Friday, December 15, 2006

Remembering the Snow-storm

We had our first real winter storm of the year a couple of weeks ago. Ice, snow, and more ice.

I hate ice-storms. They are pretty to look at, with all the branches of the trees coated in glass-like crystal, but they are a pain.

We had one, a few years back, while we were still living in our old house, that was really bad. We were without power for several days, and other folks for even longer. Utility crews came from all over the country to help put the power back on-line. As soon as the roads cleared, we went up to my sister's house, until the power came back on. And we lost a lot of good old trees in that storm, including one large one in the neighbor's yard. I looked up from hearing a lot of crackling and popping all around, just in time to see most of the tree down the hill come toppling down. I know both World's of Fun and Oceans of Fun lost several good trees at that time, which oddly enough, they haven't gotten around to replacing. In Worlds of Fun, we could tell the ones that were missing by the flowerbeds they have around the base of the trees. There'd be a row of four of these flowerbeds, three would have a good sized tree growing in it, and the fourth one would just have the flowers. In Oceans of Fun, there used to be a large tree, that shaded the kiddie pool nicely in the afternoons. That one is gone. I have no idea why they never replaced it. Not that it matters much anymore for us. We've pretty much outgrown the need for kiddie pools now. Gidget's gotten too tall for them (she technically was right at the limit, maybe a bit over last year) and Dash has gotten to the point where he's starting to enjoy the other slides more. I still think we ought to see if we can get both kids swimming lessons, though.

Well, anyway, back to this past storm. It was raining/slushing/icing about the time I usually walk down to the bus stop to get the kids, but I didn't really want to have to go walk and stand in that gunk, especially if the bus was running late, so I took the car. While I was in the car waiting for the bus and watching the ice hit the windshield, I began to wonder if taking the car really had been such a good idea. What if it proved impossible to get the car back up the hill again? That would really be a mess. But it turned out that I was worried about nothing, we had no more trouble driving back up the hill than I would have had it just been raining. That was a relief.

Elfriend surprised me by walking in at 4:30. They had told everyone to go ahead and go home if they wanted, and avoid as much of the weather as they could.

They didn't call off school the next day until almost 6 a.m. I think that they were waiting until the very last possible minute to make up their minds. I'm glad they called off school, I'd have hated to have to walk the kids down the hill on that icy road, and I could see that it would have been almost impossible to drive. Later that morning, I saw a car sitting sideways in the road for a few hours, which made me even gladder that I didn't have to get anywhere. We just stayed inside that day, though the kids did go out later that afternoon to play in the snow, what there was of it. The mail didn't even come that day.

By evening, they were still predicting about 10 inches of snow by morning. The school was called off at 6:00 that night for the next day, Friday. But we didn't get the 10 inches that night, in fact, we got about enough snow to say, "Look! We got snow!" and that's it. I don't know what happened to all the snow we should have gotten, if it went south of us, or skipped us and went to St. Louis, or what.

We waited until the sun was up and shining on the roads, then I took the kids grocery shopping. Some roads were better than others, but I had only a little trouble at one stop sign.

Elfriend was wondering if the school system knew something we didn't, when they called off school so early for Friday, but I figured it was for at least some of the following reasons:

1. It was early December, and they still had plenty of snow days left.

2. It was Friday, and they had already had Thursday off, might as well make a weekend of it.

3. There was always the chance the storm could go through.

I just have this feeling that if it had been February, say, and they were running out of snow days, they would have waited to see what really happened to the weather before calling things off.

But things are all back to normal, now. Though it took quite a bit longer for the snow to disappear than I thought it would. Snow usually disappears within three days, here, this time it lasted almost a week.

Gidget was most upset about having to go back to school on Monday. She kept telling me, "But there's snow on the ground. That means there's no school."

Then, when I tried to tell her that the issue wasn't snow on the ground, it was ice and dangerous conditions on the roads, she kept finding minuscule pieces of ice on the road, and maybe a patch or two that was about two foot square, and saying, "See! there's ice on the road. That means we don't have to go to school."

I finally just told her to take it up with her teacher, there was nothing I could do about it.

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