If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I am no fan of winter. I think the snow is beautiful, especially falling in huge flakes at a steady pace or a blanket of it across a wide area, untouched by humans. But snow = cold. I do NOT like being cold. Driving in it can be dangerous because despite how careful and experienced one is navigating through it there are always unexpected slick spots, slides etc. Then there are the other vehicles with drivers who may or may not be experienced and encountering similar hazards. Generally speaking it isn’t the getting moving that is the issue in snow, it is the stopping and suddenly sliding in the undesired direction that creates the problems.
The weather forecast was calling for winter storm “Gia” to hit us over the weekend. Baffled as to why this name was attached to a storm, I looked it up and discovered this practice of naming winter storms is only done the The Weather Channel and not only not endorsed by the weather powers that be, most discourage or don’t allow the use of the storm names in their reporting. Publicity stunts? You decide. After all my guess is once the name starts circulating a bit and folks google it they mostly will land on the TWC’s site, so it is perhaps a means of driving traffic to their page or television channel. I think it is just ridiculous. “The winter storm that hit in early January” works just fine for me.
Sorry, hijacked my own blog….
So, everyone and their uncle panicked and took of for the grocery store to buy eggs, bread, milk and toilet paper. The food thing I can understand, I suppose, if you really believe you are going to be stranded for days and days, but the toilet paper is a puzzle. If by chance your regular grocery day is Friday, like mine, well I feel for you. Every single cash register/checkout lane was open at Kroger and had a line. Thankfully it wasn’t my normal day to shop, and I had already gone the day before and folks were beginning to pre-game the freak-out so it was busier than normal. So many memes went up that made it highly entertaining as the weather event approached. Me? I wasn’t anticipating much as most of the time we get these crazy predictions and little transpires. Perhaps because of the river valley, I really do not know, but Cincinnati doesn’t see big snow events often despite the predictions.
Saturday morning when I woke up there was maybe an inch or two of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. My drive into work for my 7am shift was careful because roads crews were up against a fast and steady snow fall but I had zero issues. This was essentially perfect in my opinion, as my 3 year old grandson had inquired of his mom about how to pray for snow. He kept wanting it to happen so his mom told him to pray and taught him how to ask God for something in prayer. Every morning for several days he would stand at the sliding door looking out, and say his little prayer to God asking for lots of snow. Driving into work that morning I smiled thinking to a little boy this was going to seem like a lot. I was thankful his first big prayer wasn’t going to end in a lesson about how our Heavenly Father sometimes says no.
By the time I left work at 11pm that night, the roads were clear and a kind coworker, who knew I had another double shift and had to be back in 7 hours, had cleaned off my car for me. The forecast now was more about freezing drizzle and little to no more snow accumulation. I went to bed and set the alarm for my normal rising time rather than early because I wouldn’t be needing a head start.
At 5am the alarm clock called to me from my 4.5 hour nap and I stretched, yawned, rolled over and greeted the cat before getting out of bed. Sleep deprived I staggered to the kitchen, started the coffee and then roamed over to look out of the curtains through my sliding glass door to gaze upon the morning. This is the sight that greeted me:
I seriously could NOT believe it. The lot was CLEAN when I went to bed, no snow on the cars, pavement, sidewalks, nothing!!!! And it was still snowing HARD! All plans for a gentle routine were gone I was had to get moving so I could head out of the door in less than an hour.
It has been a while since I moved that fast in the morning, but I was out of my door at 6am without forgetting anything other than an Avon order for a coworker. I started the car, turned on the defrost and while it warmed up a bit I cleaned off the outside then jumped back in to head to work. Henrietta (my car) struggled to get through the snow in front of her. Despite being front wheel drive and taking hills pretty impressively in winter despite her light weight and small size, she lacked the clearance to get over the snow. So I backed up and tried again, only going about a few feet before stopping and spinning the wheels. UGH! The lot crew for our complex (one young man, a truck with a plow and a shovel) arrived and he plowed a strip through the lot. He saw my predicament and grabbed a shovel and attempted to shovel enough of a path for my car to get out but she just could not get past the snow underneath and in front of her to get to the shoveled portion and gain traction.
I’ve NEVER been late to work since taking up a career in healthcare, and refused to make this the day it happened. It took almost 20 minutes of driving her forward and backward but little by little, inch by inch her tires worked. I finally just gunned it several times, stopping only when I started to slide toward the car next to me, and at least the tires found something to grab hold of and I was out of the spot and headed to work.
There are a lot of hills, big ones, in order to get out of our township. Heck, Cincinnati is a city full of hills, it goes with this region. My first route attempt found stuck cars trying to go up both sides of a valley so I changed direction. Sweet little Henrietta made it up a big hill and as we approached a big down hill I saw stopped cars. The first of maybe 25 cars I’d see on this adventure. Halfway down this large hill a car headed the same direction as all of us appeared to be into a phone pole and was blocking the street. Another car was stuck coming up the hill so no one was going to get through this way either. I turned around and opted for a route with multiple extra miles to reach a flatter path figuring being late was unavoidable. Everything was so covered even the Frisch’s Big Boy looked like he was carrying a snow cone rather than a double-decker burger.
Despite it all I managed to arrive 1 minute before I could clock in, and I was the only aide for first shift to arrive at this point.
Now, when I left work 7 hours before this, the bench in one of the courtyards was clean, not a flake of snow on it. This is what it looked like as I walked past the window:
Pardon me, but this is NOT freezing drizzle or light to no accumulation. In fact one of the nurses went out later in the morning, after the snow had stopped, and we had 9 inches of snow.
Thankfully ALL of the staff scheduled to work made it in, so while some were late we still worked fully staffed. Our boss bought us all pizza for lunch to thank us for coming in to work that day when many could have called off due to roads being a serious mess.
My grandson got his prayer answered in a big way and he and I need to have a little chat about Nana’s off day schedule and snow prayers.