For the past three weeks, we have watched as much of the west of the nation has had wild and wooly weather (snow, ice, sleet, ice storms, and the like). Even my sister in the lower half of the state was down for the count, not once, but twice.
Yes, for the first time in over three years (and the second time as well), we had beautiful, fat snowflakes falling. But snow doesn’t get us out of school. And when you are a teacher who have students that expect a Snow Day…those days of complaints are not fun. So, yesterday, we were all jazzed when it looked like (finally) the wild and wooly weather would hit. We were under a winter weather advisory (for the third time this year…which should have clued us in to what an advisory entails…pretty much no accumulation…or in the case of last night…nothing). We watched district after district around us announce school closures (Did I mention we don’t deal well with winter weather around here? Considering the last time we had a winter-weather bad weather day I was pregnant with Muffin–pretty much four years ago–that should give you an idea of how often we experience winter precip. So, I know people to the north (and in poor Atlanta) are looking down their nose at our complaints about a (lack of) winter precip.
Every district around us closed, the local community college in our district closed, a private school in our district closed, and we were open for business today. It turns out the weather didn’t hit last night as predicted (Our weathermen get very hopeful at the thought of winter precip. I think they are jealous of the rest of the country.)
I was gearing up for a truly horrendous day, teaching-wise. But, oddly enough, (with only some grumbles at the beginning of a few classes) my students buckled down and did what was expected. After all, several noted that the weather still had the chance of being bad tonight. I pooh-poohed this, tired at this point of over-eager weathermen and their overzealous and overly optimistic guesses about winter weather. (Especially since this morning they were a bit gun shy and had backed off from the prediction of bad weather) So, I countered every “But we won’t be here tomorrow” with “Well, the weather forecasters changed their tune and have now pretty much said nothing will happen this evening.”
Takes a bite of crow.
Removes my ice-encrusted foot from my mouth. Really, it doesn’t taste very yummy.
The temperature held steady right at freezing all day and remained cloudy. I called to check on Josh late in the school day, and he said he had gotten a chirp on his phone from the local news station’s weather app that there was a new warning. I again pooh-poohed it because we were solidly in the “advisory” category. Then, just to be on the safe side, I pulled it up.
And we were in the pink (warning!).
So, for the first time in at least four years, we were now in the category of being under a winter weather warning. And I thought back to the drops I had seen on windshields through the window of the back door of our building. Hmmm, this might not go so well, was my main thought.
I knew the following:
1) We had been right at freezing for well over 24 hours. Anything that fell from the sky weather liquid or not was going to ice and stick to surfaces.
2) I had to drive over an overpass that was notorious for icing over on the way home.
3) I still had to pick up Muffin at Mom and Dad’s.
I resolved right then and there to leave right after the bell rang. I called my parents and told them of my plan and reminded them that they might want to have everyone’s favorite nudist (Muffin) put his clothes back on before I arrived there. So that we could leave before the weather got bad. The weather was supposed to get bad around 5.
When I walked out of the building at 2:47 to sounds that were distinctly not liquid rainfall falling, I knew that the weathermen had gotten it WRONG AGAIN! I drove home with wintry mix hitting my windshield and my back starting to lock up from my shoulders being held rigid. I watched the temperature for the outside being reported inside my car as a troubling 32 degrees (that’s 0 degrees to all of you metric types). When I reached a stretch of dry road, I pressed on the accelerator as much as I dared. I needed to get home to pick up Muffin so that we could get home before it got bad at my parents.
When I pulled into the driveway of their house, the rain (wintry mix) had just started there. I arrived inside to find Muffin watching Tom and Jerry (whom he loves). Then, Josh called. He had made it home because he had been afraid of the weather and recommended we get home because it was pelting ice…hard. And I realized as I was talking to him that ice was hitting my parents’ den window right by where I stood.
I almost screamed at Muffin in my haste to get him to the car with sleet and ice pelting all four of us (Muffin, my mom, my dad, and me). At this point, anything that fell was sticking, so I began the long and horrifying six mile trek to our house.
Let me just say to all of those people who think I’m a wuss…I’m okay with that. I’m okay driving in snow. I’m sort of okay driving in rain. But driving on icy roads scares the pooh out of me.
And these roads were icing fast. The wheels felt spongy and didn’t act like I wanted them to. (Did I mention that these were not snow tires or tires with chains on them? We don’t do that here. If you visited a shop and asked for either item, there’s no guarantee they would have any idea what you were asking about.)
I managed to make it down the stretch of highway without skidding, over the scary rickety bridge without skidding, and into the subdivision without skidding. But when I turned onto the street, I skidded. And I decided right then and there that I was not going to risk my health and well-being or that of Muffin tomorrow by going to work if school was not called off. I called the school secretary to ask if it was too early to call for a sub, and she informed me (after I skidded into the driveway of our house) that school had been called off for tomorrow.
It took two hours for my back and shoulders to unclench.
Did I mention that I HATE driving on ice?
Supper still seemed to be soupy weather, so I served the soup as an appetizer with the chicken spaghetti leftovers as the main.
But, on a happier note: Muffin (of his own free will and determination) decided he needed to use the potty both ways before bath time tonight. Yay! It has been a long time coming, but I’m (cautiously) optimistic that we may finally be turning the corner and leaving diapers behind…soon.