For the first time in our forty years of Christmases together, I chose to spend this past one up north in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is where two of our grandchildren live, and of course our second son, Josh, and his wife, Kathy. When I flew in, I could see a slight dusting of snow on the ground, which melted the day after my arrival. Our daughter, Jessica, drove over from Cleveland, Ohio, where she is attending graduate school. We had a wonderful Christmas morning with the kids. It is so much better celebrating this holiday with young ones. Casey is 5 and Jacob is 8; perfect ages for Santa bringing all his magic and toys. I was not disappointed!
Two days later, Jessica and I drove over to Cleveland. I was wanting a chance at seeing some of my relatives. I was born and lived the first 18 years of my life in that area and still have plenty of relatives and friends there. The weather did not cooperate! We couldn't have left for Cleveland at worse time for getting in an epic snow storm. But, we were unaware of what we were about to face, or we would have never made that choice to leave at that moment. Our ride started out with ice spitting out of the sky, quickly changing to snow. What should have been a two hour drive ended up a 4 hour grueling, tense, nerve shattering ride through white-outs, and un-plowed, un-salted highways. Our windshield wipers kept building up ice on them, making it near impossible to see out of except for a tiny sliver of clear. We would stop every hour where it was safe and clean the ice off of them. There were many wrecks along the way. I was very grateful that Jessica knew how to drive safe as she could in the horrific snow storm. We made it safe, thank goodness! I did not even think of pulling out the camera until our 4 hour trip was about over, so this video is of the best part of the storm we went through.
Because of the bad roads, we did not venture out much to visit family and friends, and frankly, I was so traumatized by the ride over that I became ill. We did get to see some very special Uncles and an Aunt, who I dearly love.
We headed back to Pittsburgh, on much better roads, New Year's Eve. We did an early toast to the new year, and every one was in bed by midnight. I flew home on New Years Day. Quite different holiday for me this time.
Then Josh and kids drove down to watch the Championship game with us a week after I returned. They have been here all week, and we have managed to do all sorts of things in spite of the rainy season here. We had one good day to build a fire outdoors. We all love those times! We ordered some gravel for the muddy driveway and the kids were in awe of that dump truck doing it's work. They were eager to spread gravel!
|Casey and Jacob digging in!|
|Casey hard at work|
|A little play time after hard work.|