Bad weather when you need to get home
At that point I could feel a little bit of anxiety building up. The planner in me kicked into overdrive. I reviewed my to do list and shot off all the critical emails that I needed to get out. By 3 o'clock I was ready for my meeting and had all the critical items crossed off. The meeting finished on time at 4 and I returned to my desk to "shut down" collect my computer and key files and head out.
By the time I got to my car, cleaned it off and headed out it was 4:20. I knew I was in trouble when we couldn't even turn out of the parking lot onto the main road due to traffic. By 4:45 when I hadn't made it the 1/2 mile to the highway I called Arnie and said please leave. Thankfully he had looked outside and was leaving his desk the. I was worried about Amber having to drive home so I also called my neighbor who was home to see if Amber could bring the kids over. This way she would be driving home in the daylight vs. dark.
Arnie and I managed to get phone lines every now and then to stay in touch. Ended up that where I was on the highway in Cincy was the "heaviest" hit area, very low visibility, so I barely went above 20 MPH the entire way. Arnie went non-highways from downtown and ran into no trouble . The last call we made he suggested I go a different way to avoid a very steep downhill then uphill to get to our street. That is when it all fell apart for me...I didn't listen to my husband.
I went my normal way, going 2-3 MPH down the steep hill and then attempted to go up the steep hill. I was doing fine until I realized a van was stuck at the top. I couldn't go up because it was a blind hill, so I couldn't go around. It ended up being my neighbor in her mini-van. I reversed down the hill and tried a few more times, calling Arnie in between. Nothing worked (and I have a Volvo SUV). I then tried another route, with a less steep hill...no luck. At this point it had been 20 minutes since my first attempt.
I had no choice but to try to go the way Arnie said. The only problem was I had to go up the hill I went 2 MPH down. I knew there was a semi stuck at the top but prayed I could get by. Bumper to bumper the entire way, sliding all over the place, I finally made it. Arnie called a couple of times but I was so stressed I just hung up quickly after saying where I was. In the end I got home at 6:25. The kids were still happily playing at the neighbors, Arnie had a hot meal ready and all was well, except my heart rate.
As I said in one of my daily facebook tips...be sure to leave early in inclement weather, especially if you have kids. The first thing I did when my meeting ended at 4 was to go to the women who works for me and said "leave" and go get your little girl. This is only her third week back from maternity leave and I didn't want her thinking she had to stay. It ended up after she hit the road she didn't think she had enough time with traffic to make it, so her husband went. Be sure you always leave early, if you have to "go back to work" later at night to get stuff done, that is better than being stuck on the highway with or without your kids in the car.
The other tip I would give is to always have snacks/food in the car, especially if you have children in the car with you. Today I was so happy to find some cookies in my car. I was very hungry, had taken a vitamin at work that was making my stomach upset (or maybe it was the stress) and finding those cookies was like hitting the lottery at that moment. Be prepared, leave early and be safe. And please no more snow.