We woke up this morning to all of our trees (and power lines!) covered with a glistening coat of ice. The weather folks had actually been predicting this for a few days, but we really didn't think it would happen. Something very similar was predicted a couple weeks ago, and nothing happened, so we didn't take this forecast too seriously. Well, it was bad enough this morning that today's school and tonight's basketball games were canceled. Additional ice and snow accumulations were forecast for this afternoon, so we decided to head on up to Little Rock (about an hour drive), go out for a nice dinner at Macaroni Grill (thanks to a Christmas gift card from a dear friend) get a hotel room, and be close to the airport for our 7:15 a.m. flight to Chicago. We left home around noon on clear roads but surrounded by beautiful, but heavily iced, trees. Within about ten miles of home, though, a fresh round of heavy sleet began, and the road conditions quickly deteriorated. We abandoned our Macaroni Grill plans, deciding instead to go to a restaurant close to the airport and our hotel. They were very short-staffed due to the weather, so we were there for quite a while...long enough for people to start coming in from the airport, all of them talking about canceled flights. The folks at the table next to us were trying to fly to Chicago today, but their flight had been canceled, and they had rebooked for the 7:15 a.m. flight tomorrow. Some other folks were talking about other flights for tomorrow morning, which had already been canceled. So, we decided to head over to the airport and see if we could find out anything at the United counter about tomorrow's flights. They wouldn't tell Brad anything at the ticket counter, but he ran into someone he knew who had been waiting at the airport all day for a flight to Florida. He'd been bumped from one flight to another all day, and was finally giving up. We then decided to head over to the hotel where we had reservations, just to have a quiet place where we could sit down and call the airline. After several minutes of automated menus and holding, we were told that tomorrow's 7:15 a.m. flight had been already been canceled. There was a 10:30 flight to Chicago, but it was already full. There was also a 2:40 p.m. flight with a few seats available, and they were able to transfer us to that flight with no additional charges. While we were sitting in the lobby, people were streaming in from the airport, all of them on their cellphones, trying to get flights rescheduled. There were even TSA people and baggage handlers coming in. The precipitation had stopped by this time, and since our flight was now not until the afternoon, we decided to head home and sleep in our own beds. So, we canceled our hotel reservation, and made our way home. It was a slow ride with a few scary moments, but tonight we are back at home watching "The Fugitive" in front of the fireplace. It is now snowing, and is about 27 degrees outside.
On the way home, we heard on the radio that there were 116 flights canceled at the Little Rock airport today, and that they were going to be working hard to get at least one runway open tomorrow. The high temperature tomorrow in Little Rock is forecast to be 33 degrees. A storm like this is fairly rare in central Arkansas, and our airport is just really not equipped to handle it. Please pray that our plane will fly out as scheduled tomorrow, so we can make it to DeMotte, Indiana, for the Sunday morning church service and the Princess Tea that afternoon. If this flight is canceled, there will not be another until Sunday morning. We know that it is all in God's hands, and He is in control.
I think I've mentioned before how Hannah didn't like winter weather too much, and driving in it really made her nervous. Several times as we were driving today, I thought about how much Hannah would have hated driving around in that stuff today, and how she would have been freaking out when we fishtailed a couple times on the interstate. And then I remembered that if Hannah were here, we wouldn't even be going to Indiana. We would have been home watching movies in front of the fireplace all day. But she's not here...she's in Heaven. And that's precisely why we want to go and share her story...so more people will know about God's love, peace, and comfort, and have a home in Heaven someday.
I'll keep you posted on our trip plans.....Thanks for your prayers!