We had a good week of travel through the midwest for our Christmas celebrations this year. It was an interesting holiday, full of bad weather, surprises, happy families, and some difficult times.
We spent the first part of the week with Mark’s family in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On our trip out to Indiana, we hit bitterly cold temps in Iowa. The next morning, the check engine light came on in the yellow truck, and the engine started noticeably miss-firing. We thought we had gotten bad gas, and after looking for an open mechanic shop in eastern Des Moines for about an hour, we just put in some fuel cleaner and drove off. We found out the next day that our ignition coil had shorted, and we got to drop a chunk of change on car repairs in Fort Wayne.
The day before we arrived, northern Indiana had a horrible ice storm, that knocked out power to over 400,000 people in the region. Mark’s parents were lucky, and when we got there, the power was still on. The only pictures I took during the whole trip were of the ice in Mark’s parents’ backyard the day after we arrived. The ice was beautiful, and there’s a small set of pictures in the gallery.
The day before Christmas Eve, though, high winds blew through town and a branch dropped on the neighborhood power lines, leaving us in the dark and cold. We lit candles and read or napped for the as snow fell gently outside. My parents were stuck in an ice storm on I-70 in middle Indiana at this point. They spent 5 hours sitting on the interstate that evening.
On Christmas Eve the power was still out, and Mark, Liv and I all headed to Akron Ohio to see my family. We had a fantastic visit with my grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins in the area. Mark’s family continued in the dark and cold for another two days, and their power didn’t come on until about 10pm on the day after Christmas.
We started trekking back west on Friday. Mark’s brother was scheduled to fly out of Fort Wayne early on Saturday morning, but his flight was canceled at the last minute. The family had to drive him two hours south to the Indianapolis airport, where he stayed in a hotel Saturday night and got on a flight Sunday morning. It’s been a year of bad surprises, and it seemed like Christmas was no exception. But the family was together, and celebrating, and we all had a pretty good time regardless.