Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Triple S- Snow, Shoveling and Stranded

The television was playing in the background and I was having a hard time concentrating on my many computer projects. The newscasters were informing us that our first major snowstorm of the season was imminent. "Take heed, this will make for a difficult commute. It will hit at rush hour. It will start as rain, quickly change to sleet and then quickly change to snow. Expect 1-2 inches per hour."

I sent numerous texts to my husband, Gary, who was at a conference at the National Harbor a mere 18 miles away. It may as well have been 180 or more, as I soon found out.

"I'll get in the car and head out after I hear this guy speak. He's a cancer survivor and his talk is so amazing" the text said. I mildly understood as Gary is also a cancer survivor.

"Please leave now!" I texted back. "It is already sleeting here and you are in that little car." I shook my head. Why wouldn't he listen to me, this storm was going to dump snow fast. I pleaded with him earlier in the morning to take my car, but he said he would be fine in his little sports car.

I glanced out the window, drat it had changed to snow and the snow appeared to be coming down in clumps. I've never seen such large flakes!

I went out and shoveled the first 2 inches of snow off of the driveway. As fast as I would shovel, it was only being covered up again. Well, I thought to myself, it's a start. Man it was heavy snow and my back was feeling every shovel full that I tossed off to the side.

I kept going out to clear the driveway hoping that Gary would show up any minute. My fingers were cold and wet and I looked like a bedraggled kitten with my hair dripping all over the floor, when I came in to warm up.

At 6:00 in the evening the phone rang "I've made it as far as the Springfield Interchange and the traffic has just gone to ground. This is going to be a long long trip".

Hourly I would get reports. He was just crawling, traffic was backed up for miles.

Then it started thundering. A snow thunderstorm, how absolutely bizarre!

I was looking out my window at 9:00 pm hoping to see his car turn into our neighborhood when I saw a flash of orange on the other side of our neighborhood, above the tree line. As quickly as it was there, it was gone, as was our power.

Silence. Utter silence. Even my birds in their cages didn't make a sound. It made me think how life must have been before electricity. I have been reading a series of books by Diana Gabaldon about life in the late 1700's and she would mention about how silent the nights were. I felt like I had gone back in time.

That quickly changed when I realized that I couldn't get the garage door open so Gary could get in. Oh crap, I never charged my cell phone all day and the battery was quickly being depleted. Better get some flashlights and start lighting candles. Oh great, I have a gas fireplace and it works! The birds will not freeze! I moved their cages closer to the fireplace. Who knew how long the power would be out!

At 10:30 the power came back on, and what a racket it was! The fish tank began whirring, the television started blaring, the furnace clicked on and the birds started squawking! I blew out the candles and went to get the phone to call Gary. It started ringing in my hand!

"I'm at the top of our neighborhood and stuck" he said. "Grab some shovels and come help me."

After about a half an hour and with the help of a good Samaritan that came over from the next neighborhood,Gary finally pulled into the driveway.

Oh how I wanted to say 'I told you so', but decided that maybe I better not. Oh hell, I had to, I mean what was this man thinking, driving a little sports car on a day we knew it was to snow?

Between 7-8 inches of snow fell. No record by any means compared to the Snowmageddon we had last year. Still, this would be one for the records and I won't let Gary live it down!

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