Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The First Winter Storm Is Here!

The first winter storm of the season is here, and I truly delighted in the new adventures of getting to work today. Those of you in Texas will be happy to know that they don't just take the snow in stride here. In fact, the reaction was much like what happens back home when the flurry white stuff appears - jacked up traffic, power outages, sullen commuters, strangers bonding over the face-stinging sleet. Good times.

And, you may never have thought of it, but an umbrella is not only good for keeping the rain off. It works for snow as well. But, just as in the rain, a mighty wind can turn the whole contraption upside down and have you hopping down the sidewalk trying to wrangle it back in. While trying to look cool and nonchalent, of course.

So I set out this morning with the snow falling hard - like a hard rain in Houston, but snow. I found that quite interesting since we haven't really had a proper rain since I've been here. It mostly spits and mists.

I tromped down the sidewalk with my layers on and my waterproof boots, jauntily holding up my umbrella and trying not to slip on the squishy parts of the street. When I got to the light rail at the bottom of the hill we're currently living on, I waited and waited. The crowd got larger and larger, crammed under the roof of the outdoor waiting area. Then the speaker came on and they reported a power outage. There was supposedly no train going to my normal station to catch the subway into the city. Bollocks! But just as I began to fear the worst ("Sorry, boss, no way to get to the city. Guess I'll have to stay home . .") a train pulled up on the opposite track, going the wrong way, and told us all to get aboard. Double bollocks!

Once there, I scooted through the snow to the next station. No bag checks there today! Then patiently waited for the train. When I got to my stop and out into the air, i crunched along with all the other poor saps. It really wasn't that cold, so I was pretty comfortable, but I put my umbrella up, you know, just in case I might save some vestige of my early morning hair primping.

Then it hit. A vortex of wind so strong! And cunning! It brought with it biting sleet that pelted my face. I tried to shield myself, but between the gales, the runaway umbrella and the sting of the sleet, all I could do was numbly move forward. To the door. To the door. But ack! It was blocked. So many people. I had no choice but to stop struggling and wait for an opening.

Once inside was like stepping into a vacuum. And once I had my piping hot hazelnut cafe au lait, life was good again. I had survived my first winter storm commute. Now I just have to worry about getting home.

No comments: