Saturday, February 1, 2014

{Snow, Snow, Go Away}

So let me tell you about my SNOW DAY.

It started out just like any other morning: Me sleeping until my alarm goes off. Me hitting snooze a few several times. Me rolling out of bed. Me getting ready. Me going to my car...and that's where it takes a turn for not fun.

The sidewalk had not been touched and I had to trudge through some snow to get to my car. Snow is still coming down, but I think, "Ah, it's just a 5 minute drive to the bus. I have plenty of time. I'll make it with time to spare." But as I started to feel a little rushed, I didn't do as the best job of cleaning my windows off and away I went.

My first clue should have been when I barely made it across the first intersection. My wheels were spinning on the slippery, snow-filled road, but I finally barreled across and merged into traffic. Not a lot of traffic, but enough.

My next turn was up the road a bit. I made it through my first busy intersection without any trouble. As I got a few blocks from my turn I realized this is where all the traffic was.


There was quite a line to get up to my turn: the busiest intersection of my route. It wasn't until I was into the turn when I realized what may have been the problem. A car (see orange arrow) was two cars in front of me was being unsuccessfully pushed by two people. I waited (see yellow arrow) for about 10 minutes.

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I considered my options but there wasn't much I could do. Traffic was piled up behind me and anyone else who wanted to turn right, they were going up and around the stop light/median. I couldn't back up very well because of the road conditions. My tires weren't loving the slippery road. So there I sat. Waiting.

Finally, the stuck car (orange arrow) is moving forward. It is then I realize the two people helping to push the stuck car were the drivers of the two vehicles in front of me. I was very frustrated with the fact they had abandoned their cars in the middle of one of the busiest intersections! This whole time I had thought the cars were waiting like me! And I had been irritated why they didn't try to go around the stuck car!

Once the helpers scraped off their cars a bit, they started to move forward. The second one fish tailed and finally got going. I had to stay back while this happened. When I could finally move forward my intention was to merge quickly to the left onto the road because I didn't want to be stuck where the last guy had been!

Just as I was merging onto the road a large school bus came from behind and the only place I could go was right where the last guy got stuck. Sure enough. I got stuck. Couldn't move forward or backwards. Wheels spinning while I put my car in 2nd and 1st gears and moved my steering wheel back and forth. I kept sliding more and more into the main traffic lane but I wasn't going forward.

Now do you think anyone abandoned their cars to help me? No. I had to do all the maneuvering on my own. Cars where coming from behind and beside me the entire time. They went on either side of me as I slipped sideways.

Needless to say, I was freaked out. I also couldn't believe I had watched a guy for over 10 minutes try to get out of the same spot I was now stuck.

By some miracle after about 10 or more minutes I finally was able to move forward, but I was very shaky. After the event I decided I couldn't drive all the way to work. There was no way. As far as I knew I had already missed the bus while I was waiting earlier so as I drove I called my boss to tell him I wouldn't be able to make it in.

I had to keep driving on Douglas as there wasn't any place to turn around. I thought about turning into gas station at Duluth but it was on the left. As I came up to the turn, there was a truck in the turn lane and I thought I would probably get stuck there too, so I kept going.

I got a text from my boss about this time. Since I was driving slow I read the text. It said he knew we hadn't discussed it but he wanted me to know I would have to take a Personal Day (even though I had said I would work from home.) With my trauma leaving me a bit shaky, that's when the tears came. I really had no rational thought (as a Personal Day was the protocol here), but the only thing I had in my head was, "I had told him I would work from home. So I have to work AND take a personal day?!" These thoughts put me right over the edge and had me sobbing the rest of the way home.

Continuing on down Douglas, I reached Golden Valley Rd and then on to Winnetka Ave. I basically a big loop on main roads to get home. I was taking a risk I wouldn't get stuck again, but I didn't feel as if I had any choice. I didn't want to take side roads and get stuck there.

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But sure enough, I was more than halfway home when I got stuck in the middle of another intersection. Couldn't move forward or backwards. Wheels spinning while I put my car in 2nd and 1st gears and moved my steering wheel back and forth. I kept sliding more but not really moving forward...sound familiar?

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Since there wasn't as much traffic and I was now experienced, this time wasn't as traumatic as the first time; however, I was still not recovered from the first time. With sobbing determination I kept at the wheel turning and gear shifting and finally made it out of the intersection. Coming up was a railroad so I was really glad when I made it over to the other side and didn't get stuck over that!

Very thankful I made it home without any further incident. I even made a left turn through one more busy intersection safely. Still blubbering as I reached my driveway I saw my neighbor warming up her car. I didn't get parked and out of my car fast enough to warn her. She was back inside when I got out of my car. Since I was a sobbing mess anyway I was glad I didn't have to talk to anyone.

After posting the cliff note version of this on Facebook I was advised to have a cup of tea. And that's just what I did!

The moral of this story is: Snow Tires!

Thank you if you STUCK around to finish reading this. I'm sure those I've told this to and those who have read this will receive an extra jewel in their crown!

Now let's end this season of Winter! Snow-be-gone!!


*Thanks to Google Maps for these pics
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