Mother Nature Had Other Plans and Warm Togetherness
The first thing I did this morning was wake up and look out the window. Nothing. Good! It was just cold! No snow overnight---it looked like we were going to be all clear for our Christmas Eve trip to Stillwater and Grandma's house. Not so fast. Looming to the West was a record snow storm moving closer by the minute. Maybe it'll be OK, I can drive on a little snow. Uh, no...did I mention record snow storm for Oklahoma? The plans were simple. Amber, KL, Courtney, and I would head down late afternoon and Irene would follow a few hours later when she finished work. That plan quickly changed as soon as the storm started. We decided the best move would be to wait until Irene was off work, then all of us go in one vehicle. Better one vehicle out in this than two, right? As the winds blew and the snow drifted horribly---we started to wonder if we could make it at all. My mom kept calling with mixed emotions. She wanted us there, but she wanted us safe. If we had to postpone Christmas we would. But I was still confident. I can drive on anything, I thought.
I had to make a run to Wal-Mart mid-afternoon for some last minute Christmas dinner items. It was bad, but not bad enough at 3pm to keep us from going. Wal-Mart was a zoo by the way. And the blowing snow wasn't letting up. As soon as I walked back into the warm apartment, my phone rang. It was Irene. The next casino shift manager was having trouble getting to work and Irene would have to wait however long it took for them to arrive. Are people really gambling in a blizzard? Wow. So now, instead of leaving for Stillwater at 7pm, we were looking at 8:30, maybe 9pm. I decided that if it was going to be a long night and I had a white-knuckled 45 mile drive ahead of me, I needed a nap. Irene called to wake me up at 7pm. She didn't have to work as late as she feared---but now she was stuck in a snow drift less than a mile from her house. I left the girls at the apartment and headed out to help Irene. As I got dressed for the winter blast outside, I was still confident this trip was happening. I would get Irene un-stuck, we would deliver her vehicle to her house, then head over to the apartment, get the girls and KL—and head South for grandma's house.
Reality stung my face immediately as I walked outside into a near white-out. The drifts were high and the wind was relentless, blowing snow at 30 to 50 mph. It wasn't this bad just a few hours ago! Mother nature had been changing our plans as I napped. I somehow made it to Irene, being careful not to get stuck myself. There was no getting Irene out of this one. Her car was quickly swallowed by the drifting snow. We decided to abandon her vehicle right where it sit. Our change of plans was obvious at this point. There was no way to make it to Stillwater.
Irene contemplated staying at her place tonight and then joining us for the trip on Christmas when the roads would hopefully be improved. I wouldn't hear of it! If we're going to be snowed in, we're going to do it together! I insisted on bringing her back to the apartment to spend Christmas Eve with the girls and me. We barely made it back, almost getting stuck several times, but we made it safely to the apartment. Amber was so incredibly disappointed that our plans had changed, she was so looking forward to the short trip. I assured her that if we tried, we would be sleeping on the side of the road all night long. There was no way. We were warm and safe right here. I hated to miss Christmas Eve with mom---I've never done that, ever! Thirty-seven Christmas Eve nights in a row...but not tonight. We were lucky though. How many soldiers are away from home again this year? How many people were out there stranded in their vehicles? How many are stuck inside closed airports? Yes, we're some of the lucky ones. Sure, it was going to be a different Christmas Eve, but we would make the best of it, and really---it was going to be OK. We had heat and each other. We called Stillwater and found everyone at grandmas house equally disappointed, but thankful we were OK and together and not out on the road.
We decided to go ahead and do our gift exchange tonight. We watched a Christmas Story and It's A Wonderful Life, and Amber baked brownies and chocolate chip cookies. We were going to be just fine. My food today was good. I started with an egg white omelet, had a banana snack---some baked chicken too—a lean hamburger and even a little mac and cheese---and by the time the cookies and brownies were ready---I still had 400 calories remaining for the day. I honestly wanted some kind of dinner type thing...but how could I not enjoy my daughters baking? I decided on one cookie and a small brownie with a half a cup of 2% milk. It was good, real good.
Our trip to Stillwater is planned for Christmas, late morning. We're hoping that the roads are improved for travel by then. We'll get to Stillwater and prepare a wonderful Christmas dinner and exchange gifts with everyone at grandma's house---it'll be wonderful I'm sure. And we'll take plenty of pictures that I'll be sure to post right here. I have 2500 calories to use tomorrow.
Remember, I allow 1,000 extra two days a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't do it for birthdays or any other special occasion, but these two holidays are so centered around food and “goodies,” it just seems like the responsible thing to do. Trying to set a one day calorie record is no longer of interest to me. That was always the plan in the past. It didn't matter how well I was doing at losing weight. Christmas and Thanksgiving was always a free pass to eat as much as I could hold without getting physically ill. Not anymore, I have no desire. 2500 is plenty of calories to throw around all day long. I will have more than enough, be satisfied, and feel great about the triumph!
Amber gave me the most wonderful gift! When we divided into two separate households, Irene got the Foreman Grill. I needed another, and Amber knew it! She's so wonderfully thoughtful! Check out the pictures below---That's genuine excitement my friend! The Lean Mean Knockin' Out Fat Grilling Machine will be prominently displayed on our apartment counter from here on out! Oh the chicken I will grill! And the lean burgers, and the 140 calorie grilled cheese sandwiches---we'll have to have some more “On The Go Videos!”
Thank you for reading. The Christmas Day 2009 post will be coming Saturday morning with more pictures and a recounting of another wonderful day along this journey. It's actually Christmas morning as I post this edition. Everyone is still sleeping. I'm going to the fitness room now for a good sweat! Goodnight and...
What is it??? I'm so excited!
Such a wonderful gift! Thank you Amber!