Thursday, January 27, 2011

It Ain't Snowmageddon, But It's Enough...

It's 6:20 AM as I start to write this...just about two hours later than my normal schedule. Why am I running so late, you ask. Blame it on the snow.

Yes, we had a fast-moving yet ugly snowstorm that rolled through here yesterday afternoon and evening, just in time to hose up the afternoon commute for the tens of thousands of drones that make Disneyland-on-the-Potomac such a wonderful place to live and work. Here are a few vignettes from yesterday afternoon and this morning ...

As the storm was approaching, the Federal Government announced it was shutting down and releasing all workers two hours early. The practical effects of this were as follows:

1. It didn't make any difference to me, because the first bus I can take home from the Metro station didn't run any earlier, anyhow. I left work an hour earlier than usual.

2. All the people whose commutes generally span a space of about four hours left work at once, which meant sardine-room only on all Metrorail cars. The overcrowding, predictably, prevented the doors from properly closing and - equally predictably - each time the driver opened the doors to try to close them properly, more people tried to jam in. Somehow, we made it to the Springfield station, where ...

3. The rain changed to sleet and then to snow while we waited for our local bus. Since this bus is almost always late in perfect weather conditions, we were not surprised to find it late in the prevailing conditions. We loaded up and the driver heroically carried us at a crippled snail's pace through appalling weather conditions and miserable traffic. He even, amazingly enough, drove the full route through our subdivision, which the buses usually won't do in conditions far better than those.

4. Time of arrival at home: exactly five minutes later than my normal arrival time, despite leaving work an hour earlier than usual.

All things considered, I had it pretty easy. There were plenty of horror stories of people needing seven hours or more to get home, and the roads were clogged with abandoned cars that had spun out and gotten stuck. But such is life in the big city.

This morning I got up at my usual time, bundled up, and went out to shovel out our driveway and sidewalks. We have about five inches of very heavy, very wet snow - the kind that is utterly miserable to shovel. I got the sidewalks cleared and a path dug out around the car, but there isn't much point in shoveling out the entire driveway, since our local streets haven't been plowed and are pretty much impassable. My local bus system is running a Saturday schedule, which means that it's not running to our neighborhood, so unless and until I can get up the hill and out to the main roads, I'm enjoying what we euphemistically call "a day of non-scheduled leave."

As storms go, this one was miserable, but nothing on the scale of last year's fabled "Snowmageddon" (you can relive that marvelous experience in pictures here and here), and we certainly didn't have the dangers faced by Amanda and her family in the Australian floods ... nevertheless, it was bad enough.

And now, I need to take a nice, hot shower and get reacquainted with my feet.

Have a good day. Stay warm. More thoughts tomorrow ... or perhaps later today, who knows?



KathyA said...

Enjoy your feet!
We lost power several times last night and when I woke up the cat was sleeping on top of me. She gets freaked out by the thunder and lightning.

Mike said...

I just saw on the news where you could get another storm in a couple of days. Some people get to have all the fun.