Last night I checked the weather report, which is what every person around here does before they lay their head down for a long winter's night. The prediction was snow (not unusual) and a lot of it (again, not unusual). I knew I was prepared, as prepared as one could be, and turned off the news and was in dreamland in a NY minute.
The radio alarm went off at exactly 5am. I have to use the radio instead of the BEEP, BEEP alarm because it never wakes me up. I tend to incorporate the beep sound into my dreams and happily continue the dream, usually incorporating it as a phone ringing or something, which never wakes me. I also have to turn the radio to a hip-hop station because the music annoys me and I will eventually hear it and arise seconds after hearing the roaring of the beat.
First thing I did was check out the window and to my surprise, it wasn't too bad. I had about an inch or so on my car and I thought to myself, whew, dodged another one!!! I switched on the news and heard the dreaded words "LAKE EFFECT SNOW BANDS"! They were on the way and would be here just about the time I was going to hit the road.
Now, usually lake effect snow comes from the Lake Ontario area, but today we were getting a double whammy. The snow was coming from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie! Both would converge on our fair city metro area and we would be engulfed off and on throughout the entire day and it would probably last until Friday around noon. Jeez, does it ever end?
After about 45 minutes or so, showering and getting ready for work (I leave a few minutes before 7, but always leave enough time, just in case..). I opened the door and heard a scraping sound. Walking outside, I rounded the corner toward the driveway and my lovely, wonderful (just retired) neighbor was out there cleaning up the driveway. He had already brushed off my car and was now clearing the snow that had accumulated at the end of my drive. Now, I need to tell you that the dreaded "LAKE EFFECT SNOW" had already started and it was like a winter wonderland out there...not the nice kind, the kind that makes you tremble with fear that you might get stranded on the highway, and if you do...you cannot get out of your car because the next car to go by you, may not see you in the blinding snow.
After a short but heartfelt "Thank you" he told me I should get on the road, drive safe and to 'keep an eye' on his tax dollars (That's a sort of joke in the neighborhood. They all seem to think I have some 'say' in how it's spent...we all know better...).
I put it in drive, said my "hope I get there in one piece" prayer and I was off! I cannot explain how hairy the drive was. You know how in a snow globe it snows down gently like feathers from heaven? Well, take it from me...it was nothing like that. The snow came fast and furious and because it was still dark (even more than usual because of the clouds and snow) it was kind of mesmerizing. The snow, when it's coming at that rate, sort of looks like it's coming straight at you and you have no where to go but forward. You couldn't change your mind and turn around because the fear that the person coming might not see you and send you into a spin, is almost as bad as the driving itself.
The first 3 1/2 miles of my 7 mile trip was the worst I've had to drive in yet this year. It seemed to take a lifetime...then, the snow slowed and the roads were clear, less slippery and looking around, I realized that the "LAKE EFFECT SNOW BAND" had not reached this point and perhaps the rest of my journey would, maybe (cross your fingers) be safe and not so treacherous.
I was right! The rest of the drive to work was uneventful and honestly, fairly easy. It's funny how 'LAKE EFFECT SNOW" is so picky about where and when it'll land. It's nasty, scary and annoying at the very least. It's a dirty word around here. Nobody moves to Central NY hoping to live the lake snow experience. But, on a good day, it can be a cozy and warm and a great way of life. I mean, we live here don't we? We choose to stay and since we grew up with it and it's challenges, we've realized that it's just a way of life. The other seasons are wonderful...and SNOW season, isn't that bad on the whole. You get used to it, plan for it and plan around it. It's great to get snowed in at home, it's...not so great...to get snowed in at the office. It's a fact of life around here.
So, off I go....I'll watch the 11pm news report tonight...figure out how much snow we'll get overnight and another day will dawn...