I’m searching for titles for this post.
“Worst Christmas Ever”
“Missed Christmas This Year”
“I almost died on Christmas”
“Where is Santa Claus when you need him?”
As I was driving up north to visit family, I found myself caught in a blizzard. After praising myself for having mad snow driving skills, which is surprising because my ex never thought I did. He was from Norway, and thus had far greater driving skills than me. So he said.
So after giving myself kudos for proving him wrong. Asshole. I began to realize that I wasn’t going to make it anywhere that night.
Christmas Eve stuck in a snowstorm. Scared, and with the way it was coming down in an area of the US where most people don’t see snow and don’t know how to drive on it. My chances of survival without wrecking the car, or having someone wreck into me, suddenly got a lot smaller. I was alone with my dog. What hotel was going to allow her in?
I began to think about last Christmas. Last Christmas, I had thought was the worst Christmas ever. My ex had just left me, and refused me any kind of contact. I got no explanation no closure. The Christmas in Norway trip we’d planned (because he wanted to spend Christmas with his family, and didn’t want me to be alone -his exact words) suddenly was cancelled for me. I had no plans for Christmas, and knew no one to spend it with. I couldn’t think of a worse Christmas scenario.
Now this one was rivaling it. Toe to Toe.
The storm took most of my concentration so I couldn’t break down as much as I wanted to.. as much as I longed to.. I couldn’t give in to the despair.
So I drove carefully, cautiously, and hoped like hell everything would turn out fine. I traveled a whole 162.3 miles in 10 hours in a complete blizzard. I only know this because of my trip meter on my car from the last place I filled up gas, and the last place I went to the bathroom before driving into the storm. 10 hours stuck freezing on the road, literally without a pot to piss in.
Approximately 4.5 of these hours I was not moving at all. No one was. Thankfully I had 3G service in the area and my phone charger. So I twittered, read emails, played some games and begged strangers to call me. My parents called gave me weather updates and found a hotel for me & the dog (now only to get there), my best friend would call and give me more weather. And @NJTunaFisherman called and like the awesome man he is, talked to me until his phone battery died. @HarryLang, @Myerman, @AustinDirtyDog, and @BrunoBulldogRVA twittered with me, making sure I was ok, and helped me keep my sanity.
I forced myself to stay strong, and thought of ways things could be better. If I’d had a hot man with me, we could have spent those 4 hours doing untold things. I dreamt about those things, and the hotel, and well.. lots of things.
There was no real need to panic. Other than the lack of toilet, I could survive in my car for days if it didn’t get too cold. I always take my own bedding if I can, so I had a pillow and a comforter in the car. Several changes of clothes, two coats, @MissMelisaMae’s fabulously warm scarf, gloves, a scraper, about a weeks worth of safe food (I had brought things to share with family). I was lowish on water but had a half gallon in the trunk (in my brita filter pitcher) if it didn’t freeze, a gallon of apple juice, some berry juice, two liters of KFP coke, as well as lunch meat, crackers, nuts, and strawberries in my snackbag. I even had a couple rolls of toilet paper if I needed it. The only things I didn’t have that I might need were window washer fluid with antifreeze in it, an endless supply of gas (I had enough but not for overnight), some gravel, and a shovel.
Still even with all that, I wanted to be comforted. I wanted to know I’d make it to my hotel. I wanted some real hope of Christmas. I hung on to that remaining sliver.
After finally making it to my hotel at 2am, and winding down to sleep at 3am, my dog decided to bark at every noise outside our door from 6am on. Tired and groggy, I attempted to sleep through it with no success. At 10am, my parents called and said it was now blizzarding in the north. I wouldn’t be able to make it there today. Stay another night, or go home?
The online road conditions made everything sound horrid. Travel everywhere was discouraged. I thought I was stuck again. So I called the front desk, he said people were moving at a good pace along the highway. So I called Fred in Dallas, and asked about the road conditions there. (Online it said all of Dallas was icy) He said there was a little slush but it was ok.
I decided to go home. It cost me a little over a tank and half ($30) in gas to get there which was less than half the price of my hotel. Much cheaper to go home and try another day. Plus home has my bed, my internet, my tv.
I made it home in 6.5 hours… a distance that yesterday had taken 13 hours. Unloaded the car, and sat down and watched my Netflix movies, and ate my holiday food stash. After the last 29 hours, 20 of which I was stuck in my car, I was not getting back in my car any time soon, but I was ready to party. So I had my own little celebration. Chilling on my couch with the dog.
My parents called and gave me weather updates. The storm was bad enough that even on the 26th the roads weren’t clear enough up there for my family to gather for Christmas. It comforted me somewhat that not only did I miss Christmas, but most of my family had as well. And it was more evidence that I made a good choice to just come home.
Then my parents called again to inform me that everyone would be gathering for Christmas on New Years, at my sisters home. So it’d be an 18 hour drive. 13 is my max of what I can do in a day, so there’d be extra hotel both ways. $$$ plus then I’d end up missing NYE.
So.. I had to choose. Another huge car trip and more costs to have Christmas with family (and miss NYE)… or go out an party with friends and possibly meet a cute guy and have a great New Years Eve.
I’d already mourned the loss of Christmas already and the thought of a road trip nearly gives me hives right now.. heck I’m adverse to the thought of driving almost everywhere right now.. So I’m staying put.
Bring on the BOOZE!