I walked to work this morning, because my car was in at the shop for its oil change. Although it was a brisk morning, at 35 degrees, it was nothing compared to the more challenging winter – weather – walks to work last week (say that 10 times fast!). And it went like this…
It all started with a long-weekend. Jon and I were thinking about getting out of town, but the emergency management folks at work were warning of a winter snow event (why can’t they just say snow?) that they promised would be starting Friday night. So we decided to stay home. Well, it didn’t start Friday night. Saturday morning we got a few snow flurries, lasting a total of about 5 minutes, and never sticking. Sunday – we finally got the snow we were promised… about an inch. It was completely underwhelming. Jon and I walked downtown and the closer we got the bay, the less snow there was. I was feeling foolish for listening to the emergency management folks at that point, honestly. Monday was more of the same… in the morning. Again we walked downtown and it was pretty non-“event”ful. But, at that point it was beginning to ice over. We live near the top of a large hill, on a dead end portion, so we will never get a city plow, salt truck or even sand. We decided to try to park our Honda CRV at the bottom of the hill to make it easier for Jon when he went to work in the morning. His car is useless in snow, so we had already decided that he would take my car and I would walk. Well, the hill wasn’t having any of it. We got about 10 feet down the street before we started sliding sideways, into the intersection (don’t worry, it’s not a busy intersection at all). I was able to get the car back under control, but the problem was that we still had 4 more blocks of a very narrow street (one lane) with cars parked all along the side. So we changed the plan – Jon would hitch a ride to work with a coworker who had no large hills to navigate and I would walk.
Monday night into Tuesday we got about 6 more inches of snow – we had a total of about 8-9 inches. It was a great opportunity for me to break out my new hikers! I had gotten some new Merrill hikers last summer on clearance, but with the home selling and buying and moving, we hadn’t had any time to actually go hiking. So I got to march myself through 8 inches of snow (that’s a good quad workout with all the high stepping) the 1.5 miles to the office. I bundled up, so it wasn’t so bad, and my hikers were very good at preventing any slipping on the ice. Again, the closer I got to downtown, the less snow had fallen, so by the time I got close to the office, there was only about an inch on the ground. So strange that it can be so different only a mile and a half away. I love the sound on the city in snow, where there are few cars on the roads and all the noise is muffled by the fluffy, white sound barrier. Tuesday evening I met Jon at the Y where he went to work out after work (he walked there) and we walked the rest of the way home together. It was quite nice.
Wednesday’s walk to work was entirely different. The snow was all still there, but now I was contending with a frigid north-easter with winds of 20-30 mph and gusts up to 50 mph. I knew the wind was whipping, so I bundled even more. I had a headband over my ears, two hats, long underwear top and bottoms, shirt, sweater, fleece and winter coat, plus jeans, wool socks and my warm hikers. Add to that a scarf, gloves and mittens over the gloves. I was a real Nanook of the North! When I passed the bank temperature display, I found out it was 12 degrees – yikes. I ended up at work mostly toasty, but with the front of my thighs cold, my cheeks freezing and mascara running down underneath my right eye (note to self: don’t wear mascara in a snowstorm with a north-easter. Lesson learned). I cleaned up and went to work. Work was pretty quiet, so it was a nice respite from the usual hectic-ness.
The wind died down and the sun even came out for a bit – it looked quite pleasant from my window! Then we got an email at 2:05 saying that we were closing at 2 (Huh?). Well, I’ll take what I can get, so along with everybody else, I wrapped up what I was doing and shut down for the day. My coworker drives by my street on the way to and from work, and she offered to drop me off at the bottom of my hill. I got home before 3, and Jon and I were able to walk to the grocery store and get some essentials before it got dark.
Thursday stayed cold, but with a significant warm-up from the day before. The bank I pass on the way to work said it was 19. The wind was much milder, so it felt downright balmy compared to the ice face washing I had received 24 hours before. Thursday’s walk home was toasty too.
The warm-up came on Friday. The weather report was for the rain to start as freezing rain about noon, and there were concerns about flooding and hazardous driving conditions. As it turned out, there the rain was never freezing, and while it did wash the snow off the layer of ice below, it seemed to only make for more treacherous walking conditions. I hitched a ride to the bottom of my hill with my coworker again, and only had to trudge up those steep 4 blocks. Ironically, Jon had gotten the car out of the garage in the afternoon (enough of the snow had turned to slush), and he passed me in the car as I was walking up the hill. I saw him coming, waved at him to pick me up, and watched as he kept right on driving past me! When he got home, he called to ask where I was! And that, dear readers, is how “Winter Snow Event 2012” concluded. With that, and a much deserved glass of wine.