A frozen, white oceanÂ stretches across my front window.Â RoilingÂ waves break against the cement, frothing up into dirty chunks of snow and ice.
Wednesday, the storm hit during the commute. My oldest comes home from school on the city bus. She had called to ask me to come pick her up. I told her that it would be safer all around if she just came home on the bus, but I would certainly pick her up at the stop which is nearly 3/4 of a mile away from the house. She just had to make sure to call me when she was 10 minutes away. She informed me that she’d left her cell phone at home. These kinds of situations, of course, were exactly why she had a cell phone.
I left early, giving myself 15 minutes to get to her bus stop. I parked and waited, the Annotated Hobbit in my hands to keep company. But I found it hard to read. The road kept my attention.
Wheels spun and cars slipped while I watched the traffic. I sat in theÂ truck, thankful againÂ that a programmer/artist and a writer had somehow come to own a 4X4 Suburban.Â People moving trucks like these don’t let you goÂ fast onÂ slick roads, but they doÂ let you climb up slushy hills with confidence; actually make it where you’re going without slipping into the side of the road or another car.
An hour and fifteen minutes after the bus was due, I cursed myself. I had already learned that the bus was ‘over half an hour’ behind. But this long? Had it been late at her end, and she’d gone back to the school? Was the school now closed, and she couldn’t call? Was she spending this time in the storm? Going to the school was even more dangerous than I’d thought it would have been in the slushy whiteout conditions.
Some kids DIDN’T make it home from school. The school busses were forced to turn around and go back to the schools, the kids eventually spending two hours on the bus when usually they’d be home in half an hour and sleeping over at the school. Some adults stayed over at work too. Others braved commutes that were triple and even four times the amount of time they usually were.
Finally, the bus pulled up. It had been only a couple minutes late to her stop, but they’d passed lots and lots of accidents. And you can imagine how difficult it might be for a bus to get back into traffic under those conditions.
It snowed through the night, and schools started about 2 hours late, but the next day was gorgeous.