Thursday, January 27, 2011

Virginia Snowstorm

It was eerily quiet as I left work at 4:30, and the snow was already falling thickly, pressing down the air like a mashed sandwich. I was 7:05 when I pulled out my journal and started writing because the snow plow in front of me was turned off, and the driver was helping someone in front of him who had gotten stuck. My bladder was full at 5:00pm, and if it hadn't been for the inclement weather cancellation, I wouldn't have been able to make it to church for the Wednesday night bible study. I was still on the road home and hungry, thinking about Burger King (which was closed and dark as I passed it), but otherwise calm, and I felt protected. My brother prayed for me, and I really felt the fabric of angels' gowns as they encompassed me.

It was kinda wonderful to see how we, all those stranded on the Pike, became an army in combat. We combated the slush, snow, stuck cars, and general impatience at the unwelcome obstacles to our commute. One army man in fatigues helped at least three or four stuck cars (that I saw, he gave me a gentle push at a particularly hairy spot). It took over three hours to travel six miles. I remember having passed his parked truck miles back. I saw how haggard his face was. He wasn't wearing a jacket. He was cold, he was tired, he was out of breath. I couldn't have been more proud of him if he had been my own son.

Photo by yours truly, from the safety and warmth of my vehicle
Thank you sir. Thanks to everyone who got out and pushed the Pike along last night.

...a little while later...

Snowstorm is over, but its effects remain. It's 5 or so in the morning, and I'm writing this by candlelight because the house has not had electricity since before I got home from work where parts 2 in my evening took place.

Once I got home I couldn't get into the driveway, so I parked (as I sometimes do) on the street just past the house. I got inside and there was no power, so candle-lighting and shoveling commenced. I half-watched passing traffic, which was when I noticed that there was a downed power line about, oh, six feet from my car. I was going to make the attempt to move the car with a little help, but I didn't want to start the car so close to the wire and turn myself into popcorn. I called my boss (a retired fireman) and he assured me that starting the car would be fine, so I did.

And then I threw the phone in the street.

He mentioned the phone was more an issue than the battery. At least, that was all I heard before the phone went flying. The street sparked green and blue like Independence Day, but the sparks were thankfully not from the wires near my car or home. There was at least one other downed line less than ten feet from the side of the house. I wasn't worried. I danced my car into the driveway and once parked, went inside.

9-1-1 was busy the ten or so times I called, but I did get through to the electric company to let them know about the downed lines. She was glib. "There are a lot of downed power lines", she said. But I heaped blankets on myself and went to sleep, just as cozy as I wanted to be. I admit to being a little afraid to turn the car on last night, but I can honestly say that it was rather thrilling to do. I will never forget looking at the downed wire, so close (and getting closer from the weight of the snow) as I turned the key... The last 18 hours or so have been, well, a bit of an adventure. Go Cali-girl! Kudos to me for my new level of snowstorm survival (Insert mental dance of coolness unparalleled)!

And on the way in to work this morning, the night's treachery gave way to the most beautiful drive. The sun was out, and the whole area looked just like a Christmas card.

Photo by yours truly 1/27/2011

It would be a "watch-how-you-drive-and-oooh-that-car-is-still-stuck-wow-I-am-praying-for-you-cuz-you-got-some-SERIOUS-shoveling-to-do" kinda card.

Photo by yours truly 1/27/2011

But a card nonetheless.

Imagine, plan, prepare, execute...
"And you will know them
by their fruit"

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