Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow Fun

So two days ago, Tuesday, we were supposed to get a big snowstorm, the fourth of the year in an area where it is unusual to see one. Everyone in the city left their offices early, jamming the roads but leaving them nearly empty by about seven. The Lovely Bride and I had no trouble getting downtown for our tai chi class.

So yesterday, same story, though they were talking about it hitting north of the city this time. People were less panicky, right up to the moment when it started to snow heavily in Bellevue. Big, lumpy snow, with the weight and texture of styrofoam. That was about 4:30.

This was followed, of course, by panic. Our office complex has about a dozen buildings and only two entrances, and those entrances became parking lots as people tried to flee to get onto the roads which were also parking lots. The storm was mostly north of the city, and I figured when I could finally reach the mainroads, it would be a smooth commute home to the south.

What I did not expect was that there was a second wave of the storm which moved SOUTH of the city, between Bellevue and Renton. I found this out about seven, when I tried to get home, and spent an hour in traffic trying to get to the highway on jam-packed, ice-covered service roads.

I was almost to the highway when the Lovely Bride called. They were shutting down her tax office on the East Hill, near where we live, and she was walking home. She was putting two of her front desk staff up at the house overnight because they could not get home. And, worst of all, they had closed the roads up the hill (which were, of course, parking lots).

So I turned the car around and went back to the office, intent on sleeping there (the hotels were already all booked). Then I looked at the webpage for the road conditions and discovered that the roads north were now empty and green, while the roads south were as black as the intestine of a shrimp.

So I called the Monkey King and Shelly, and asked if I could crash at their place in Kirkland. It took only 15 minutes to reach their home along roads that five hours before were impassible. Crashed on their futon, slept like a rock, glad for a hot shower and that I always pack emergency underwear in my computer bag (yeah, I know, too much information).

And as a result, I am really the only person in the office at this (for our team) ungodly hour. Others, such as Mystical Forest, had a horrible time getting home (they're in the same neighborhood), and I count myself as fortunate.

More later,