Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas not like any other

which translated means, "GOD WITH US." 
Matthew 1:23 

The Sunday after we got the Christmas tree it was snowing when we got up. But it didn't look too serious, so we all bundled up and headed for church. However, by the time we got to church it was blizzarding. There actually was a fair amount of people at church, but in the middle of the service they announced that the next two services were cancelled. After church we stopped by Heidi's house to drop off something, and Emily was all dressed up to go out into the snow. She was just about the cutest thing ever. You could tell that she had been dreaming about the day that she could finally get to experience snow. She put her arms out and twirled around and around saying "it's snowing, it's snowing!" Now I think this is pretty amazing for a two year old. They all headed out to walk the half mile to the store and Starbucks.

We had a lovely rest of the day, and it was announced that school was canceled for the next day. We spent the rest of the week not knowing what was going to happen next. I think that they held school two days. Sometimes Riley went to work, sometimes he didn't.  But one thing was certain, the snow wasn't going away.    And somewhere in there we realized that our car wasn't going anywhere.  That might seem amusing for a day or so, but that wasn't going to be the case.

On Saturday we had a wedding to go to, and we weren't going to miss it.  Luckily Sarah and Zac had chains on their four wheel drive Subaru, and they said that we could borrow it as long as they could take time to go to Fred Meyers.  Sure, why not.  Well I found out what could be wrong with that.  I'm at home patiently, then impatiently waiting for everyone to come home.  Riley is with them, and I knew he hadn't showered or shaved yet.  I got myself all dressed for the wedding, but it was 5:00 and no one was home and the wedding was at 5:30.  Finally they all showed up at 5:15, and I told Riley he better get right into the shower.  It wasn't until we were finally in the car on the way to the wedding that I found out what took so long.  Riley said they left FM's with what seemed like enough time, but when they got to the car they discovered that it was not only frozen on the outside, it was all frozen up on the inside.  It took them quite a while to get the car goable.  Riley said he went through 3 credit cards - he used them as ice scrapers.

So we got to the wedding only 10 minutes late, just as things started.  It was a lovely wedding, and after the wedding we got directions to the reception.  It was in North Portland.  Not what I would have expected, but Riley seemed to think he knew how to get there.  Well it one thing to get somewhere in the middle of an ordinary day, but quite another to find it in the dark and in blizzard.  The car steamed up continually.  Luckily we had brought with us a large package of paper napkins.  And the windshield wipers kept freezing up, so that Riley had to get out of the car to get the ice off.  I had to keep rolling my window down to try and read the street signs, which isn't easy with snow blowing in your face.  Riley's window was frozen and wouldn't open.  We were all over the place trying to find that reception.  Finally we spotted three cars all turning down the same street.  Now given that there were very few cars on the road, that seemed like a good indicator that something of note was happening in that direction.  By this time we had been on the road for almost an hour trying to find the reception.  Well sure enough they were going where we were going.  There it was.  It turned out that the directions were wrong.  We were told to turn right on a street we should have turned left on.  But it seemed that most of the people were already there.  I think that the reason so many of them weren't late was because this was a wedding of two Multnomah Bible College students and most of the guests were the same.  They all knew from previous wedding where to find the place.  

All during the reception it just kept on snowing.  We sat at a table with the pastor who married the couple and he told us that church was cancelled the next day.  Also at our table was someone we knew who had taken the bus to the wedding, and had gotten a ride to the reception, but was in need of a ride home.  So we volunteered to give her a ride.  Just getting out of there was a struggle, but eventually we all got home safely.

Sarah and Zac and Caleb spent the night, but they went home the next day because they needed to get ready to fly to Tennessee.  We were of course stuck, and I came down with a cold.  The next day Riley took Sarah and Zac to the airport, but there was a feeling that they might not actually fly out, as almost no one was getting out at the airport.  Heidi dropped the children off.  I thought she was a bit nuts to try and make it to work, as she works in Milwaukee, not Portland.  Riley took Sarah and Zac's car to work.  At about the same time in the afternoon both Riley's work - the city of Portland, and Heidi's work let them off, as the snow was really coming down.  Before Riley reached home, Sarah called to tell him that they needed a ride, as their plane wasn't flying out.  That was good news/bad news.  I was delighted that they would be around for Christmas, but it was distressing that we wouldn't be able to use their car, as ours certainly wasn't going anywhere.  Riley had tried to get chains, but they cost over $600.  

The next day Riley went to work, but Heidi didn't.  So that meant I was free, I just needed a ride.  Sarah and Zac showed up late morning, and Sarah and Caleb stayed at our house so that Zac could give Corey and Annie and I a ride to NW Portland.  We went to Powells, then we went out for Sushi, after which I went to Sur la Table and bought a metal pizza peel for Riley, and then we trudged through the snow to the downtown area.  We went to Starbucks for coffee - and a chance to sit down.  Somehow it was decided that Riley would come and meet me, and Corey and Annie would go off on their own somewhere.  

It was getting dark by the time I met up with Riley, but we managed to get some Christmas shopping done.  This was good, but I have to say I was getting very tired, and it seemed like a rather daunting thought getting home on the bus.  But we caught the bus rather quickly, and we got a seat together.  It was a rather long ride, twice as long as normal, but everything went okay.  The hard part was the walk from where the bus let us off to home.  Well I had managed to get Christmas shopping done, but I was really tired, and the next day was Christmas Eve, when we always have our big formal Christmas meal.  I could tell that neither my parents nor our friends Ken and Marilyn would be able to make it.   But Sarah and Zac and Caleb would be there, which meant that my entire direct family would be there - 11 of us.  The problem was going to be that I didn't have the needed ingredients for lasagne and salad.  

Sarah and Zac agreed to show up shortly after noon, so that they could get me to the store for the food.  Well they called at 2:00 to say that they were on their way.  But maybe 15 minutes later they called to say that they were stuck on the freeway behind a jack-knifed semi.  Eventually the police were organized to back the cars off the freeway, but when Zac rolled down his window to talk with the policeman, it got stuck.  They eventually got the window up, but by then they got a call from the airport saying that their luggage was finally back at the airport, so they went to get it.  They finally arrived at our house at about 5:00.  Needless to say I was in a bit of a panic.  I did have the sauce ready.  we decided that Annie would make the pasta from scratch.  While waiting for Sarah and Zac I had sent Annie and Christian off to the store for the mozerella and ricotta.  Unfortunately it had begun to rain icey type rain, not long after they left.  They arrived back home very cold and went shortly before Sarah and Zac arrived.

But after Sarah and I got back from the store every one helped out, and absolutely everything came together for a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at about 8:10.  I could hardly believe it.  We all had a lovely time.  After dinner Sarah and Zac wanted everyone to open the presents from them, so we all gathered in the living room for a lovely round of present opening.  The only down side was that when all was done I was really running out of energy.  I did manage to get 


Jennifer said...

Wow, that's quite a story! I'm glad you made it home safely!!!!

AmyRuth said...

Wow Molly,
sounds like you had quite a change of pace. Happy 2009