Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow day- part one

I had been listening to the weather predictions. They said it was coming. They warned us, it is coming. Be ready. So I made my preparations. I filled the gas tank on my vehicle, I bought batteries and I loaded the front porch with firewood. I had already made my way to the store and purchased the obligatory bread, milk and junk foods. I checked over my lists and checked over the house, and pet's houses. My son filled them yet again with cedar shavings and dry leaves. I filled containers with water- just in case. If the power went I wanted water for coffee.

Sunday night I went to bed earlier than I usually do. My anticipation- and dread- of the coming day wearing me out. I had watched as the weather prognosticators had showed where the storm was, where it was approaching and how fast. I was still hoping to get to work before it arrived. No such luck.

When I got up Monday morning- the ground was already white and it was snowing heavily. So, did I go, or not? My thoughts bounced back and forth like a ping pong ball at a championship match. I need to work, but I don't want to get hurt should I slide off the side of a mountain somewhere. I need to work, but I don't want to risk lives- mine or others. I need to work, but I..back and forth. Then the calls began, I had people call me which meant I had to call people. Well, one person who had already talked to the same people that were calling me. She told me that she would make some calls and get back to me. Hope was, the plant was not running. Hope was dashed when we were informed that yes, the plant was most definitely running. So now I was back to do I go, or not. I went.

As I had fluctuated between going and not- I had prepared my day's supply of snacks and lunch. My coffee was ready, my boots and outer wear waited. Part of me desired more than anything to stay home. Part of me feared going out. Part of me looked at the bills to be paid and that part won out. Late as it was, I could still make it to work on time. Getting my boots on I began to carry stuff to the car. Opening the door several inches of snow that has accumulated on top of the vehicle came flowing down like a mini-avalanche. Brushing it off the seat I got in and started the car. I had put plastic over the windshield, but in haste had not anchored it down, so the snow had pushed it down. Cleaning the windows I made ready to go. Reaching the top of the Dirt Road I had a choice to make, do I go the long way around? Or do I be more daring and go around the mountain? Because of the time, and some little voice inside my head I went the way that would take me around the mountain.

I pulled out onto the road and began to travel its snow covered expanse toward work, at the grand speed of fifteen miles an hour. The still early hour of not quite 5:30 and the falling snow had very few cars on the road. My first fear was approaching, I slowed down even more. Even in a four wheel drive vehicle I was taking no chances. I did not want to end off down in the river. All the nightmare possibilities swarmed inside my head. I did not wish to be trapped in a sinking car and yet I don't know how to swim..so I eased my way down. At the bottom of the hill a truck was up against the guardrail with his hazard lights flashing. The vehicle was off the road, and I didn't see a driver so I moved on. I crossed the bridges and made my way around a long sweeping curve. In the process I met a truck coming the other way, with plenty of room on either side we kept going. Then, I met my first difficulty. A co-worker in trouble.

This particular co-worker lives not far from me. He drives a small pick up truck. He had tried to make the turn to go up the next hill and hadn't made it, and now he was going nowhere fast. I parked in the middle of the road and walked over to his truck. Don't ask me why I thought I could do this next thing- I got behind and tried to push thinking if I could help him get to a spot where he could catch traction--of course it didn't work. He tried to move to turn around and go back. I moved my vehicle past him out of the way, watching him carefully. No matter what he tried, he wasn't going anywhere. At one point I got past him and moved to where I could park off the roadway as other traffic was by this time making an occasional appearance. I parked and walked back, as I made my way I watched as the vehicle that had stopped on the road coming down the hill, the one we wanted on, suddenly blue lights sprang to life. Blue lights reflecting off of falling snow has an interesting and really rather pretty effect. The officer told him that he might as well park the truck where he was because he wasn't going to get anywhere right then. He was actually being very polite, I'm sure he had been sitting in his SUV shaking his head at my co-worker's attempts. I spoke with the officer while my co-worker got his belongings and locked the truck. The officer went on to his waiting assignment while we walked back to my own vehicle. Turning around I made my way up the hill.

Going around the mountain wasn't really bad as we only met one vehicle going the other way and it was at a place that was wide enough that there was no worries. It was when we got around the mountain and coming into the small town that I groaned aloud. The road looked like a skating rink. Already going slow I eased up on the gas and tried to keep a steady speed. All I wanted was to get to work. Seeing the plant come into sight was calming. Getting into the parking area and stopped was even more so. Together my co-worker and I spread the plastic over the windshield and this time anchored it down by the doors. I got all my many belongings from the vehicle and went inside. The shop manager had already been cleaning the front entrance and spreading salt, but inside the door the melted snow had formed a nice wet and slippery area he hadn't gotten dried yet. Here was where I removed my boots and slipped on my sneakers. Gathering up my many essentials I clocked in and made my way to the department I worked in.

When I walked across the floor I saw the manager of another department turning on the lights, one co-worker and me..soon after my arrival my manager arrived. That made three of us in our department, three out of nearly twenty people made it in. In the entire plant there was maybe twenty of us worker ants that arrived.

During the day I would sneak peaks out the door when I took my breaks. Snow was falling through-out the day. I wanted out in it with my camera...first I had to make it through the day at work. When 4pm and quitting time finally arrived I began to gather up my belongings once again and head out. I knew that the co-worker that I had rescued that morning was riding with someone with a bigger truck that was going to pull his truck out of the snow. That meant all I had to do was go home. Which I did in a kinda round about way.

I wish that I had gotten my camera out of the bag before I started off, but I didn't, so I missed a few good shots. (Story of my life) Finally at one point I did pull over and get my camera. From the safe place I pulled off I fired off a few shots, walked across the roadway and took a few more. I then returned to my vehicle and made my way to where I could turn to go past a pond. When I got in front of it I fired off a few more shots, then pulled up to where I could turn around. Once I got turned around I went home. Slowly and carefully.

When I got all of my belongings into the house I made ready to go walking. I was going out to get photos of the snow before it got dark. Of course everyone had to call me right at that moment to see if I had made it home....

to be cont..

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