“Do you remember the storm of 2010?” That’s what the children of this generation will say to each other at future reunions. It doesn’t really matter where they live- records have been set across the nation for the past week. And memories – good and bad- have been set indelibly into little brains.
I still remember when it snowed in Fresno, California in 1962. It didn’t even qualify as a storm. We only got ½” of snow. But school let out. Everything was white. Most children in the valley had never seen such a sight. I can still see our olive sled covered in snow.
Yesterday the forecast was for 1-3” of snow, beginning at midnight. I got up to go to the bathroom about 2am and looked out the window- nothing. I just figured it had gone south of us or around us or something. The weatherman assured us at 6am that we would still get snow, just later than predicted. No snow at 6:50 when I left for school.
About 9am, right in the middle of phonics one of my girls said, “Hey, it’s snowing!!”. Well, that called for a little attention, an explanation that “yes, it will probably snow more”, and assurance that it was okay for two students at a time to be at the window “later, during center time”. I don’t think I had anyone’s full attention for at least another hour when they had finally become a bit bored by the whole thing. Then about two hours later there was enough snow on my pickup for the boys to be impressed and start telling me about it.
I kept wondering when the first parent would arrive or the announcement would come that we were going home. Our district is notorious for staying in school and sure enough, it was 2:30 before the announcement came that the buses would run ten minutes early and school would be cancelled for Friday. I only had one parent arrive before that. I guess no one was concerned about driving because it wasn’t ice.
I knew after the first three inches of snow fell that I would have trouble getting home. Our cattle guard is only a little more than one truck length off the highway. The driveway angles up. You’ve seen the driveway in my recent blog about walking. It is almost impossible to slow down, turn into the drive, and still have enough power to get over the cattle guard. I told two of my colleagues that I probably wouldn’t be able to get over it, and even if I could, I might not make it all the way to the house because I would be the first one home and no one else uses the drive. I was so right.
I couldn’t get the truck over the metal rails of the cattle guard. I slid backwards, tried a few more times and was terrified that I would hit the poles of the gate. So I turned it off, set the brake and walked up to the house for the bag of snow melt I knew was sitting on the back porch. Now, if I had been smart and believed the weatherman I would have had it in the truck with me!!
First thing I did was fall. The driveway is also very narrow and drops off into the ditch. Exactly what I did. Hit my knee and elbow. Got up and used the anger and adrenaline to power my walk to the house.
By the time I got back down to the gate Gary had arrived and was parked behind me, barely off the road. I explained my dilemma. We poured out the snow melt granules around each wheel and over the tracks I had made up the drive. Then he pulled the Mustang back onto the highway and I backed down to the highway and tried again. Failed.
By this time I was having an anxiety attack about the whole situation, especially the fact that Gary was stopped on the highway with the hazard lights flashing. We switched places and that made me even more anxious, but after three attempts he finally got the truck up the driveway. Then he just stopped and waited. I rolled down the window and literally screamed at him, “Come get the car!” Honestly, did he think that after my ordeal with the truck I was going to attempt to drive the car up there?? That’s exactly what I asked him after he walked back down to me!
I managed to drive the truck nearly to the house, but finally encountered a place that was so slick and also so mushy underneath, that the wheels just spun. At that point I had reached my limit also! I just parked it and walked the rest of the way to the house. Gary parked behind me and that’s where the vehicles are this morning.
Of course the first thing I did at the house was grab the camera. I wanted proof for my colleagues that I wasn’t just being whiny about the snow. By the time I got back in range for a photo the cows had decided that we must have stopped to feed them! LOL They surrounded the pickup for several minutes, looking around everywhere for something to eat. (They later resorted to annihilating the trash we had set out for weekly pickup.)
It snowed for most of the evening. I think our total is probably around 8”. Several areas, including Dallas, broke records set decades ago. All in all, quite an experience. And much more enjoyable this morning with a cup of coffee and nowhere to go! My shoulder, elbow, and knee are a little sore, but we are safe and sound and warm. The snow will start melting later this afternoon and only be a memory by tomorrow. Hopefully this will be the last snow storm of 2010.