Wednesday, January 19, 2005

snow day

Snow days in Richmond are funny. First, the weather guys start talking about possible snow a day or two ahead of time. 20% chance, they say. Maybe 40. So folks head out to the grocery store for milk and bread. (Why milk and bread? We don't know...)

Then nothing. Usually. Or maybe a little something. But often, nothing. Does this mean we won't trust the weather guys the next time, though? No, of course not. Anyone can make a mistake.

A couple of days ago they said, yes, maybe 40% chance of snow on Wednesday. And, for once, they were right. It started snowing at about 11:30. I was walking over to the Commons for lunch and it was pretty, just a little flurry. It started to stick, and that was nice. We'd heard there might be a dusting, less than an inch.

By the time lunch was over there was an inch where it had drifted, but really no more than a dusting most places. But the snow was still falling. By 2:00, the public schools had announced an early closing--half an hour early. What is the point of that? Everyone's schedule gets disrupted, and the cars and buses are still out on the road in the snow. But it's so much safer half an hour earlier, right? Sure. (I'm still trying to work that one out.)

Mark picked Nick up. His dentist's appointment had been cancelled anyway--they closed the office early because of the snow. Mariah only had a half day anyway because of exams, so she was already home (or, technically, at a friend's house, but whatever). I decided I couldn't make my late afternoon meeting, and still get home safely in time to have dinner and get out to an evening meeting, so I sent an e-mail saying I'd miss it. By the time my late class was over, though, that meeting--and the evening one--had been cancelled.

I left campus at about 4:30. The snow had stopped. There was maybe a little more than an inch piled up on my windshield. (By the way, there is a serious design flaw in my Jetta wagon. When you open the driver's door after it's snowed, all the snow falls IN to the car, right onto the driver's seat. Is this deliberate?)

The roads were slushy but passable on my way home. WIth evening activities cancelled we settled in for a quiet dinner. Mmm, pasta carbonara. (All dietary rules are suspended on snow days.) No more snow, though it's cold out.

So, to sum up, maybe an inch. Maybe a tad more. And, guess what? Both kids are off school tomorrow. Because? Apparently this city has no snow removal budget (or none to waste on an inch of snow) and if any roads into subdivisions are impassable, the buses can't run.

Luckily my classes don't meet on Thursdays. I guess I'm working at home tomorrow.

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