Tuesday, February 01, 2011


We've had a "weather event" here in the Midwest today. A good amount of ice has coated all flat surfaces and made life generally inconvenient.

School was cancelled, so the kids stayed home. Luckily, Lynda was able to stay home with them, allowing me to go into the work, where the office was NOT closed. (When does it ever, I wonder?) I was expecting it, but the driveway was a treacherous sheet of slippery ice this morning when I had to get the trashcans down to the curb. (To no avail, it seems, as the sanitation department decided not to risk their workers and trucks and didn't pick anything up today.) I managed to get up and down the front slope by avoiding the driveway altogether and using the crusty snow for better purchase. But getting across the 18 inches of sidewalk wasn't easy for me, who is always balance-challenged.

Driving to work was easy, but walking across the parking lot to get into the building wasn't exactly simple. But the people who had come in to work before me had crunched up the surface enough that I could walk pretty well.

And then I stayed at my desk all day and worked, worked, worked. (This routine was only interrupted once when the power went out temporarily. But it came back on about thirty minutes later.)

Coming home tonight, however, was a much different story. I knew there was trouble when I saw that someone had slipped and hurt their leg at the entrance to the office lobby. She looked to be hurt pretty bad. I assume she fell awkwardly and might have been lucky not to break something, judging by the way she was grimacing.

So cautioned, I stepped out onto the sidewalk and started gingerly making my way across the 60 yards of ice to get to my waiting vehicle. I had several close calls where I was losing my balance, but I held on. About halfway to the van, however, my luck ran out and I fell onto my backside. Nothing was hurt. I momentarily considered sliding the rest of the way across the ice to get to the car, but managed to stand back up and make it the rest of the way.

The van was, of course, coated in ice and I had to defrost and chip it away to be able to see and drive home. As was true in the morning, the drive on the roads was not bad really. I just took my time. But when I got home, I knew I'd be in trouble. The slippery driveway had only gotten worse over the course of the day and there was no way I'd be able to drive up the slope to get in the garage. This was proven when I tried to just pull into the bottom of the drive, to get the van away from the street. The nose of the van started skidding to the left even though I was barely moving forward. So, I got the van under control, backed out gingerly and parked by the side of the road.

And that is where we are now. I think snow is going to come and cover the ice tonight, making tomorrow even more of a dicey situation. I just don't know if I'll be able to get into the office tomorrow, meetings or no meetings.

But the weirdest thing of all is how mad I am about leaving the van parked along the side of the road in front of the house. I keep thinking about all the ice and snow that is going to accumulate tonight and how hard it will be to get out there and get it functional, assuming I even try tomorrow. And I worry that someone might lose control of their car driving by and hit mine. Or that a tree limb might fall on it. Or that I just didn't anticipate any of this well enough to make the driveway a usable surface before it got this bad.

It's weir how I am making this a failure on my part. I need to just get over it and be glad that I made it home safely. I've got plenty of work to keep me busy tonight and tomorrow if I choose to stay put.

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