I have heard snow stories from around the country this last week. Here’s mine:
Mark has been using our truck to go to work the last couple weeks because of reports of inclement weather. I’ve been staying with Mom on my work days so I don’t disturb him when I get up early, so when he has the truck, I have to rely on others to get me to and from work.
Wednesday morning, as Mom was dropping me off at work, a few thin snowflakes began to fall. I was forewarned that there would be snow, so I had arranged with Dad to pick me up after work. As it turned out, Williams-Sonoma closed early because we had so few customers and the staff was nervous about getting home in the snow. I called Dad to let him know I was getting out early and he said he’d be there in ten minutes.
Half an hour later, I called Dad’s wife, Elaine, to see if she had heard anything from Dad. She hadn’t. He doesn’t carry a phone with him. (After this experience, I strongly suggested he at least have a phone in his car for emergencies!) It took a while longer, but finally Dad drove up and I got in his car.
Dad has snow tires on his car, so he’s good to drive in snow and ice. Not everyone can say the same thing. The snow had turned to ice and traffic was backed up. I saw a car try to cross an intersection to turn into the lane we were in, and instead, their car slid backwards. They decided to turn and go the other way.
It took a long time for us to get up to the overpass over Highway 217. You know how they always have signs posted near bridges that say the bridge ices before the rest of the road? The rest of the road was bad enough, but the overpass was a parking lot! Cars were pulled over to the side, or they were turned sideways where they had slid to the side. We were bumper to bumper with the cars that were still on the road. At one point, the cars in our direction were having to drive into the oncoming lane to get around stalled vehicles.
Then we were on the downhill side of the overpass. There was a school bus coming toward us in the opposite lane. Dad noted that the school bus didn’t have chains on. We were near the bumper of the car ahead of us when we heard the bus driver honk. Dad had an idea that meant the bus was in trouble, but we were right behind the car ahead of us and he wasn’t moving. Moments later, the car ahead of us moved forward a few inches and gave Dad enough room to pull our car to the right. I looked over the back seat and saw the back end of the bus swinging toward us. I prayed a quick prayer for God’s protection and the bus missed us by maybe a couple inches. My heart was beating a little faster than usual when the danger was past!
We got to the bottom of the overpass and I gave Elaine a call to let her know where we were, but I didn’t tell her at that time about our narrow escape. I thought it best to wait till she could see that we were home safe. We came to an intersection where there were a couple guys in reflective vests directing traffic, and one of them had stopped to help push a car out of the intersection. A little further down the road, an ambulance with siren going came up on our left and somehow managed to get through all the traffic.
We did eventually make it to Dad’s house… an hour and forty minutes after he’d told me he would get me in ten minutes! Elaine had dinner waiting for us. It was so pleasant to spend the evening with them after fighting the elements!
I had packed for one evening, but the next morning, the snow was still on the ground. I had heard that it wasn’t going to get above freezing all day, so I knew Mom wouldn’t be able to come and get me from work. Dad took me to work and I told him I’d call if they closed the store early again.
We got a truck of 345 boxes that morning and my co-worker, Boris, unloaded it with a woman named Marcy. I stayed upstairs to answer stock checks and empty carts so they could get all the boxes loaded and brought in. We have never caught up from all the other deliveries we’ve had, so there were boxes everywhere. Boris sounded like he was getting a cold, and he’d been working for a couple hours longer than me, but when they decided to send staff people home early, I was the one they let go early.
This time, Dad was able to get to the store within ten minutes to pick me up at 2:30 and we got home nearly as quickly. I hardly knew what to do with myself, having gotten out of work so early, but Dad had collected a bunch of puzzles (crossword, Sudoku, criptiquip, etc), and he and Elaine and I worked on them all afternoon and evening.
This morning, even though the snow on the ground hadn’t melted, the snow on the roads had been sanded, so people came out in droves. The store was really busy all day. The upstairs stock room is beginning to remind me of pictures I’ve seen of the homes of hoarders, where there are tunnels to get from room to room. We have so many boxes piled in the stock room that going down the aisles, I have to either bring my shoulders forward, or I have to slide in sideways to get down the aisle. We’ve got boxes piled in front of shelves where we’re supposed to pull stock for customers. It’s bad! I don’t see how we’re ever going to get caught up on unpacking the boxes and shelving them.
It’s not going to be my problem for much longer though. Today, I told my manager that I have another job lined up beginning in January. More about that later…