Monday, February 08, 2010

Trapped with Twins: Day 10

Call in the National Guard. It's becoming a state of emergency in my house.

We have now been stuck here for 10 days. Yes, it's been 10 days since I left the house. Ten days since I bought groceries. Ten days since I put my contacts in and put on regular clothes that aren't workout pants and fuzzy slippers. Ten days since we've interacted with anyone other than my SIL and her family. Ten loooooong days.It started with a snowstorm a week ago that left us stuck. I still don't have a snow shovel. Then we got a second storm just a few days later. Then 2 days after that we were hit with The Blizzard of 2010, aka Snowpocalypse.

The snow started falling and just didn't stop. I spent the first 25 years of my life in the DC area and I've never seen anything like this before. I was here for the blizzards in '83 and '96. I've seen big snows before but this just takes the cake. We still had mountains of unmelted snow from the storm in December! At this rate we'll be seeing snow mountains until April.While the snow fell quietly outside (with the occasional rumble of thunder) the kids were asleep in the living room. Our power had been flickering and I decided to keep the 4 bigger kids together in case it went out. They ended up falling asleep watching a movie in the living room. I covered them with extra blankets and found them curled up together in the morning.

While the kids built forts out of chairs and blankets and enjoyed a warm breakfast and hot cocoa, the snow continued to fall. It just snowed and snowed and snowed.
The kids were getting restless and I was getting antsy. I don't like being trapped. I was worried someone would fall and hit their head (they did) and that we'd need to go to the ER (we didn't.) I was picturing us running out of food and needing to eat toothpaste and drink breastmilk to stay alive. I could see myself burning our furniture to stay warm. It wasn't pretty.

Fortunately, none of that became necessary. (Yet.)

Matthew decided to brave the blizzard and headed out into the windy mess of flakes swirling across our yard. He loved it, of course. Now my kids think that Virginia always gets this much snow. They've quickly adapted from the Georgia weather to the blizzard conditions.
Once the snow started to taper off, Joshua decided to head outside with Matthew to explore the snowy depths of the driveway. The snow was almost up to their waists! They came in and out of the house all day on Saturday and Sunday. They'd get their snow gear on and go out for a bit and then come in to thaw out before heading right back out again.
By Saturday night our street was unrecognizable. It looked like an alien planet and out van looked like an eerie white shuttle to ferry little aliens across the snowy landscape. The only tracks in the snow were from my children as they plowed their way through the snowy sidewalks.
To my surprise, a tractor appeared late Saturday night. Within a few hours our entire street was cleared. Of course, this didn't matter to me much since my van was still buried. But still, it was better than the several days it took in December before the plows showed up.
While the tractors cleaned up the streets, my kids destroyed the house. By the end of the storm, our playroom was a disaster. A blizzard of toys had fallen across the once-clean room. Mountains of toys were piled in every corner. I was tempted to ask the tractors to come inside and remove the mess.
On Sunday morning we awoke to the most beautiful sight. Our little piece of the world was coated in a sparkling white layer of fresh snow. I couldn't stop staring. I wish that Jason could have been here for it. He would have loved to be snowed in with us. It would have been so much fun.
As it was, Jason was working hard while we were enjoying the blizzard. He has been calling every few days and reminding me that he is ok. He still doesn't have his computer and so our contact is severely limited. The kids are sad that they can't see him and talk to him. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for him.
Nathan has learned how to make Matthew's angry face. Matthew has this face a lot, especially lately. He seems to scowl more than smile. I hate it. I hate that he's so angry and upset. But now Nathan has started making this grumpy face, even going so far as to cross his chubby little arms! What a character!
Yesterday my nephew finally was able to get to our house. He brought a shovel and got to work! We now have a clear path from the door to the driveway and a mostly clear area next to the van. Of course, my van isn't starting again so we still won't be going anywhere without a jump start. Such is life.
I find it interesting that 6 of my neighbors watched my 7-year old shovel snow with a toy shovel and yet not a single one of them offered to help. Two neighbors with snow blowers just watched us. I wanted to shout obscenities at them. I was so, so angry.

A truck of men pulled up when my SIL and I were outside and asked if we needed help. Jessie said we did but that we didn't have any money to pay them. She said "my brother is in Iraq serving our country and my sister-in-law has been stuck in her house for 9 days now." The guy said "I'm trying to earn a living. I got 2 kids to feed at home." The truck started to drive away as my SIL shouted that I have 6 kids stuck here. The guy left and never came back. The neighbors (within hearing distance) went inside and shut their doors. Are there any decent people left in this world????I'm losing hope here. It seems that people are only motivated by money. Nobody is wiling to help anyone when it doesn't benefit them in some way. I couldn't find a mommy's helper until I offered to pay $10 an hour. I can't get anyone to help me shovel snow unless I shell out $60 or more. I've lived in this house for 5 months now and not one person has ever brought us a meal or checked to see if we are ok.

It makes me want to pack up and leave. Where would I go? I have no idea. But I hate living in a place where I feel so alone. What does it take to get some help around here?
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