Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Very Big Snow Storm

We had a lot of snow here today. In fact, it is still snowing as I type this at 10:00pm. As usual, the weather folks lulled us into complacency by forecasting 1-3 inches of snow. In reality, we probably have 8-10 inches on the ground here.

It took Jim from 5:30 until 9:00 to get home, and he only made it home that early because a subway worker took pity on him and another woman and gave them a ride home. I think Jim and I had good karma today because we were both the recipients of a random act of kindness. Mine came from a woman at CVS with a huge cart of purchases. She saw that I was only buying two gift cards and she let me go ahead of her in line. She let a few other shoppers go ahead as well. I hope they both get everything they want for Christmas.

Normally, a snow storm on a Thursday wouldn't be a big problem for me. Lily is in school on Monday and Thursday, so I reserve Thursdays for those random errands that I don't have time for on Monday. This Thursday was a little complicated because I had to take Oskar in to be neutered at 8:00 am. When I arrived at the vet, they told me if the weather got worse, I would have to pick him up between 3 and 5, which was fine with me. That's when I found out we were expecting more than the 1-3 inches of snow predicted.

On the way to Lily's school later that morning, I asked her how she felt about a big snow storm. She said she hoped there would be "a hundred snow." Jack's response was "I. plAY. snOOOOOOOOOOOW!" so I think he was pretty excited as well. When we got to the school, the center director consulted me on a sign they were putting together for the door. They wondered if I would be offended to read the following message: "We are encouraging parents to pick up their children early due to the impending storm." I wasn't offended, in case you were wondering. I actually thought to myself "Maybe I will pick Lily up early if Oskar is ready at 3."

Jack and I then headed out to the Christmas Tree Shop, which was jam packed. Due to the fact that Jack woke up at 4:30 am this morning (and dragged us all up with him), he fell asleep sitting in the shopping cart. I was home by 10:00, gave him an early lunch, and we both settled in for a nap around 11:45. Around 1:20, the phone rang. It was the vet asking me if I could come in to pick Oskar up. "He's a little groggy, but the weather is just getting worse, so we'd like you to come in early."

"I'll be in at 3" I said. The woman seemed a little taken aback. "I think you'll need to come in sooner than that." I told her I would come in as soon as Jack woke up. After I hung up, I toyed with going back to sleep, but then I thought I ought to look out the window first. There were 5 inches of snow on the ground already. I woke poor Jack up, bundled him half asleep into his coat and got in the car. He was so groggy, all he could say was "Ohhhhhh. snOOOOOOOOOW!" over and over again.

Fifteen minutes later I was only a block from my house. In traditional Melrose fashion, the road had been sanded, but not plowed, and traffic was bumper to bumper on Main Street. Fortunately, I never drive on Main Street any way, so I knew a back route to the vet. The less traveled roads were awful. It took us about 30 minutes to make the normally 5 minute drive. Oskar was really happy to see us. Jack was more awake by the time we got to the vet, and was really excited about walking in the snow. Too bad I hadn't thought to put socks on him in my rush to get out of the house. His little sweatpants were riding up to his knees and the snow was up to shin level on him.

Once we had Oskar, it was clear to me that I'd better go get Lily before conditions got worse. It took me 45 minutes to get to her school (normally a 10 minute drive). She was very disappointed when we got outside. "I thought it would be more snow than it is," she said disgustedly.

It took another 45 minutes or so to get home. It was at that point I remembered I was supposed to supervise the stove installation at my neighbor's house while she picked her son up at school -- more than 45 minutes earlier! Fortunately, the stove installation had been canceled, so she didn't mind that I'd totally forgotten about it in my mad rush to get cat and child home.

It continued to snow all afternoon, and, despite my calls warning him that conditions were terrible, Jim didn't leave work early. He ended up stuck in Cambridge for about an hour. Then he decided to take the car back to the Novartis lot and get the subway home. There was more than an hour wait just to get into the subway station, so he grabbed some dinner. He told me that the subway, bus lines and roads were in a complete jam. I have to wonder -- they've been talking about this storm for several days, and they knew by this morning that it would bring a lot of snow. Why was everyone in the transportation industry so unprepared??

Anyway, while we were waiting for Jim to get home, I asked Lily if she would like to be interviewed for my blog. She asked what that meant, and I told her I would ask her some questions and then type her answer exactly as she said it. Here's a transcript of our interview:

W: Well, what do you think of the snow today?

L: I think it is a lot snowier than yesterday.'s almost Christmas and I'm so excited to give Mama her present, I just can't wait. There's lots of Christmas presents to give and have a happy night. When it's Christmas you get to share your presents and you always get to have fun. There's so much Christmas presents on Christmas Eve when there's lots of people you can see and give presents to, and I'm so happy that I really want to give my cat a new present, he'll love it a lot and he'll so much have fun with it that he'll play...uh oh (she goes to check on cat, who was playing with a toy under the tree)... and he's so much gonna love the thing I'm getting him. He'll be so much happy, he'll be too happy, he'll just love me a lot and he'll feel better about it. He'll not wait to see it, it's for the whole family, everyone will have a happy night. Thank you.

After that speech, I didn't really think any other questions were necessary!

Here's a picture of Oskar the day we got him. He looks pretty much the same now, only twice as big.

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