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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Adventures in Driving to Work in/on Ice.

I'm not sure if 'adventuresome' is the exact right word I'd use, but definitely far from the norm here in Texas!

Today was actually the first day in my life that I've ever had to drive in ice-y weather.

And I'm going to venture to say- that this is the worst the roads have ever been in 15 (or 25 years depending on which news or radio station you're listening to....haha). And any time there ever has been 'ice-y conditions' or 'inclement weather'.....I have not had to go to work.

So today was actually quite a few 'firsts' for me.

And since most of you probably did not get out and experience this ice first-hand- I thought I'd kind of catalogue my 'adventure.'

It's nothing too exciting, but I want to document nonetheless.

So I'll start with......

.....Parker came into our room at about 4:30am. And since this is not a usual occurrence....anytime this does happen....we just put her in bed with us because we are lazy it is the easiest thing to do and the quickest way for us all return to our slumber.

Only alarm went off at 5:15.

Parker was still not asleep.

So she gets up with me while I'm getting ready. She's wide awake. Thinking it's time to get up....even though I keep telling her it is still 'night-night' since the sun is still sleeping. She's not buying it a bit because since I'm up....and so it must be time for her to get up!

I was rushing around trying to get ready... feed her (she said she was hungry)...make my lunch (slacker! this should have been done the night before!)....make my coffee (I can't live without it.). So right before I was to walk out the door.....I wanted to take a quick look at the TV to see what the weather was doing (although- at the time it was sleeting.....and it had been thundering and lightening as well....which may have been the reason Parker woke up?).

And right when I turned on the TV....I saw the number 21 so big on the screen!


It was already freezing temps???

You see- when I went to be last night....I knew in my heart of hearts (and I think this is what the meteorologists were predicting as well) that the morning would be rainy.....but.....ABOVE freezing.

I had already planned on leaving a little early.....but I did not expect the below freezing temps at 6am.

My heart started beating really fast.....and I'll stomach started turning and I kind of felt sick.

It's like I was in denial on how bad the roads really were though. Even though I was already getting really nervous about driving.....there was a fleeting moment when I was still hoping that it wasn't as bad as it was.

And so as the school closings were listed at the bottom of the screen.....I saw 'Dallas ISD closed.'

And I'm not really sure the exact reason why.....but I started crying then. (I mean- I know why I was crying....I was scared out of my mind. But was a little surprised that it was triggered by the 'Dallas ISD close' flashing on the screen?).

But I think it was just that- in my mind- if ALL of these places were deeming the roads too unsafe to drive.....then how did I think that I could drive those same roads safely? It was all a little overwhelming. (Also important to keep in mind that I do not regard myself as a good driver.)

OK- that's pretty much the end of my 'story.'

Oh wait!

As I was pulling out of the driveway....and onto our street......I saw the ice.

Blankets of ice.

Maybe it was my stupidity. Or my naivety? But I do not think I've ever experienced (at least since I've been driving)....the actual roads.....not only the bridges and overpasses......but for the roads to have SO. MUCH. ICE on them.

If I had to do it over again.....I would have probably waited until daylight (around 7) to have left the house.

It. was. awful.

Mind you- it was still sleeting, although not too bad. But it was, nonetheless.

The freeway was covered in ice. And there were few, if any, tire track marks indenting the ice because it was so early and so many were staying in today.

I could not see the lines between the lanes. And while driving over the lake (there are TWO, fairly decent in length bridges that I have to cross) all just seemed SO dark.

Thankfully- at this point- people were still driving pretty cautiously.

As I got closer to Dallas.....and there was more daylight- I started coming upon bridges that had been sanded. And apparently- in case you were wondering- some people interpret this as a sign that the bridges and overpasses are safe and ice-free..... and decide to speed-race. Good times, I tell ya.

At one point- a car sped past me.....splashing a pretty good amount of the ice-y, water-y, muddy slush onto my window. Upon stuck/froze to my window. I panicked (mostly on the inside) windshield wipers couldn't get it off.....I could not see......I started to slow down.....but then was afraid someone would run into me......then I couldn't tell what lane I was in again......then- after what seemed like a few minutes (but probably only a few seconds)....I could see again. But not without hunching down to see through the dirt stained windows where my windshield wipers performed less than par!!!!! (Geoff is getting me new wipers tonight!)

It really makes you realize that when you know you have to drive in ice-y're not really worried about yourself and your driving (ok- maybe you are a little)......but you should mostly be worried about the other people. ;)

And it gets kind of tricky....because it starts to look wet.....or even dry.....but then's still the ice!!! And so people start driving faster....thinking it's safer....and BAM!

Ok, ok. No more negativity. (And honestly- I'm really not trying to be negative...but more....just telling it like it was today on my way to work.)

And.....I did make it to work safely. I drove about 20 mph the whole way there.

And I made it home safely, as well. Such a praise and blessing. So very thankful.

This was my sludgy window when I got to work. I know it doesn't look that bad....but it was!! I could barely see!

And this was the parking lot. These pictures really do not do it justice....but this is solid ICE. At this wasn't too slippery to walk on.

Another picture of the ice in the parking lot (note: this is not is ice.) (or if it was was not soft. it was hard and slippery.)

But when I got off of work. The ice looked thicker. And this time it was slippery. And like I said- this picture does not really do justice....but where you see solid ice.

And I took this picture to show the ice better.......but this is how it was all over!! So now- when you look at the picture above.....know that this is what it looked like there, too. I started to feel like I might not be able to make it out of the parking lot....let alone, home!

I picked up the girls from Kristin's and headed home. I ended up parking on the street because I was not sure I could make it up our driveway.

And this is ice, also. Leading up to our front door. Solid.

Now.....trying to mentally prepare myself to do it all over again tomorrow. ;)

I'm also about to try to make some Valentine's decorations with this felt if I can keep my eyes open. ;) Been meaning to get around to it for about 2 weeks now. We'll see how it goes.

Oh- and I guess I need to make our lunches. {sigh}


Anonymous said...

Yikes, scary stuff! We are getting the same. I get lucky on these kinds of days because I'm a teacher, so we usually have a snow day if it's too bad. But I do worry about my husband getting to work! Glad you made it safely!

Milstead said...

Oh my goodness, be careful tomorrow! I'm so sorry you had to drive in that this morning. :( I had to pick up my parents from the airport about 5 years ago on Martin Luther King Day and it was freezing rain. The roads were closed, I saw an accident (which turned out to be a fatal one...I looked it up.), I drove with my hands locked so tight on the wheel that they hurt and my whole body lurching forward to see the road. It was awful and I will never forget it. I hope that tomorrow is less eventful for you. Hope the new windshield wipers work! Be careful! I'll be thinking of you and praying!

Kristin said...

Wow, thanks for sharing the pictures... You can really tell how bad it really was!! So glad you made it safely there and back and home again! Praying for you today too!

Megan said...

Yuck!!!! My heart was racing reading your story! I am so glad you have made it safely!!

Yes, it is the other people you have to be worried about! Crazy people!!

Anonymous said...


Viv said...

I have worried about you all so much this week, still praying for your safe to and from each day you have to go!


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