Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Memorable 40th!

This is certainly a birthday I will never forget. Friend K brought in delicious cinnamon rolls and let us each blow out a "match." I think I am laughing here because CC's died out before he could blow it out. That morning, I told the kids I'd drive them to school since I would need to be there by 8:15 for the birthday singing. We got down to the van and the side door was iced shut. So, in they all went into the front door and over the bench seat (all 5). CC got in, started the car, and the tires just spun on the ice. "Out!" he said. "Everyone walks." So, over the bench seat we all flew, out the door, and down the snowy sidewalk to school. We looked very much like a circus act. It was a good day with many birthday wishes. It snowed all day. Right after school, I was to take all my kids to the basketball game to see Firstborn play. (CC was waiting on our car to be returned to us after its yearly inspection by the government and would join us later.)  I took Twinkle Toes and Sweet Cheeks out to catch a taxi. We waited and waited. There was so much snow on the ground, they were all booked. So, I decided to walk to a taxi stand. SC's big cheeks were getting redder and redder, so I took her back into the school and told her to come later with her Papa when the van came. Twinkle and I trudged through the snow, met up with Teyze who brought us Big Ben (all bundled up), and hopped in a taxi to the game. It became apparent that the streets were getting bad. When we arrived, we discovered the game had just been canceled. Now, all of that leads up to the exciting part of my birthday. We hopped back on the school bus with all of the basketball players from our school. What would normally take us ten minutes took over an hour. Cars were sliding all over the road. We got into a round-a-bout and became gridlocked. The drivers were all inching forward to go their own way, and it led to no one being able to move. Our driver was just as sweet as could be. He'd lean over and pinch Big Ben's cheeks and offer him a cupcake, then he'd hop out of the bus and start fighting with the other drivers. We'd inch forward a little, then he'd realize we could go nowhere, so he'd hop out and smoke a cigarette.
And just when we thought it could get no worse, he went up a big hill (and made it up!) but had to stop at the top. At the crest of the hill were cars spinning and crashing all over. He tried to start back up, but the tires just spun. He got out to put something behind his back wheels. The unthinkable happened. Another school bus came up the same hill and went around us, got stopped at the top just like us, could not get its tires to stop spinning, then slid down and slammed into us. I saw it coming. There are no seat belts on these buses. I just yelled to the kids, "Brace! We're about to be hit!" and then BAM the bus came right down on us.
At that point, I went into teacher mode. I told the kids to treat this like an emergency and follow my directions. All twenty of us had to crawl to the front of the bus (as the entire passenger side was pinned shut), climb over the front bench seat, and get out of the driver's side door. I said, "Do NOT hit the gear shift. Do NOT hit the emergency brake."  I appointed one boy to get out first and get everyone safely out of the bus. I passed Big Ben to him first. The next challenge after getting out was not getting hit in this street. Cars were sliding everywhere.
We tried to be positive, at least most of us.
 We hiked back home to our neighborhood. I just thanked the Lord over and over for how the night turned out. I was so thankful I ended up being there, as there were so many kids and only the coach and me to help them. I was so thankful that no one was hurt. The accident happened near my old apartment, so I knew which back roads to take the kids up so we could avoid the busy street. I was so thankful that I let Miss Middler go to her after school club and let herself in the house. I was so thankful I directed Sweet Cheeks to stay with her Papa and come later. I was so thankful I had Twinkle Toes and Firstborn with me, as I have stitches in my back and could not carry Big Ben the whole way.
My plan was to get pizza for our birthday dinner while at the basketball game. But in light of the events, we decided to just walk to the local kebab place for our dinner! I took my ninja, Twinkle Toes.
 We got there and ordered. They bring this hot, freshly oven-baked bread. This bread was designated for Big Ben. They think he is king here.
 CC ordered a claypot chicken dish.
 I had the meatball and eggplant kebab. (I took these to show you how good we have it here!)
 CC gave me this beautiful ring, purple for my birthstone, a tulip to represent Turkey. (Tulips originated in Turkey, who sent them to Holland!)
 We didn't have a birthday cake after all that, but we ordered kunefe. How can I describe it? Hot melted cheese inside of a fried shredded wheat, with a sweet syrup poured all over it. It's amazing.
 Happy shared birthday, my love! I'm not likely to forget my 40th anytime soon!


Anonymous said...

What a great story and with pictures!! How I love reading your stories!!

Thanks so much for sharing . . . Glad you had a memorable birthday. So glad you were on the bus with those kids, as I know you were also glad.

We never can say enough about God's goodness to us all!


Tara G. said...

Wow- you just have adventure happening left and right!!! Praising God with you!

tearinguphouses said...

ohmygosh, SCARY! glad everyone was okay.

your birthday was definitely memorable!

Angie said...

WOW- Definitely a memorable birthday. Very glad that you were able to gain control of the situation & get all the children where they needed to be safely. Such a scary event.

Looks like you had a yummy birthday dinner & dessert!!!

Rachel said...

Wow! Talk about an adventurous birthday. Glad you all made it home safe.

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