Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Halfway through a St. Valentine's Day snow day

I didn't go in to work today.

I went out at about 10:00 last night and shoveled our sidewalks, just a few inches of light, sandy snow. After about a half-hour of this I hopped in my car (with my shovel) and went across town to my new house. My neighbor had shoveled several hours earlier, but enough snow had come down since then to require a lot of shoveling. Nearly an hour's worth of shoveling and salt-sprinkling, actually.

I left there a little before midnight and started out for home. Unfortunately, I hadn't let my car warm up to the point that the front windshield was warm enough to melt any new snow that fell on it, and I quickly found myself driving completely blind. I pulled over and scraped the windshield clean and finished the mile-long journey home.

After I got home the snow turned into sleet.

I woke up this morning to the constant sizzle of falling sleet. Several inches of little round pellets of sleet had fallen, and were still falling as rapidly as a downpour. Nothing at work is important enough to risk my life in this weather. I called off (using one of my eight remaining vacation days from 2006, which must all be used up by the end of March), had a quick breakfast of coffee and apple pie, and headed out to see if the snowblower would start.

Sometime overnight a white van got stuck in the intersection in front of my house. The driver spent several hours trying to move it. He returned twice this morning to try again without success. The van is still positioned in the intersection. (A quick check revealed the reason why it is stuck: bald tires. No cross-tread. This van should not be driving around on these tires under ideal conditions, let alone in the teeth of a storm.) Apparently as a consequence of this, no snowplows came through last night to clear my street.

So now my snowblower and I had several jobs: clear the driveway, clear the sidewalks, unbury my car, and clear enough of the road to ensure both that I would be able to actually move my car when the time came, and that any snowplows that came by did not promptly rebury my car or my driveway. All while sleet and, later, snow were coming down full blast.

Two hours and one refill later (using the gas and 2-cycle oil I bought yesterday) I am "done". It is still snowing, and I will need to head out again soon to redo everything I have just done. I will also have to figure out how to get myself over to my new house sometime to clear the sidewalks of everything that has come down since midnight - the scanner is full of reports of emergency vehicles stuck everywhere.

But I am done for now. For the moment. Well, for lunch.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Stay warm!

rimalicious said...

I'm so glad I live in California. ;)