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Well, THAT was hellish!

So here's how the rest of my day went:

-- left work at 2pm. (Steve let his class out early so he could start the trek back to where he lives, which is way the hell out near 495.)

-- 1 hour later, had gotten as far as Mt. Auburn hospital. That's 1 mile from work, btw.

-- abandoned bus. Walked 40 minutes through 24 degree F weather and increasing snow to get to my car. (I was quite worried because I realized on the drive in that I had forgotten to put my little shovel in the car.)

-- get to car. 3 inches or so of snow on it already. (It's been snowing since 1pm.) Clear car. Am able to drive it out of its parking space (thankfully plows had not been by yet; but I'll have cause to regret lack of plows later). Pull out into gridlocked traffic.

-- inch homeward. That's not really an exaggeration. And can I just say how much I LOVE (for which, read: despise) people who can't figure out how to drive safely in this weather? People who DON'T TURN THEIR LIGHTS ON. People who decide that I'm driving TOO SLOW and pull around me. Die in a fiery wreck, people.

-- get home at 5:15 pm. Yeah. Find that I can't pull into my driveway because a plow HAS been by at some point, leaving a big berm of snow.

-- pull around corner, park car. Walk back to house. Get shovel. Shovel out end of drive so I can at least pull in. Feel charitable, shovel out end of neighbors' drive as well (driveway on my side of house).

-- get back in car. Mini -- which, let me state, up to this point has BEEN A TROOPER, calmly dealing with lack of plowed roads when other cars are spinning wheels -- will not move out of parking space. Won't go forward, won't go back. Nice boys who are shovelling across way come over, shovel out around my wheels, and push car backwards until I can get it moving.

-- go around block back to my house. Pull into drive. Unfortunately, drive has steeper slope in front before it levels out. Can't get up it. Fortunately, Fred my Ex-Landlord is there by now, shovelling rest of front. He senses I'm at the end of my rope, and offers to get in and coax the car up while I stop traffic (so he can back out across street to make a run at the drive). Takes him a good 4 runs to get up to level part, and then a half-dozen starts-stops to use the Mini as a SNOW PLOW to get it all the way back into its parking space (lots of wheel-spinning in by-now 6 inches of powdery snow laid down over a nice foundation of ICE).

-- knowing I won't want to do it in the morning, shovel a path between car and back door.


... So I came in, caked with snow, and did what any person who had lost all perspective and reason would do: I put the harness on Emily and took her out for a walk. (She walked along the path I'd shovelled, inspected the car, and then cold-footed it back for the back door and Inside.)

6pm. And I still feel that it was probably wise to leave work "early". *sigh*


(ETA: I wanted to add that a normal commuting time for me is 40 minutes, on a good day. Just for sake of comparison.)

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
drlense
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
God, you have my sympathy. I had a vicious commute home myself- but not as bad as this!
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:46 am (UTC)
And I'm hearing about people who had worse, that's the scary thing.
cofax7
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
Holy cow.

I need to memory this for the next time I go, "Wouldn't it be fun to live in New England again, with the colorful autumns and beautiful snowy winters?"

All my sympathies.
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
I have to admit, this kind of thing happens infrequently. It doesn't feel like a regular grind, so much as an unusual event ripe for bitching about when it happens. And it *IS* pretty. (Somewhat ironically, I'm planning to go snowshoeing this weekend up in NH. Yes. After 40 minutes of swishing through powdery snow tonight, I'm *voluntarily* going to go flail through snow for "fun".)
okojosan
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
Ugh, you poor thing. I was wondering how you were doing- I've been listening to WBUR and they're saying an inch of snow every hour. Argh!

Maybe you should take another sick day tomorrow. Though I love that you put a harness on the cat to take her out. :D I need to do that with my ferrets.
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
I think they were figuring 1.5" of snow an hour. But that's okay, at one point they were saying it could be 3" an hour. :P

I wish I could take another sick day tomorrow. I don't think I can, though... :( Although I'm already contemplating the ways the commute will be hellish in the morning. (What to do, what to do?)
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
p.s. I took Emily out in part because she is *ALWAYS* begging at the back door to go out. So sometimes I like to prove to her why she really, really doesn't. Really.

She doesn't *mind* snow, witness the fact that she WILL walk out into it. But it was instructive to see how quickly she abandoned the idea of "out" being any fun.
jenlev
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Holy bat dren. *hugs*

And yes I am laughing that hard at you taking Emily out for a walk. While I'm on the phone with you. At the same time I'm posting this comment.
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Someday when I do it again, I really must take my camera out and get video of it or something. :)

Sorry I wasn't more sociable on the phone. Just... long, frustrating day.
jenlev
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
No worries, you were very sociable. And it sounds like an awful day. Especially on the heels of your fall. Besides....I was really just ranting about Huckabee. ;)

And yes, there needs to be video of the way she walks in response to all the snow. *hugs*
katie_m
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
At least it's pretty, she said sympathetically.

knowing I won't want to do it in the morning, shovel a path between car and back door

You're a better woman than I. I considered going out around twilight to do it, and then thought, eh, no. On the plus side, all I'll really have to do is... well, all I'll have to do is a bit behind my car, but in the spirit of being a good tenant I plan to shovel out the walk as well. I mean, I assume great-grandkid who does the lawn will also do snow, but otherwise it's me, the 80-something landlady, and the woman on the second floor who's on disability. I think I should probably take one for the team.
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Oh, it's PRETTY all right... :P

(No, really, it *is* very pretty. I like snow. I actually kind of liked the walk, even if my back was kind of hurting by the end. I really like it when it's snowing and the sky is dark grey and the white snow is a contrast and it's falling and all the sounds are muted. I also like it when dusk is falling and the street lights make pools of warm orange light, and how there's this very odd skyglow at night in a metro area in a snowstorm. I like all of that stuff. It was the 3.5 hours to get home that I really could've done without.)

The thing is... I think it will turn out that what shovelling I did was futile. I'm looking out the front at what Fred did, and... yeah. You can sort of tell that something was done, but it's all blanketed again. Also, the ends of the drives are completely plugged up again. Might as well not have done that, either (except I really couldn't have gotten the car in otherwise). The neighbors are actually younger than me, and it's a couple, so there's a GUY to do the shovelling, but... knowing how demoralized I felt when I got home to see the blocked drive, I thought I'd spare them that. But now it's all for naught -- they're not home yet, and now it's just like it was never cleared at all. *sob*

Tomorrow will also be bad. Because of the above, I'm not sure I can really get the car OUT. And I'm not sure it would be smart to park it where I usually park it, either. (Those roads will be narrower because of the plowing that I assume they will do overnight.) That means I ought to take the buses in. Which I can do, in a technical sense. Just... yuck.
veejane
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:44 am (UTC)
The thing that's struck me most about the stories of commute woe (yours not least) is that everybody in the Boston area had the same bright idea at the same time, and let everybody out, and the infrastructure couldn't handle it. Like, okay, everyone will drive more slowly in snow (unless they're suicidal morons), and that slows down the busses, but people reporting that the T was overwhelmingly crowded? That's a very bad sign, should the city ever need to, oh, be evacuated for any reason.

(Those little blue evacuation route signs are cute and all, but nobody wants to walk from South Station to Newton! Even when it's not snowing.)
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 01:01 am (UTC)
Oh yah, I just left that part off my narrative. How I got down to the bus station in Harvard Square, at 2:10pm, to find about 100 people waiting to get on each bus. How I went back up to try to get a taxi, but there weren't any. How I went back down, and the bus came, and everyone squeezed onto it... and I got right up to the door but couldn't get on. How we then waited about 15 more minutes for the next bus. And how once we got into traffic, we found out how slowly the buses were moving anyway. I just couldn't stand it, after a while, and had to walk. Even if walking wasn't faster, it was BETTER. (I think it was also probably faster, though it's hard to be sure.)

It was very clear that EVERYone had the same idea to leave work as soon as the snow started falling. Very clear that everyone was taking the weather reports seriously.

Maybe the T could have put more buses on the routes, but as you say -- given the traffic gridlock, the buses couldn't GO anywhere.

Basically, let's hope that should the city ever need to be evacuated, it's not snowing. :( That was the big problem, obviously -- the fact that traffic on *every single road* was moving at 6 mph. I am serious -- I never got out of 2nd gear the whole way home. I was on TERTIARY ROADS. The gridlock wasn't just the highways. It was practically every single road. That was as frightening as anything. I'd never seen gridlock like that on some of those roads.
barkley
Dec. 14th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
Now that's a hellish commute.
eregyrn
Dec. 14th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
It was the successive repeats of "Oh, what fresh hell is this?" that really got to me. Like finally getting home and just wanting to pull in, but NO, and having another half-hour of hard work and frustration ahead of me to get to the "home" part.
(Deleted comment)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )