Sometimes I pray for a snow day. Yes, I do. I’m not a teacher and don’t have children at home anymore but sometimes my work closes for snowy weather conditions and, when we do, I’m like a kid all over again. I love snow. Always have, pretty sure I always will.
It evokes memories of my childhood, playing outside with my siblings and neighborhood friends. Sometimes my dad would join us, taking us sledding, lending one more set of hands throwing snowballs, or rolling the plump body of a snowman. When we finally went inside, frozen to our very nubs, we’d pull off our wet clothes and warm our bottoms in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace. Momma warmed us with hot cocoa and made big ol’ bowls of the most delightful snow cream. Oh, those memories…
No wonder I love snow. I love looking at it, making snow cream, and playing in it when there’s someone to play with. I love being inside with the curtains wide open so I can see the folly of each snow flake sauntering through the air. It’s mesmerizing. It’s magical. I love the coziness it creates inside with a big pot of soup on the stove, adding warm aromas of comfort to the home.
Today was a very unexpected snow day. Kind of. With local and national news talking about the snow storm moving through the deep south, we weren’t supposed to get any snow at all. Well, “maybe a few flurries,” as local weathermen reported this morning. Oh, but there was snow – a bit more than flurries, Mr. Weatherman. As I was driving into work, I wondered if it was enough for an office closing.
The view from my office window…
Schools weren’t closed yet, though, and we usually follow their weather schedule. That didn’t last long, however, as they started announcing their closure mid-morning and asking parents to come and pick up their children. After hearing that news and a few minutes of consideration, our director announced that we needed to close as well. Snow day, after all.
My home away from home is only 10 minutes from my downtown office and I made it home relatively easy, without much delay. Lots of other folks had the same idea, though, so it did take a bit longer. Once at my cozy apartment, though, I remembered something I should have done before leaving the office since likely we will be closed tomorrow and I’m off the next two days for medical procedures. So I bundled up and went back to my office. Not a good idea.
I made it back to the office in about 45 minutes. I took care of what I needed to do in a matter of minutes and was soon back in my car heading back out on the now fairly treacherous roads. Coming back to my apartment for the second time was not going to be as easy as the first. Traffic was bumper to bumper as everyone in the downtown area, it seemed, made a mass exodus all at the same time. I wasn’t too afraid of sliding because we didn’t move more than 3 miles per hour, I kid you not. Seriously, in an hour and a half I had only gotten as far from my office as I could have walked in less than 5 minutes.
I practiced patience and felt confident as I nudged along with the masses. Ahead, I saw the blue light of a police car. Ahha, I thought, he’s directing traffic. Nope, he was stuck, along with several others. Some had slid off road, some were stuck in place. Said policeman had called a friend with a Jeep to pull him out and off they went. Yes, they did. And there we sat, the rest of us.
This isn’t where I was but the view from my car window wasn’t much different.
(Photo courtesy of Times Free Press.)
Chaos. And it only took 1 inch of snow to accomplish it all. Okay, Northerners. Please don’t laugh at us. We weren’t expecting this. We are in the South. Our towns aren’t equipped with salt and snow plows. While some of us, myself included, can drive fairly well in snow, many can’t. And some panic. 😦
Inching along, I believed that as long as I kept moving I’d be okay. But as luck would have it, I came to a stand still on a slight incline. And became stuck. Shoot! What would I do!?! Don’t panic. Be calm. Turn steering wheel and give it a little gas. No luck. Turn steering wheel in other direction and give it a little gas. Still no luck. Again and again a few more times. No luck. I really couldn’t gas it hard enough to make an impact on the ice underneath my tires because other cars were too close. The cars ahead weren’t going anywhere so I sat there contemplating and started growing a little nervous.
From my car not long before getting stuck…
Fighting panic now. I put on my flashers and just sat there, as had the two or three cars ahead that were also stuck and, consequently, had led to my stall and also getting stuck. Those that could, went around us. Good Samaritans they are. Not! But at least their going around me put a safer space behind me and the next car. So I reversed and inched back a little. Forward, go! No, no go. Again. No go. So I gassed it a little harder, spinning my tires, and, boom, I did it! I’m moving again and I didn’t slide all over the place! Feeling proud, I inched ahead, praying that I would be able to continue on without mishap. And I did. Since the masses of people had cleared out ahead of me, the rest of the commute was without incident, thank goodness. Though it was slow-moving. When I finally made it safely to my apartment, I noticed how warm and red my cheeks were and realized my BP must have shot up 10 points from the anxiety of the last two hours. My 10- minute commute had only taken 2 hours. And I was luckier than many.
Home at last and several hours since my breakfast smoothie, I realized how hungry I was. So I did what most women do on snow day. I put a pot on the stove and started cooking. I had a new Indian recipe to try out. Potatoes, cauliflower, peas, and a bunch of aromatic Indian spices, paired with Basmati rice and salad made a perfect late lunch and early dinner. Oh, and a tiny piece of my husband’s homemade pita bread made from spelt flour. 🙂
A little later, I made this decadent cup of hot chocolate. After all, no snow day is complete without hot chocolate. A little milk, a little dark chocolate, agave, vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon. Yum, yum. Pretty nice ending for a snow day, wouldn’t you say? And, after all of the chaos and anxiety that this snow day contained, I still love snow. Pretty sure I always will.