Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey, Snow...Do we need a Time Out?

So, you know that snow for which I'm constantly professing my love? We're going through a slightly difficult time in our relationship on this day and I think you should you know.

You see, last night, we had a winter storm. I went to bed and there were icy patches of snow but the yellowed grass was visible in cracks and rivets in the snow. This morning, the world is white.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's beautiful. From my apartment, I thought it one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long while. An entire world, cloaked in the soft carpet of snow, the flakes still delicately pouring from the sky. I even did a dance of happiness. You know, a "Yay! Snow!"sort of thing.

Silly me. I had a strange notion that since the snow was so deep (we had at least four inches and it's still coming), we, like every other university and school in the area would be closed. When I clicked on the website, I saw that we were. Well, two of our branches were. We have three branches. Our branch....not closed.

So, realizing I was not going to get my jigsaw-puzzlin', hot-chocolate drinkin' day I'd secretely wanted, I went down to clean off my car and warm it up. The snow was deep. My jeans and boots got wet.

By this time, I was a little rankled that we had to go to work when, obviously, it was not a good day for driving on roads. What the university for which I work does not seem to realize is that not everyone is like me, living (on a normal day) ten minutes away. There are a lot of commuters. However, they're expected into work and thus, so was I.

In the back of my mind, I was already grumbling. Our office is slightly more flexible and a lot of people can work from home on a day like this. However, we local folk are usually expected to make the trek in because it doesn't take too long. Supposedly. Also, we single, child-free folk have an extra layer of expectation thrust upon on us. All the local schools are closed. Thus, anyone in the office with kids who go to those schools can plead the need to stay home with the kids because there's no one else to take care of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining because they have to stay home but I wish I could say something like "My car is from California and thus hates driving on snow. I'm going to work from home because it won't bring me to work."

I probably could say that actually but then I'd feel guilty.

Anyway, so being intrepid and still being excited about the snow at this point, I cleared off my car and slowly attempted to navigate the parking lot of my apartment building. Ok....not so bad. A little iffy but I didn't hit anyone and I didn't fishtail so...bonus.

And then I pulled out onto the road. Not a great idea. I fishtailed. Fortunately, I was taking it easy so I was able to catch the slide and correct it. Then I realized that there's a massive hill just down the road from my building and no way to avoid it. Given that the roads were barely cleared, I was a little worried about going down and sliding off the road. Fortunately, that was the one area that the snowplows had dilengently cleared so I made it up and down without incident.

It wasn't until I made my first left turn that I really slid. I was a little frightened because the snow was thick and there was no traction at all. It didn't help that I had a moron behind me who obviously thought I was being a wuss and literally took the left turn so that he ended up a foot away from my bumper while I was still sliding. He stayed close for a while but I saw him fishtail and, finally, he slowed down.

There were a couple of these drivers who thought they were superior. I'm a wimp. I go slowly. Really slowly. I'd rather get there late than smash up my poor car.

It took me about 25 minutes to get to work.I usually make it in eight. When I got to work....no one was there. No one. Just me, my little California car and a big, empty, unplowed lot. So, once I actually find the driveway and get into the car park, I naively think, hey, I could do a donut.

I didn't do a donut. I pulled into my space and started to slide. But it was a good thought, right?

Now there are more people in the office; not many but a few brave and intrepid made it in. I'm leaving at noon today because it's supposed to get worse and my car is begging me to leave. Well, ok, it's in my head that it's begging me to leave and I might be projecting but who's really to know...

We're supposed to get ice tonight and more snow. Don't get me wrong, I still love snow but I've decided that I love it very much when I'm at home and I don't have to drive on the roads. Otherwise, snow can be a little scary especially in such volume. If I had a pack of sled dogs, it might be ok but my car doesn't have the same traction. Also, other drivers scare me. I can control my own driving but not theirs and when they tailgate me as I'm taking a left turn, it doesn't help my confidence.

Then again, it's not snow's fault that my employer is not terribly thoughtful and it's not snow's fault that students like to jaywalk and don't seem to realize that we can't slam on our brakes to avoid hitting them. It's not snow's fault that the snowplows pile up the snow behind our cars so we have to drive through a drift to get out of our parking spot.

So, maybe I am slightly less enamoured with winter and the snow at the moment but I'm sure it will pass. As long as I don't have to drive to work in it anymore.

Happy Tuesday.

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