The first time I experienced true snow was in New York. It was my very first visit to America during the blizzard of 1996. It was incredible how the city shut down, and there was an unearthly silence in place of the usual New York buzz. So, I have been able to visualise what they have been going through with their record snow storms this winter.
Every window was a beautiful picture. This is sunrise one morning.
Now it’s our turn here in the Baltimore-Washington region. On Wednesday they first predicted 4-8 inches of snow, then they said 3-5. I haven’t heard the final count but it looks to me closer to a foot. It was a nightmare! Because of the rain early on in the day they couldn’t pre-treat the roads, and the heavy snow storm came right around the evening rush hour. It quickly became a disastrous mess in all senses of the word. My colleague couldn’t get in to work on time and so I was filling in for him for the extra hour it took him to make his way through the slippery, congested roads. Then it was my turn. First of all it took me an hour to dig out my car. Once I was on the road it wasn’t too bad, and I was beginning to feel fairly optimistic. As I was carefully making my way down a slope on Baltimore’s Northern Parkway, I saw an ominous cluster of car lights ahead and, just before I got to the turnoff for I83, I was faced with a complete blockage of traffic all facing me on the wrong side of the road! I can only think that people coming off the Interstate, wanting to travel West, had found their side of the road gridlocked and so had gone over to the wrong side of the road – with the result that nobody could go anywhere. After trying to make my way through a side road, but finding that gridlocked too with slipping and sliding cars on the incline, it gradually began to dawn on me that I was going to have to abandon my car on the side road and walk the rest of the way home. Usually I get home from work around 8.15 in the evening. On Wednesday I just made it by midnight. Apparently they didn’t have the Interstate cleared until 5.00 a.m. on Thursday. One has to wonder: where were the salt trucks, where were the snow ploughs, where was the law enforcement? What a disaster! Anyway, I safely retrieved my car on Thursday morning so all’s well that ends well, as Shakespeare assures us. And if you can just step back and look at it objectively, the snow looks exquisite.