Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So, uh, About that Ice-Storm

So, about that ice-storm. Not much to say other than: Now is the time on Captain Monkeypants when she eats her words.

We had an ice-storm last night. Actually, it began yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, none of us in the office could tell because it merely looked foggy and damp outside. I discovered it was actually freezing drizzle as soon as I headed out to my car and almost went flying. Not fun. The annoying thing about freezing rain and drizzle, as I've mentioned, is that it's pretty. It really does turn everything into a glass-encased landscape in which everything has been preserved.

The only problem is that it's a nightmare to walk on and scary to drive on. That is, of course, if you can even get your car defrosted enough to drive. Freezing rain does not mean a thin little layer of frost on a car as is common on cold mornings. Instead, it is a layer of 1/4 inch ice that literally has to be chiseled through with an ice-scraper to get to the car window below. It took me ten minutes to scrape my car last night when I got out of work. Since the storm had recently begun, the roads were very slippery and no matter how slow you went, it was hard not to fishtail when going through intersections.

This morning wasn't so bad. I warmed my car up which allowed the ice to gently melt from beneath. This meant when I scraped, it broke off in wet sheets and allowed me to clear off my windows fairly easily. The city had put salt on the roads, it was just the parking lots which were like ice rinks.

And, by the way, I did not see my stray hitchiker skating in the parking lot. I was disappointed.

So far, the office is quiet. Most people have kids here being that it's the Midwest and the traditional lifestyle is to marry fairly young and settle down. Their kids have school delays and thus their parent's can't come to work until their kids are safely deposited on the bus or in school. There are a few of us here, clustered in our cubicles, waiting for the morning buzz to begin. Outside, the daylight is starting to creep in, revealing the polished glow of an ice-coated world. Inside, I drink my slightly-vile coffee and hope that we get the snow that's forecast, rather than the ice that threatens.

Though I wouldn't say it was the Dooming Event that my coworkers predicted yesterday, it is definitely a wake-up call that winter isn't always about fluffy snowfalls and hot chocolate. Like every part of nature, Winter has a sharp, shadowed edge that can surprise you with its danger, rather like hippos and platypi.

(Side note: Did you know that hippos are vicious and deadly? I always thought they were cute, dopey things a bit like cows but I watched this special on Animal Planet and wow, hippos are vicious. Also, platypi (plural of platypus, I think) are venomous. I didn't know that. I always thought of platypi as fun, cute, playful things. Not so much)

Anyway, my point is that Winter woke me up yesterday. She reminded me that she has many skills and colours and that she doesn't like to be too predictable. I forgot that and now the crystalized world outside my door has reminded me that not all things that are beautiful are safe.

As a bit of a control freak, I need reminders once in a while that things aren't always under my control. Nature's good at reminding me of that. Next time the weather warns of a Storm Watch, I won't mock until enough time has passed that I know we're safe. In the meantime, I'll drive more slowly, walk more tentatively and respect Nature a little more.

Happy Wednesday.

No comments: