We were hit by a terrible blizzard starting on Monday night that lasted until late last night, dumping some 8-14 inches of (very welcome) snow in the southeast corner of the state depending upon the location. Like good rule-followers and former Girl Scouts everywhere, I looked at the weather reports on Monday morning and ran the appropriate pre-blizzard errands to prepare. Maddie had her (last) book club here (sniff) on Monday night and Gracie had gym, but by 9 pm we were all home finally and pretty excited for what would assuredly be a snow day on Tuesday. I even put the phone on my nightstand so I could grab it more easily when the phone rang to alert us on Tuesday morning around 5:15 am.
Except, no. No snow day. Kind of unbelievable, actually, given the windspeed, wind chill, hurt-y pelting snow whipping through the air, and the fact that much of Denver called their schools off at 9:00 pm on Monday night. Matt drove Maddie to the bus stop on his way to work and I drove Gracie and Bridget to the bus stop when it was time for their bus—something we've never done before, even on the coldest of days around here. The snow was coming in bands, and after a while it settled down for a little bit in the morning. Fine, I thought. Even though the Dillow girls have never experienced the glorious gift of a snow day in their lives, whatever.
And then around 1:00 pm it started to get bad again. I checked the weather, and the Storm Tracker local weather page I follow on Facebook, and it looked like it was going to be pretty bad for a while. I was feeling a little cranky about the girls being at school but went back to working on my class stuff. And then at 1:55 Maddie called feeling sick. She never calls feeling sick, so I grabbed my coat and my snow sneakers and set out to get her.
Oh, was I mad at this point. The weather wasn't just bad, it was dangerous. I lost the road (at 20 mph) twice on the interstate, where I was lucky that I wasn't involved in a 15 car pile-up as a semi raced past us all at 60+ mph kicking snow up everywhere. Why in the WORLD were the schools not called already? It took me almost 40 minutes to make an 18 minute drive. Got Maddie, sick as advertised, and stumbled back to the car through the blowing snow. Before we left I let Angie know I would not be making it back for the 3:00 pm scheduled conference call I was supposed to be at, and then saw the school district sent an emergency email directing parents to pick their kids up immediately due to inclement weather. WHAT?? Seriously, you have to be kidding me, right? Send hordes of worried parents out onto those roads all at once?
After another harrowing 25 minutes we made it to Gracie's and Bridget's school, where Maddie was looking worse and worse and worse. Not wanting to leave her in the car, we headed across the parking lot where it is unpleasantly windy on a good day (no trees, edge of town) and then it happened: in the midst of all that chaotic emergency pick-up with parents struggling to even make it into the building, Maddie had to throw up. Immediately. We ran to the front yard of the school, where she did. A lot.
And then, it happened. I started laughing. Involuntarily. A little bit hysterically. All while patting the back of my poor, poor Madeline, doubled over, throwing up all over someone else's school grounds. The principal scurried past me (people were literally scurrying everywhere) and looked at us strangely, this strange not-his-student-yakker and her vaguely familiar grownup, the one with the inappropriate giggling going on. Which made it worse, because hello, of all the days and locations to get sick? This was clearly the most ridiculous. And then I started thinking about my sisters, and wondering if this was an inappropriate reaction we all share, and by then it was literally a Herculean effort to pull myself together at this point, frozen eyelashes and all.
I called Marie to do a little investigative research after we finally made it home, and after she had a brief stomp-cackle (this is a kind of laugh we Willis girls have sometimes, The Stomp-Cackle—kind of catchy, isn't it?) she agreed that this was very likely A Thing. Maddie has since regained her sense of humor some and can see her future in the actions of her mama and aunts, and is mostly resigned to her inherited bit of crazy. On the bright side, at least she'll know why she's laughing one day.