Sunday, December 31, 2006

Of snot and snowstorms

We had the misfortune of making our way home from New Jersey yesterday. We were making record time (taking the Merritt Parkway rather than I-84 between Hartford and White Plains makes such a big difference...) when it started to snow lightly. We'd just gotten on 495 in Massachusetts and thought nothing of the snow. And then, a few miles later, we watched an SUV roll over right in front of us. We didn't see what caused it to roll, but it seemed slow and fantastical as it toppled over on the shoulder. Everyone around us hit the brakes, which caused us to skid and fishtail. We recovered and went on as several cars stopped to assist the occupants of the SUV; its top remained intact, so I am hopeful that its occupants were ok.

But that episode put us severely on edge for the rest of the drive. It literally took an hour to go 30 miles; there was just a dusting of snow on the ground at that point, but apparently it took the plow operators by surprise, since we didn't see sand or salt for quite a while. Conditions were miserable; I counted 11 accidents -- all of them fender-benders after the rollover -- between Worcester and Portsmouth.

So we were happy to roll into our snow-covered driveway in one piece several hours later. Instead of a record-breaking trip home -- we were slated to get here in about 6.5 hours -- we chalked up an eight-hour-plus journey. And we were exhausted to begin with; while we were at my parents' house, Ess came down with a head cold that caused major sleep disturbances (read: one night I didn't get to sleep until 3:30 am). Which meant that my immune system finally gave up and let D's germs do their work. His cold of last week is still lingering, with a nasty cough and a round of weariness. So the three of us make a pretty picture today, sniffling and coughing and crying when our noses are wiped (I'll let you guess which one of us that phrase describes...).

Still, I wouldn't have skipped that trip for the world. It's so nice to hang out with my parents and to watch them adore every little thing Ess does. My grandparents do much the same; my grandfather in particular is just awed to spend time with his great-granddaughter (though he was scandalized by the fact that we actually trust the monitor to tell us if she is crying -- he kept offering to go down and check on her and sort of sniffing at us for neglecting her). We were a bit hobbled by the colds and the lack of sleep, but we got to see some friends, if only briefly, and to have the traditional opening of gifts and eating of (post)Christmas breakfast with my parents.

And by the time we called my parents yesterday afternoon to let them know we'd gotten home safely, they'd decided that they're going to come up for a visit on their spring break. And a visit that involves no driving on our part, and the possibility for a normal sleep schedule on Ess' part, sounds mighty fine to me.