It looks like I’ll be missing part or all of my shift at the Co-op today due to the challenging travel conditions. So, rather than catching up on any of my numerous other tasks in life, I thought I’d write a new blog entry about the weather, my life, and anything else that comes to mind.
First, the weather. As I prepared for my afternoon shift at the Co-op yesterday, the day’s snowfall was just starting to stick. Rather than trying to bike through the snow and ice or wait a half hour or more for the next bus to arrive, I decided to walk.
The walk to work was decent. Snow and a bit of freezing rain was swirling all around me, and it occasionally got in my eyes for a moment. But I was bundled up well, and the walk got my blood flowing, so I was warm and mostly dry.
The walk back home was a plodding but pleasant journey through a winter wonderland. Several inches of snow had carpeted the landscape, leaving the sidewalks all but lost in the snow and the streets coated and clogged with a whitish-grey slush. At one point, I almost went to help a snowbound car on the other side of the road, but they eventually made it out on their own. A few minutes later in my walk, I noticed that the falling ice pellets were making a rather unique and musical sound as they lightly pelted the leaves of a nearby holly tree. I guess that even after all of these years, I still have new forms of “treesong” to discover!
So, I made it home safe and sound. After taking a few minutes to kick the foot or more of drifting snow away from my front door, I made my way inside. For better or worse, once I was indoors, the rest of the night was largely uneventful.
When I woke up in the morning, I went through a fairly ordinary morning routine for a work day — eating breakfast, checking email, bundling up for another day in the cold. When I opened the door to head to work, though, I was in for a surprise!
The entire landscape was frozen over. Now, I’ve seen a sheet of glassy ice coating the trees and buildings before. That’s actually something that I see at some point every winter here in Southern Illinois. But today’s ground conditions were something that I’ve rarely if ever seen during my time down here.
Apparently, after laying down a half-foot carpet of snow, the winter storm doled out enough freezing rain to transform the surface of that snow into a thick sheet of ice! My boots have lost most of their traction, so when I stepped out onto the snow-ice, I could barely keep my footing long enough to take a few steps out the door to examine my surroundings. The coating of crystal-clear ice on the trees and buildings cast a frosty glimmer on the landscape. It was quite beautiful, really — and yet it was clear very quickly that I wouldn’t be walking to work unless I wanted to walk in the street the entire way.
With a few quick phone calls, I determined that the buses weren’t running, the taxis weren’t running, and I had little other means of making my way to work. The Co-op is open, though, so I’m going to try again later. In the meantime, though, I realized that I had plenty of time to write a blog entry.
With my description of the wintry weather complete, I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I may write more later if I don’t end up going to work at all today. In the meantime, though, I hope that you’re staying warm, dry, safe, and happy. This weather may be difficult to travel in at times, but it’s seasonally appropriate, and it sure is beautiful!