Pie and I started getting ready last week for our trip to Milwaukee. I thought it was going to be a quick trip for a visit with family and saying goodbye to Grandma. It ended up being a wild ride, but Pie and I held on tight and kept our hands and arms inside the car.
Before I left, I got a package in the mail that I didn’t think would come until after I was back! It was the Lightscoop I had ordered, so I started playing with it. Pie wanted to touch it…
I was squeezing lemons and stacking the spent rinds, and couldn’t resist testing out my new toy in the dark kitchen.
The next morning we got ready at 4:15 and left for the airport. Unfortunately we had a little snafu and missed our flight. Aunt Hailey was entertaining little miss sleepy Pie while we waited to find out about a new flight.
After we got to Milwaukee Mama needed a drink. We found a German restaurant downtown and enjoyed some wine and a flight of German beers. Oh yeah, and some schnitzel, sauerkraut, latkes and onion soup.
The next morning was Grandma’s funeral, which was the first time I’d seen my mom’s side of the family since my wedding – before that it was my cousin Julia’s wedding 7 years ago! Julia and her husband Kevin met the Pie, and Kevin wanted to steal her. They’re thinking about having a babe, and my dad made sure to remind them (repeatedly) that you have to do a little more than thinking to end up with a baby.
We walked around the cemetery attached to the church and found my great grandfather’s grave, as well as 4 other family graves. Gottfried came from Germany and married Eva at the New Apostles church in New Berlin, WI. They had 6 children including my Grandmother, who was married at the same church. Then my Grandfather was buried in the plot in front of Gottfried’s, and Grandma is next to him.
We visited all the other houses where my mom lived in Milwaukee, and places where my dad lived when he moved there. A lot of the neighborhoods were deserted, with most of the buildings boarded up and falling apart.
We caught our plane home, and I was amazed at how well the Pie did on her first big trip. She had 4 flights in 3 days, lots of time in the car, and spent two nights in a hotel room. She was happy to get home late on Sunday night and get to see Daddy and sleep in our big bed. There was snow when we got home, which is unusual, but it happens occasionally. Normally when it snows here, if it sticks over night, it melts off by noon.
On Monday we woke up and the snow was still there – and it was still snowing! But Pie and I had plans to go visit a friend and her new baby, so we piled in the car and trekked the 55 miles north. We visited with the sweet little guy for a few hours, and it just kept snowing.
Around 3:30 Daddy called and said that he was leaving work and we needed to get on the road, too. So we did. About 90 minutes later we had covered 6 miles. Seattle had turned into a solid block of ice while we were visiting, and it was snowing and windy. I decided to give up after passing crashed, burned, and abandoned cars on the freeway. I pulled off the freeway, parked my car, and walked to a friend’s house to spend the night. I assumed Logan would make it home – he started out closer to home than I had, and he had 4-wheel-drive and was used to driving in snow & ice. He called me and said that he was stuck on the freeway – traffic wasn’t moving and he didn’t think he’d make it home. He turned around and headed back into the city to pick me up and try to get home together. Daddy to the rescue!
Unfortunately the two major freeways were both closed. It was getting icier and it was still snowing. This is just up the hill from where I was staying, and in my old neighborhood.
We decided to go out to dinner, and see what the roads looked like when we got back to my friend’s house. We walked up the alley and had a nice dinner with friends. We got back, and the roads were still a wreck, a complete parking lot. Friends who had been on the road for hours already were still stuck. My friend’s roommate slept on the futon so our little family of refugees could have her bed. Another friend walked to the store to get diapers for the Pie. We drank hot whiskey and crystallized ginger cocktails and watched Snowpocalypse 2010 unfold on the news.
This morning we checked the traffic and saw that the freeways had cleared, although there were reports of I-5 being an abandoned car graveyard. We decided to hop in the truck and try to make our way home. The freeway was still solid ice.
We had a wild week in mild Milwaukee and the wild, wild Midwestern-esque Seattle. Hopefully I can get back to my car before the tow trucks take it away, but there’s no defrosting in sight.
For now I’m grateful to have spent the night safe and warm, and for my fearless mountain man husband and his 4WD truck. I’m thankful for friends like Natalie & Rachel for giving me and my family a place to weather the storm, and to Teresa for being my diaper fairy and making sure the Pie was “covered”. My friends are the best.