Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Can I please just vent for a second?

I wish that for just one day I could be put in charge of the world. Or even just my little corner of the world. Not that I am smart or anything - I don't claim that at all. But I am just not totally STUPID either. And, for the most part, I learn from past mistakes.

So, here in New England, in the winter months, we sometimes get snow. Shocking, I know, but it has been known to happen when the temperature dips below 32 degrees.

We are expecting snow tomorrow. Not a TON, if you want to compare it to the snow that fell in Washington DC or Jersey this past weekend, but nevertheless, we're getting some decent snowfall. And - here is the important piece of information - it is going to fall quickly. As in 1 to 2 inches an hour. Squall-like.

Okay, great. No problem. We live in New England. We're used to the changing seasons. We can deal with this, right?


Apparently, the people "in charge" have memory loss.

Two Decembers ago, there was a similar snowfall that hit our area around noon on a weekday, with accumulations reaching about 1 to 2 inches an hour. I was one of the lucky ones, because it was not a work day for me. I made the ill-timed decision to go to the grocery store 2 miles from my house at 11:00AM. When we left the store at noon and the big fat flakes started to fall, the entire world screeched to a halt. My two mile drive home took me an hour and a half. And I was one of the lucky ones.

It took my husband 4 and a half hours to get home from work that day - and most of his commute (distance-wise) took place on an on-time train. It was the drive from the train station to our house that killed things. Cars quite literally couldn't get anywhere. The snow fell so fast and so hard that driving was instantly treacherous, there were white-out conditions, and - THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART - everyone "released" everyone at the exact same time.

As soon as the snow hit at noontime, schools closed and said "come get your kids!" Employers dismissed their workers so that they could get a "jump" on traffic. What resulted were some of the worst traffic nightmares this area has seen in a very long time. One of my friends from the office, who lives not too far from me, spent six and a half hours trying to drive home. Another friend of mine had a ten mile commute home and it took him seven and a half hours. These are not exaggerated times - because every single person you spoke to had a similar story. They'd say "it took me five hours to get home!" expecting sympathy, until they quickly realized that their commute had been one of the "better" ones that day!

I am bringing this up for one reason and one reason only. I am watching my Tuesday night television shows, and scrolling across the bottom of the screen are all of these school closings scheduled for tomorrow. And the common denominator in ALL of them? "Closing at 11:40AM." Each and every single one.

We don't learn from past mistakes here in Massachusetts. Nope. When the snow squalls hit tomorrow, we'll make sure that we have as many cars on the road as we possibly can, because heck, we're due for another traffic nightmare.

I am one of the lucky ones, once again. Tomorrow is my day off. Amanda is finished with her morning activities by 10:15, at which point I will go get my coffee at Starbucks and then GET OFF THE ROADS. But, I will be honest here, if she had school tomorrow, I would be keeping her home. There is no doubt about it whatsoever.

To those of you that need to go pick up your children from school tomorrow at 11:40, good luck. Hope you aren't stuck in your car for 8 hours. Make sure you've got a full tank of gas. And some bottled water. And some snacks. And a DVD for the kids to watch.

Then again...it is New England. Watch us get no snow at all - now that they've closed all the schools early tomorrow.


Is it June yet?