Monday, February 17, 2014

Dashing through the snow

Snow is not common around these parts. We usually have snow for 1 or 2 days, then it goes away. And that's how I like it.

Mainly because even a couple of inches of snow can just paralyze everything around here. Snow is so uncommon that our city just doesn't have the equipment to deal with it. And I certainly wouldn't want my kid on a school bus with a driver who might drive in snow and ice maybe once or twice a year, if that. Especially on the neighborhood streets and secondary roads.

So we knew the snow was supposed to start Wednesday. The meteorologists said if the storm stayed on track, we would get 10 to 12 inches. Or if the storm shifted, we could get 1 to 2 inches. That's quite a difference.

Lucky us, we got the 10 to 12 version of the storm.

The snow started about lunchtime.

Here's the parking lot about 2 p.m.


By the time I was leaving at about 4 p.m., here's what the roads looked like.


Oh boy! Doesn't that look like fun?

I had barely made my way through downtown, when I looked up and saw the street blocked with cars that couldn't make it up a hill. The police were directing us through a parking lot to avoid the mess. The problem with that was that the road on the other side of the parking lot went right back downtown, exactly where I started.

So I was heading back downtown, and all the cars in front of me started to slow down.

"No, no, no, no, NOOOOOOO!" I was yelling at them. We were heading up a steep hill and the traffic light at the top turned red. And people were stopping! The cross street was a tiny little one-way street that is hardly ever used, and everyone just stopped.

The light turned green, and I tried to go up the hill. No luck. My back tires just spun and spun and spun.

I was almost in tears from the sheer frustration ... oh, and the fact that Jeff had left half an hour before me and still wasn't at day care to pick up Biscuit. From work to day care is usually 20 minutes. It had already been close to an hour, and neither of us was anywhere near there. Jeff was stuck on a well-traveled four-lane road. As people tried to use the on and off ramps, they got stuck. And that backed up traffic into a big ol' mess!

As I was sliding around on that hill, I looked into my rearview mirror to see a friend from work. He and his wife (and a couple of random guys who were walking down the street) pushed my car until I got enough traction to get up the hill. Once I started going, I didn't slow down. I rolled down my window and yelled, "THANK YOU!" and kept on going.

I finally made it back downtown and started on a completely different route home.

I was making decent time until I got about halfway home. The road that had been moving right along came to a standstill. It took me 20 minutes to go about half a mile.

I started driving up a hill, and another red light got me in trouble. Again, I was halfway up the hill when everyone stopped. And when the light turned green, I couldn't go. My tires were just spinning.

A police officer came over to talk to me. Now, I know the police were probably dealing with all kinds of idiots that day. But there was nothing about me or my driving that should've made him think I should be included in that group.

"Ma'am, you're not going anywhere if you keep spinning your tires," the officer said.

Really? Did he really just say that to me?

"I've got it in first gear, and I'm not stepping down hard on the gas," I told him.

But then he got an attitude.

"Where are you trying to go?" he asked.

"Well I'm certainly not out joyriding, if that's what you think," I told him. "I'm trying to get home. I want to get to the end of this street, take a right and go home!" 

I don't usually make it a habit to yell at cops, but he was really pushing my buttons.

This guy walking his dog came over and suggested that I turn around, go back down the hill, then drive up through a grocery store parking lot. The grade of the hill was lower, and when you exit the side of the lot, you're at the top of the hill.

That guy was a genius. I did exactly what he said, and although there was plenty more slipping and sliding around, I got home safe and sound.

For our usual 20-minute trip, it took Jeff 1 hour and 50 minutes. And it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes. See what I mean about snow paralyzing the city?

Anyway, the few plows we do have hadn't made their way around by Thursday morning, so Jeff and I both worked from home. Of course, come 5 o'clock, we called it quits and went out to play.

This is going to sound terrible, but Biscuit had never built a snowman or made a snow angel before this snow. When you work at a newspaper, bad weather or not, you have to get the work done. People won't excuse not getting their paper just because the weather was bad. So normally, even in the snow, we're at work.

This was the first snow in my 14 1/2 years that kept me away from the paper. And quite frankly, if I was still doing copy editing and design, I probably would've found a way in anyway.

Biscuit loved playing in the snow. We bundled up and stayed out a couple of hours. We made a firefighter snowman. Biscuit made snow angels. We threw snowballs. The works!

Last time it snowed, I took a good many pictures. But this time, I took a few pictures with my phone and never even brought my nice camera outside. I love, love, love having pictures, but sometimes, I just want to be in on the snowball fight, too!

Here are a few more pictures:

The accumulated snow Wednesday evening.

We used to have doorsteps. Now, we have a ramp.

The backyard BEFORE we played.

The backyard AFTER we played.

Frosty the Firefighter snowman. He looks very surprised.
Like he's saying, "OH NO! Look how big that fire is!"

Biscuit stands with his very first snow angel.

1 comment:

jbr said...

AND.... you have your Christmas card picture. ;)