Saturday, February 15, 2014

Greenville Snowpocalypse 2014

This is the sixth winter that I've spent in upstate South Carolina, and in all those winters there has only been one other time - way back in 2011 - when I missed more than one day of work due to snow and/or ice. So when I got two half days off from work when it snowed a couple of weeks ago (leaving early on a Tuesday and going in late on a Wednesday), I figured that was our allotment of 'winter weather' for the year - possibly even for several years.

But as it turns out, that little 'storm' was just a tease for the real Snowpocalypse 2014.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the harrowing tale of what happened when Greenville, SC ended up coated in several inches of snow and ice...

It began on a Tuesday morning, but luckily it had been warm enough - and remained warm enough - so that the two or so inches of snow that fell that day didn't stick to the roads (and didn't last on the ground anywhere, for very long).

The problem was, it only let up for short periods of time.

And then the temperature dropped.

I mean, Tuesday night wasn't so bad. I already knew that I didn't have to work the next day, so I broke out some champagne - a lot of it - caught up on some TV episodes I'd missed while out of town last weekend, and even watched Austenland (review and comparison to the book to come!).

Wednesday dawned cold and snowy and not surprisingly I woke up with one hell of a headache. I usually run/walk my dogs twice a day, every day, but with the snow coming down like it was and the fact that the roads and sidewalks were incredibly sick, I had a good reason to stay in and nurse my hangover.

With Bloody Marys, of course.

Unfortunately, these had to be special Snowpocalypse Bloody Marys - I only had bacon vodka, and had to substitute orange juice for lemon juice. Yet they were still surprisingly drinkable! (Or maybe I was just too hungover to care about anything but the vitamins and the kick that cure any ailment...)

I'd like to say that the day flew by. Thinking back now, it feels like maybe it did...but I'm not so sure I felt that way as I was actually living it. The guys got out their guitars at some point. Sounds like it could be cool, right? Until the chosen song to learn was "Angel in the Snow" by Elliott Smith. By the time I'd been listening to it for five hours straight, I was about ready to sacrifice myself to the cold. (Okay, maybe I wouldn't do anything quite that extreme. But trust me when I say that my sanity was being tested. Severely.)

Let's just say that I've never been so relieved to see a guitar put away.

Sometime in the afternoon the snow turned to sleet. I knew that there were already tens of thousands of people in the Atlanta area who'd lost power, so at this point it was time to plug in every phone and laptop in the house and fill pots and large drinking containers with water (that Bubba Keg of mine is useful for something, after all!); despite the insistence of some that we wouldn't lose water if we lost power, I can't stand the thought/idea of being thirsty.

Dinner that night consisted of the last of the edible leftovers in the house. Which, you know, oops...because at this point we knew that the weather was going to continue to be nasty through mid-day Thursday...and do you think the city plows the roads in little dead end neighborhoods like mine? HA!

And then while I was eating, the one asshole in my neighborhood who owns an ATV rode that damn thing by for what seemed like the millionth time. Is that even legal? Did he or she really not have anything else to do all day long?

Speaking of all the things I should have done, I'd finished next to none of them. I was proud of myself for braving the elements to walk my dogs, but other than that brief walk, by the time I was done eating dinner on Wednesday I hadn't left the house in about 25 hours.

I was starting to feel like Jack Torrance in The Shining.

And it didn't help that I'd wasted most of my time trying to import a video into iMovie for editing and it kept failing. And failing. And failing.

Finally, after several Bloody Marys and a few beers - no, not even good beer, of course I hadn't thought to stock up on that before Snowpocalypse - there was nothing to do but go to bed and hope that when I woke up on Thursday, the snow and sleet would be done and the temperature would rise and the ice on the roads would melt and I would be able to go somewhere. Anywhere.

No seriously, anywhere.

No such luck, though. Of course it was still sleeting Thursday morning, though it did eventually stop. And the temperature did eventually rise. I even sloshed through the slush early that afternoon to take my dogs on a nearly-two-mile-long walk, because if I was going stir crazy, they were even worse.

This is a face of a dog who doesn't want to go to the bathroom in her own backyard.

Really, the walk was as much for me as it was for them, because I was beyond tired of hearing them "tap dance" across the laminate flooring. Constantly. For two days straight.

Finally I worked myself up to a shower and began thinking about actually leaving the house - for more than just a walk, I mean. I was trying to wait for someone else to go out and let me know how the roads were, but by 3:30 that hadn't happened and I just couldn't stand it anymore. I had a bad feeling about whether or not I'd have anything to do if I went out - but something had to give. (And preferably that something wouldn't be my wits.)

Sure enough, despite the roads (especially the main ones) being perfectly fine, nothing was open. Well, okay, a few things were, but even they were closing early.

After an hour or so out and about, I had no choice but to give in and go back home to another evening of zoning out while watching TV and/or browsing the Internet. But hey, at least I'd finally figured out that video that had plagued me the entire day before!

As luck would have it, the temperature plummeted again that night, which made it impossible for me to leave for work until later in the morning the next day - and yes, I was ready to go back to work. More ready than I think I'd ever been before. Because at this point anything was better than sitting around the stuffy house, twiddling my thumbs and having two dogs and four cats crawling all over me because they were also going stir crazy.

I wish I could say that there is some moral to my Snowpocalypse story, but to be honest it's only been a couple of days and the events of those few days - or lack of them, if you will - have already faded from my mind. And thank God for that, I guess.
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