Before we had a kid, a snow day was an unexpected treat! It meant sleeping late, all-day movie marathons, mugs of hot cider, fleece blankets and fuzzy slippers, and best of all, of course, NO WORK. Now, though, snow days take on a whole new meaning when you’re stuck inside a (very small) house with, clearly, not enough cool toys or activities to entertain an almost 2-year-old who wants nothing to do with the white fluffy stuff that’s blanketed the yard. (Bundled up the boy to let him play in the snow, and five minutes later we were back inside. Apparently I gave birth to a house cat.)
Monday was not officially a snow day, but about five minutes into my attempt to drive to work just as the snow was really getting going, some sort of powerful motherly instinct kicked in and I decided there was no way, no how I wanted to brave what would undoubtedly be a horrendous commute home later that evening. I took the nearest exit off the freeway and headed back home to take advantage of my company’s inclement weather policy that allows us to “work from home” in these types of situations.
And thank the lands that I did because the Monday evening commute in Seattle was indeed one of the worst ever. Poor, poor Roth, who got stuck in it. He left work at 4:30 p.m. and did not come through the front door until — wait for it — ONE IN THE MORNING. It took him eight and a half hours to make a drive that normally takes him 40 minutes in even the worst traffic. A few years ago, I had a snow commute home that took about three hours (to go less than 15 miles), but that was nothing compared to this. And his experience was not even the worst of it! Some people were trapped in jackknifed buses for something like 12 hours.
OK, so sitting in a (heated) car (with a cell phone) on an epically jammed, icy mess of a freeway for more than eight hours is NOTHING compared to being trapped in a mine for months, or something similarly horrific, but still. What’s truly frustrating is that this happens in Seattle almost every winter (except, it’s not even winter yet!), and it just makes no sense. How is it that cars on a freeway do not move an inch for an hour? Yes, yes, there were blocking accidents, but bring in the big guns already and move those cars off the road! What I don’t get is, there are places that experience snow and icy conditions for an entire season, and yet the people who live in those places somehow manage to effectively drive from Point A to Point B, right? Seattle + snow = snowpocalypse. Every damn year.
As I sat at home — ironically, in a tank top while eating ice cream (WHAT? Our house was toasty warm, and well, I was stress-eating.) — I just felt so, so bad for Roth. He didn’t have any food with him, he had a little water, and he had an empty coffee mug. Which, ahem, he ended up using to relieve himself. YOU GUYS, MY HUSBAND HAD TO PEE IN A TRAVEL MUG. I felt so helpless, and I wanted nothing more than to fly a helicopter to where he was and pluck him from his car. Every time I talked to him, he just said he was so glad it was him and not Rowan and me in that traffic. I can’t even imagine if I’d gotten stuck like that with a 2-year-old. What would I do? I think I would lose my damn mind, is what.
So yeah, my being “stuck” in the house all day with Rowan hardly compares to what Roth endured last night. Thankfully, we both awoke to an official snow day this morning, and today I made it my mission to counterbalance all of the Dora the Explorer I let Rowan watch on Monday (remember, I was supposed to be “working” from home — gotta do what you gotta do, sometimes) with good, old-fashioned, turn-off-the-TV kind of fun. We built puzzles, played “tent,” read books, got into tickle fights, and made hand turkeys out of multi-colored construction paper. It was pretty awesome.
Speaking of getting stuck (oh man, poor taste segue), I got to see 127 Hours this past weekend with Kerri, who came up for a little get-together at Sizzle’s place. So, this movie … is incredible. Kerri gushed about it over at her site, too, and I think we’ve both made it our lots in life to convince everyone we know to see it. Yes, there’s a gruesome scene that’s, well, straight out of a horror film, really, but what’s amazing is that this actually happened. And James Franco, who plays Aron Ralston, is perfect. I never really thought much of him before this, but wow. I predict a ton of awards on the horizon for this guy. (Also, he just might have taken the top spot on my List.)
This is the first year in many that Roth and I are not responsible for planning, shopping and cooking dinner for family and/or friends for Thanksgiving. Instead of getting up early to start the pies or peel potatoes, we’ll be driving nine (!) hours on Thursday to be with Roth’s parents and grandma in Redding for the long weekend. (God, Roth could’ve driven to Redding in the time he sat on I-5 last night!) I’m feeling a little nervous about the weather forecast, and there’s now a chance we may decide not to go, if too much snow is predicted for the mountain passes, so we’ll have to evaluate the situation tomorrow. Regardless, I doubt I’ll be online much this weekend — and not like I’ve been online much this whole month, actually — so I hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend filled with mashed potatoes and pumpkin-flavored dreams.