What a week in the Northeast. We missed two days of school because of snow and had a two hour delay on a third day. We have eight days to make up so far with another two storms headed our way this week. The problem in my area is the terrain. Most of the area is hilly with meanduring turns, often steep, that are difficult for buses to navigate when snow covered. Most people need four wheel drive just to get up most hills. This year I have had a lot of time to think about some past memorable storms.
A Snowy Walk Home Before Cell Phones
One night many years ago, prior to my teaching career, prior to cell phones, I was heading home during an unexpected snowstorm that had quickly dumped about a foot of snow on the area roads. I left my job as a retail manager after a slow night, odd for the hectic holiday season, but no doubt snow had kept many frustrated shoppers indoors. In those days, malls rarely closed and four wheel drive vehicles consisted of mostly pickups and work vehicles. When I saw my car, I could just see a curly ribbon of light blue peaking out under what looked like a white puffy comforter.
Undaunted and accustomed to New England weather with its annual promise of perilous driving conditions, I cleared the blanket of snow and headed home. Very few cars were on the road and the ride took me onto main roads for the most part. These were passable, not too slick, but you had to be careful and my car was front wheel drive.
The problem came when I got near home and approached the main snow covered sinuous slope. My stomach did flips of fear as a sense of foreboding took over. I peered out the window as white snow missiles made the visibility tricky. I had no choice, I had to get home and there was no other route. I heard my father's voice, as I remembered his lectures on winter driving.
I thought, "Here goes" and I prayed as I accelerated slowly up the hill, but my attempt failed. I didn't make it. I was stuck and there was not a car or house in site. I was almost relieved that I didn't have to slip and slide in the car anymore. However, as I faced the thought of my walk home I took inventory of my needs.
Ugh, I thought, here I am dressed in work clothes, a dress, wearing high-heeled shoes no less. Talk about being unprepared. I did have a hat and gloves so I wasn't totally clueless. You would think after years of Girl Scout training I would know better, but I was clearly not thinking during that time of my life.
My only choice was to leave the car and walk two miles that was mostly an uphill trek. Each step seemed colder, more numbing than the next as I navigated piles of deep snow, icy pavement and slush with a vision of my warm house inching closer.The night was comforting in a peaceful way, hearing an occasional echo of distant snowplows clearing natures latest gift. My thoughts were random, my mood was angry and self-condemning followed by a period of acceptance and determination.
I remember promising myself that this wouldn't happen again. As my house came into view, I was grateful that I only lived two miles from where I abandoned my car. I made it slowly but fortunately safe. As I took this unplanned winter walk home, I vowed that I had to change some things so that my future walking was on my terms. I arrived on my doorstep a snow-covered walking icicle, but thankful that my higher power was following me.
© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011].