I’m looking out the window at mostly empty streets. The air temperature is not yet above freezing, but there are now puddles where there was ice overnight. Schools are closed again today; Ms. Ginger will not need to maneuver her bus through these hilly streets, holding her breath and praying for the safe delivery of her cargo, our children.
The dog goes out to take care of her business and I stand at the front door, examining the thin layer of wet snow and remembering last year. The crunching noise her paws make as she runs to her favorite spot are a faint echo of the sound of D’s van rolling into my neighbor’s SUV, parked there because even drivers of heavy cars and trucks found the hill impassable.
I remember D describing his desperate attempt to drive past the wreckage on my lawn. After hours of crawling through highway traffic, he arrived at the top of the hill at 11:00 p.m. and stopped the car. His 2-year old daughter was still at school, less than ½ mile away, waiting for a parent to take her home.
Seeing the abandoned cars lining both sides of the street and believing he could slide between them, he eased his foot off the brake pedal and began to coast. D knew his daughter was already asleep; he wanted to be there when she woke up the next morning.
I remember D’s friend telling me that D stayed in his car for about an hour after it slid to a stop and hit the SUV on my lawn. He didn’t want to ring our doorbell and disturb us so late at night.
When it got too cold to wait any longer, he walked the last leg of his journey—stopping at The Home Depot for several hours to get warm—to be at school before sunrise to greet his daughter.
Last year, the city, county and state officials underestimated the weather. To our peril.
This year, they are likely overcompensating—closing school at every prediction of snow—to ensure our safety. I’m stymied by the angry response to this overcompensation. Why would I complain or condemn school officials on Facebook? I would rather watch the snow melt while my kids sleep, safe and warm in their beds, knowing that a few miles north of here D is probably doing the same thing.