Wow, what a winter it's been so far. Yesterday, we had another arctic blast come through Seattle, the second of the season on top of our big windstorm. Of course, this storm had the good manners to hit during the evening rush hour, snarling traffic for hours.
Michelle and I had the added concern of having to pick the kids up from school. Normally, this is not challenging since they both go to school reasonably close to work, but when it took Michelle twenty minutes just to get out of the garage of her building because traffic leaving Microsoft was so bad, I knew we were in for it.
I decided to head off on foot instead, leaving my car safely in the Microsoft garage. It was amazing to see the cars slipping and sliding. Even though there was only about two inches of snow, the temperature outside was just right to turn everything into ice on the roadway. Even on relatively shallow grades, two-wheel-drive cars were struggling.
I walked to Andrew's school and picked him up - on time I might add, although there were plenty of other kids who were still stuck there. He and I walked home together and had a nice chat. It was actually a pleasant evening for a walk, although I may have ruined my leather shoes. I walked about four miles total.
After 2.5 hours trying to get the few blocks to Michael's school, Michelle had to ditch her car at the bottom of a big hill that she couldn't get up and walked home the last half mile in her three inch heels. We all arrived home at exactly the same time coincidently. She wasn't very happy...
Once the three of us were home, I got into our 4WD truck and went back to get Michael. There were still about a dozen kids at school, even though it was an hour past the after-school care normally closed. I really appreciate the professionalism of the after-school care teachers in both schools. They were calm and matter-of-fact about the whole thing, ready to spend the night if needed.
However, I was disappointed that the cellphone network melted down. Everyone was stuck in their cars calling the network was simply overrun. It was almost impossible to get a call through; text messages seemed to fare a little better.
So, today, school was closed, and most of us at Microsoft worked from home. School is closed again tomorrow too. I can't remember a year when the kids had so many days off of school. I hope this winter isn't a sign of things to come. An inconvenient truth indeed.