Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Snow wreaks havoc
Guess what? It snowed today! And guess what else? It wasn't in the forecast, so no one was prepared!
I hear that in other parts of the country the weathermen are generally pretty good at predicting snow. Unfortunately, that's not the case here in Portland. When snow is predicted, we typically either get more than expected, or it doesn't show up at all. Other times, like today, it pops up without warning. And we need warning if we're going to handle it well.
I was going on my lunch break when it started. Someone said "Look outside! It's snowing!" I was amazed. When I went outside I tried catching some on my tongue. I quickly lost patience, and instead caught caught some flakes on my hand and put them in my mouth. lol After that I did catch snow on my tongue.
Things were fine, until it was time for me to go home. It normally takes me about an hour and a half to get home on the bus, but today it took me five hours. Not the most pleasant experience. Fortunately (for me) I shared it with someone else in my music therapy program (she probably did not consider the fact that she was there to be very fortunate). Things like this don't seem so bad when you've got someone to share them with.
It took the first bus I caught an hour to go a distance that we normally go in fifteen minutes. Then it got stuck and we had to wait for chains to be brought to us. After two hours of waiting another bus that was able to get around showed up (though it didn't have chains either), and most of us switched to it.
I didn't bring my digital camera, but I really really really wanted to take photos of the snow. So I used my cell phone. :) Not the best quality, but ah well. The above photo is one that I took on the way home.
Oh, and I figured something out today. The mood on a bus really depends on the bus driver. I figured this out when I was amazed at how calm and relaxed everyone was on the bus we switched to after waiting two hours. After puzzling over it I finally realized that it was all thanks to the driver, and the way he handled things. For example...
Instead of saying "Ok, I think we're probably going to be stuck," he said "I don't think I can get you much further, but the good news is that there's another bus behind us that will probably get chains soon." No, we didn't get stuck. Or if he did get stuck it wasn't until after my stop, which took us quite a while to get to.
Instead of saying "If you want me to let you off at a particular spot, let me know," he said "If you have a favorite power line pole or driveway let me know, and I'll try to let you off there."
Every so often he would let us know what time it was. Once he said "The time is now...well...it's still Tuesday." That got a laugh from people.
He did his best to keep us warm, and he told us that he was turning the heat on for us. I think he even let people who were walking the same direction that the bus was going hang out on the bus to get warm, but I was a ways back on the bus and couldn't tell for sure.
He was very relaxed and calm about the entire situation.
And now I get to wait and see what happens to the weather tomorrow. Depending on what it does or doesn't do I may or may not go to work. I don't like spending five hours in a commute that should only be an hour and a half.