Friday, October 23, 2009

A Wet End to the Week....

It is a really rainy Friday today. When I woke up, I could hear the pelt of raindrops on the windows and the drip of the gutter on my back patio. The news reported that there were a number of accidents on the roadways and that I should leave extra time for my morning commute.

It was all I could do to make myself get up and ready for work.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Days like this are made for staying home, for staying in bed, for being allowed to appreciate the natural world around us and know that it's nature's way of saying, "I don't want you to go out today."

I tried to listen to nature. The dreamer in me wished that my boss would send a message saying that we didn't have to come into the office today and I could have a free day off. As I said, it was the dreamer in me. The realist knows that my boss and his boss would NEVER do that, they'd never fathom the possibility that they could do that. I thought about taking a day off but when it comes to Paid Time Off (PTO), as I've mentioned, my company is not generous. I'm down to five days and given that winter isn't even here yet with its steady threat of the flu and other viruses, I have to save my time. When you're only accruing one day a month and there's no differentiation between sick time and vacation time, you have to save it for when you really need it, not for a rainy day.

So, I dragged myself out of bed. I'm still not so sure it was a good idea. As I was making my toast, I managed to drop the lid of my butter dish onto the floor. Naturally, it was made of glass and, naturally, it shattered. I only had time to sweep it up and check for splinters, butter my toast and dash out the door.

It was raining and it was raining hard. To make things worse, they've finally finished construction on the interstate that I take to get to work. It was previously down to two lanes with those orange barrel thingys and concrete dividers shutting off the rest of the road. Two days ago, they reopened all the lanes. I'm still not used to my entry ramp shooting me out into a new lane that wasn't there before, especially in the mornings when it's dark. They haven't put any reflectors down yet and the only thing separating the lanes are sparse broken white lines. On a non-rainy day, it's not quite as bad because you can see out of the windows to figure out where the rest of the traffic is. Today, however, my window wipers were at their fastest speed and my car couldn't shake off the raindrops. The road was saturated, covered with deep pockets of water. Making out the lanes was a nightmare.

I think I might have been one of the only people who felt this way. Drivers started whizzing around me, clearly irritated that I wasn't going fast enough. They'd pass me and then pull out in front of me, forcing me to brake a little harder than I would have liked to stop myself rear-ending them. I wasn't about to drive faster, however. I may not like being bullied on the road but I also know when safety is more important.

By the time I was off the interstate, I breathed a sigh of relief. The rest of the drive wasn't so bad. When you're down to a two-lane highway, it's a little easier. The only other danger that lay ahead was the results of the season itself: The fallen leaves.

Because the rain is so heavy, the colourful leaves that have been clinging to the trees to show off their splendour have had to give up the fight. They've tumbled down, creating a thick carpet of leaves on the roads, pathways, cars and in people's yards. As a pedestrian, they can be hazardous to walk on; the rain makes them as slick as ice.

The town in which I work has cobbled streets. They're cool to look at, a nightmare to drive on. They're bumpy, uneven and when you enter the 'cobbled zone' there's a huge bump between the asphalt road and the cobbles. If I get stuck at the light right before the cobbled road starts, I literally have to gun my poor little Corolla so it can climb over the ridge. Today, they were almost invisible, thick with wet, soggy leaves. I slid at least a couple of times even though I was only driving 15 mph.

I finally made it to the office only ten minutes late. Everyone is feeling like I am; they wish they'd stayed in bed and are grumpy because it's Friday and if they'd stayed home, they would have had a three-day weekend.

Yet we're here. It means that our Friday is underway and we're edging closer to the weekend. I'm hoping it rains through the evening merely so I can appreciate the fact that I'm home and can stay there for a while. I just hope it lets up for the drive home.

Thanks, as always for reading. Have a great weekend.

Happy Friday.

No comments: