Yesterday I drove home in a blizzard as you see above. That was my view out of the car during my second rush-hour blizzard ever. It took me two hours to get home! What cracked me up about the photo above is that the photo turned out clearer than what I had before my eyes on reality TV's new show, Caron Lives in Southern Canada.
As I passed Casey's General Store, about an hour into the drive, with the parking lot looking like a truck stop, I was glad I had an almost-full tank of gas. Feeling smug about it and not making any progress down the road, I posted on Facebook something about how the blizzard is exactly the reason why you should keep your tank full in the winter. Then, thinking I would be smote from above for being haughty, I watched the gas tank thingy in my dashboard the rest of the way home. Just in case.
The reason why this was a good lesson is that the day and the afternoon was calm and boring in the weather department. Do you remember in Little Town on the Prairie how the blizzard popped up and Laura was afraid Pa and Almanzo wouldn't make it back safely? I imagined the cats in a conclave at the house, afraid no one would dispense food in time and planning who could break into the cupboard where we hide a bowl of food. How long could Ma grind a cup of flour? How long would it last? How far can one bowl of cat food spread? I knew they were concerned. But like Pa and Almanzo, we were all working and minding our own business. Hence, everyone was asleep while the snow began. We saw it and rolled our Upper Midwestern eyes because we're so over it this year with the snow. Then it stopped snowing. No rush-hour drama for us today!
This is my normal view outside the window of my office. Ya'll have seen it before.
I was busy at my desk when I noticed it had gotten darker. I looked up and I couldn't see much of anything outside my window. Then the snow piled up to at least an inch in about 30 minutes, maybe less. Then the wind hit 50 mph. Then the National Weather Service said it was a blizzard, but I was already in the car by then because I had planned to get home early. This is the photo I took before I put my coat on. The orb in the middle of the photo is just my sweater reflecting in the glass.
I was driving calmly because the guy on the radio said to stay calm and be patient and also because I'd done this 18 years ago. My first winter in Iowa it did this except the snow began at lunch, so there was a million inches of snow on the ground at the end of the work day. More snow means more blowing snow, more stuck tires, etc. Not much snow means more icy glaze on the road. We had icy glaze last night.
When I got to my car and turned her on, I took the photo below. See? Not as much snow as '96. But it was dry and the wind was 50 mph and I want you to know that once again, the camera took photos that are clearer than what I could see. Do I have cataracts? Should I have driven by the camera phone?
I drove five miles to the house. It took one hour and 50 minutes, so for the drama I say two hours. A kid I work with who just graduated college said it took him two hours and then he said he went all the way to the south of town, which is double what I drove. I wonder why it takes me longer than everyone else to get home in the same blizzard. It happened that way in 1996, too. I forgot to take a photo before I turned off my car, but in the end, my average speed was 3 mph.
What's odd is that normally the local media get whipped up into a frenzy when there might be snow, but this sort of came at us our of nowhere and all the time I was driving home, I felt like Ma in the blizzard at Plum Creek, the Big Woods and the Little Town on the Prairie. And just when did I start feeling like Ma and not Laura? How depressing.