm. Norad Santa watch confirms that.

22 December 2009

The Big Snow

The snow cover we had prior to the "big event"

On Tuesday 7 December, Dave left for work about 7am. There had been a 1-2 inch snowfall overnight - just enough to make the roads slippery. Dave called at 7:30 to say that he had lost control of his vehicle while merging onto the beltline. He said his car had done a 180. Fortunately, he was not injured and the car came to rest on the side of the road, facing the wrong way. He said he backed up and drove to work. There was a small amount of damage on the car - on the bumper. He was very fortunate.

Tuesday night the weather forecast was for a large storm coming our way. This storm had already created havoc for the western part of the United States. The school districts were convinced and closed for Wednesday before the snow really began. At 3am, we were awaken by flashes outside - lightning with the snow? Then there were pops and more flashes and our power went out. It stayed out for 2-1/2 hours.

By morning, there were 15 inches of snow on the ground. The snow event was one of the largest in Madison's history. The snow was wet and heavy. It clung everywhere! It was a beautiful morning. Everything covered in white. Many tree branches were down. The large pine tree next to our house had several broken branches...which might have been the popping noises we heard. The branches not broken were bent over from the weight of the snow.

With the temperature right at 32, it was a mild day - perfect to spend some time outside moving snow and playing in it.

Our kids helped with shoveling but also created snow forts and went sledding down the small hills in our backyard.

I had just gotten the snow thrower repaired and tuned up a couple of days before, perfect timing. Even with the snow blower, it was slow going clearing the snow from our driveway and sidewalks. Dave managed to injure his back while shoveling. He said he felt a disc move and heard a pop. He walked around bent over for most of a week. He finally went in for chiropractic adjustment on Friday 18 December.

Because of the amount of snow, the city of Madison was closed down. All nonessential employees were ordered to stay home.

The city roads were not cleared very well. On Thursday, schools were opened. Dave went into work. Zoe wasn't feeling well so stayed home from school. We drove Tristan to school, then stayed home. When it was time to pick Tristan up from school, we found that the city was still a mess. The roads were not cleared very well and still very slippery. Traffic crawled. It took me 40 minutes to get to Shorewood - a trip the usually takes 10 minutes.

There was a truck stopped on Regent street because the power line had dragged on it. Because of the truck, Clara's bus was diverted. It took her 1 hour and 10 minutes longer then usual to make it home.
Dave called to say the he had lost control of his car again on the way home. He said he had plowed into a snowbank to avoid hitting another vehicle. It took him 2 hours to get home after calling AAA for road assistance to get out of the snowbank.

21 December 2009

Catching Up

It's December 2009 and we've managed to get integrated into our old life, more or less. We are living in our house. I am working part time from home and managing our 4 unit apartment building. Dave is working at the same company he worked at prior to our departure. Tristan is back at Shorewood Elementary school. Clara is back at Hamilton Middle School. Zoe didn't want to go back to Shorewood, so we enrolled her at St. James school, where she happily attends 1st grade in a class with 14 students.

It took months to feel like we were "home." Part of this is because of the reception I received upon my return to Madison (for more details, follow this link then click the back button to continue on in the blog). It took Dave's work more then 2 months to bring him onboard upon our return. Getting into the swing of the schools and work really helped to settle us in.

We have some wonderful friends and neighbors. But these relationships have changed because of absence. We have changed too. We are settled. Madison and our house feel like "home" but....we'll keep our options open.