What a week it has been! Last week when I put “30 Days of Change: Parenting” on hold until my return from the Blissdom Conference in Nashville reunited me with my children, I had no idea what the coming days had in store for me. I left the Washington, DC, area in anticipation of an exciting weekend with fellow bloggers and social media mavens only to find that I was snowed out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport – or any other airport in the area – and could not leave Nashville. I was scared for my husband and children, stuck in our home with 35 inches of snow surrounding them, no power, and a dwindling supply of firewood. I was nervous for the workload that faced me, and the notes and computer waiting for me at home. And I also realized that there was a chance that I would miss the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, which I had the honor of helping to plan and had been looking forward to for the last six months.
But little did I know that my adventure had only begun.
When I finally boarded a plane out of Nashville, scheduled to arrive at BWI Monday afternoon, a plow had not yet made it to my neighborhood. I knew that leaving the warmth and comfort of the Gaylord Opryland hotel meant that I could possibly find myself stranded at BWI, unable to drive to my home. Using my Blackberry, I checked in periodically with my town’s Yahoo group to find a home with a two car driveway, on a plowed street, where I could park my car and walk home (more to come soon regarding how social media helped me protect my family from afar). I missed my children desperately and just wanted to be home. After a treacherous drive on roads still covered in snow, ice, and fallen trees, I eventually ditched my car two streets away from my home and began my trek through the snow, carrying only my essentials from my suitcase. When I reached my street I discovered that a group of neighbors were in the process of shoveling out our street having given up on a plow saving us.
After finally spending time with my children, I realized that I would most likely not be making the trip to Disney. A second storm was approaching less than 12 hours after my journey to arrive home, and flights scheduled to leave DC the next day or the following – the day of our scheduled flight – were already being cancelled at all three DC area airports. The eventual arrival of a snow plow raised our hopes just a bit, but a very long phone call with our airline resulted in a full refund due to flight cancellations with no options for rescheduling. My parents cancelled their hotel reservation at the Polynesian. It was over.
But in typical Disney fashion, the Tuesday lunchtime weather report showed a shift in the weather pattern: the snow would be delayed by a few hours and if we could get out of DC to another airport, there was a chance we could make it.
Two hours after my parents arrived following a white-knuckle four hour drive from their home in Pennsylvania, we packed up their four wheel drive and drove four hours farther south to Newport News, VA, where a flight to Orlando was scheduled to depart the following morning. Attempting to leave in the storm that was now barrelling down on us making travel difficult meant that there was no option to return. Should our flight not take off the following morning, all six of us would be stranded away from home yet again.
We woke up Wednesday morning to blizzard conditions, snow blowing sideways, fierce winds whipping through the trees. We inquired with the front desk manager regarding the airport conditions, only to hear him guarantee that no flights would be taking off today. We went to the airport anyway, and while we waited, the winds died down, the snow trickled to a flurry, and the sun even dared to peak out at us for just a moment. But there was no plane. Flights throughout the country were delayed or cancelled forcing further cancellations as airports were left without pilots, crews, or planes. Another twist of Disney magic brought a plane to our gate as a flight into LaGuardia was cancelled, freeing up a plane for our trip to Orlando. After thirty minutes of de-icing and a coating of green anti-freeze on the wings, we took off into the clouds and were soon above them, basking in the glow of the sun, headed to Florida.
Our return trip required another extra night away from home as we waited for our street to once again be plowed following this latest blast of 18 additional inches of snow and hoped that the teenage boys who knew about the twenty dollar bill tucked inside our mailbox had shovelled our driveway. The sites that greeted us were astounding:
But here I am in my warm bed, my beautiful children fast asleep in their own rooms, dreaming beautiful Disney dreams. The snow remains all around us, the roof beginning to leak from the melting that has begun, the gutters sagging under the immense weight of the largest icicles I have ever seen. In eleven days I have spent just one night in my bed, and I look forward to the rest that I know tonight will bring. I also know that tomorrow a stack of overdue work awaits me, and if you are one of my many patient clients, thank you for your understanding.
Thank you, also, to my readers for understanding now why this blog has been silent for so long.
Like the spring, I hope that great content and contests come quickly for us all.
–Join me for three Twitter parties! We’ll be chatting this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. EST, and Friday for our weekly Sitewarming at 9:00 p.m. EST. Please stay tuned for more information regarding topics, sponsors, prizes, and RSVP instructions.
-The 30 Day Challenge Continues! I’ll be outlining the remaining Parenting Challenges so that you can prepare to join us as we try to increase happiness in our children’s lives as well as our own. While I certainly did not have time to post while away at the Disney Social Media Moms conference, my parenting skills were, of course, challenged during our time in the parks, and I absolutely thought of all of you and what you would think of my more positive attitude. It’s nice to have readers to answer to.
Here’s to spring, home, and a great week at Resourceful Mommy! Thanks for hanging in there with me.