I went to bed Wednesday night, but didn’t sleep because a storm was being forecast for the next morning and with the high winds. I was afraid the power would go out and I’d be late for work so…
When I went to work Thursday morning, I wasn’t sure I would make it. I drove through what the weather reporters were calling “the storm of the year”. I drove on the secondary roads so as to avoid the big transporter trucks on the main highways. Snow was blowing so hard that at times I could see nothing (it was 3:30am and still dark, of course) and found it difficult to stay on the road.
At one point I saw lights ahead and followed them, hoping I wouldn’t end up in someone’s driveway. It turned out it was the snowplough, so I stayed behind him for a few miles. When he turned off to another road I was alone again. I finally made it to work, an hour and three-quarters later on what is usually a half-hour drive.
Not many people made it to the airport, so those who did knew we would be there for the duration. The highways were closed by the police so no-one else could get there. No planes were leaving or arriving. By 7pm the airport was officially closed, but as we couldn’t get home, we knew we were there for the night. Passengers (and we workers) all found a place on the chairs, the floors, anywhere to try to rest. The airlines made sure all the babies had milk and diapers. But it was very hard to keep the young children from being tired and bored.
At 5am Friday morning we opened up the pre-board area, but we knew that nothing was going to leave (even though the airlines were still assuring passengers they would try to get them out). By the afternoon, some of our workers were straggling in and one by one, those of us who had been there for over 30 hours working, started to go home. We made our way through four feet or more of snow to the employees’ parking lot, only to discover… my car was gone! Disappeared under almost nine feet of snow! What to do?!
I got a drive home with someone whose car was at the OTHER end of the parking lot (the end which was more protected from the weather and which had only four feet of snow over it) and wondered if I would see my car again before May. By the time I got home (did I mention that we spent an hour shovelling out six of our co-workers before we left?) it was almost 4pm Thursday afternoon.
By 10am Friday we had to be back, but how? My car was still under snow and I had no way to get to work. Oh, I forgot to mention that the spouse had driven off the road Thursday morning on HIS way to work and his car was in a ditch. He had called the towing guys, but of course there was a loooong list of cars that were before us, and he couldn’t get us out until Friday. The third vehicle, a van, had disappeared in our driveway under snowdrifts and couldn’t be seen at all. A dog walking through the yard looked in at my dining room window… and it is almost 10 feet from the ground!!
We called a friend who drove me to work, then stayed with the spouse and started to shovel my car out from beneath its grave of white. As friend started to shovel, he said, “What car were you driving?” I told him, and he said, “But this car is green.”
“WHAT!!! what do you mean? I know I left my car here!!!” says I. It turns out the spouse had started shovelling from the one side and friend from the other…too far away it appeared…there was ANOTHER car in there, as well. I left them to their manly endeavours and went in to work. Four hours later they came in and told me they had finished… with help from various other friendly folk.
More snow fell yesterday (beautiful stuff, it is) and so we again had to stay late last night (supposed to be off by 7, but didn’t get home until after midnight).
Today when I woke at about 7am, the snow was again falling and the weather reports say there is another storm on the way.
I called work and said I wouldn’t be able to make it today… please try to alleviate my guilt… I have never before not gone to work unless I was sick, but I am just too tired to do it again. I know that my colleagues that live closer will make it in, and I know that there will be no planes going out, but I still feel guilty.
Can anyone help me feel less awful?
[Editor’s note: Nora originally posted her story on our discussion forum, and kindly gave her permission for us to reproduce it here.]