Clusterflake. Snopocalypse. Our Day of Wreckoning.

New rule: When your gut instinct is to work from home, you should work from home.

That was my inclination as I woke up yesterday, surrounded by cats and tucked in under my toasty electric blanket. I had a sales meeting to attend (but couldn’t I call in?). I had an intern to orient. I had a committee to join. I had a class to teach.

Cathedral of St. Paul, originally uploaded by Carla Jean Whitley.

If you’ve watched the news in the past 36 hours, it won’t surprise you that only one of those things happened. After the 9 a.m. sales meeting, I emailed my fellow instructors in Tuscaloosa, seeking a sub in case the roads were dangerous. I didn’t expect them to be, but 60 miles is a long way to drive when there’s a possibility of icy conditions. Within half an hour, the university canceled classes and I began to wonder if I should drive home while it was still safe.

Alabama Media Group, originally uploaded by Carla Jean Whitley.

Or while I thought it was still safe. My story isn’t exceptional; like many others, I left my office around 11 a.m., expecting a slow but manageable drive home. My usual route is 4.5 miles and takes about 15 minutes to traverse. Yesterday I made it halfway in an hour, got caught on a patch of ice, was pushed off by two gentlemen and a block later discovered that my regular street home was closed. I turned around and pursued the flattest route I could think of; it was longer, but I suspected I would be less likely to get stuck again.

Avondale Brewery, originally uploaded by Carla Jean Whitley.

I didn’t need another push, but I slid several times during the remaining three hours of my drive. It was an immersive learning experience for this Florida-raised girl, but I quickly realized that proceeding slowly, avoiding braking on inclines and reversing and readjusting when stuck would help me make it home. After four hours in the car, I hooted and hollered as I pulled into my driveway.

Many others weren’t so fortunate: My roommate hunkered down at the home of a friend’s aunt, and my boyfriend slept in his office. One of my coworkers will spend a second night in our photo studio. But everyone I know is safe and warm, and for that I’m grateful.

Stuck in the middle of catsCathedral of St. PaulAlabama Media GroupU.S. 78TrafficLeaving downtown
The next-to-last inclineDown the hillAvondale Brewery90.3 WBHM Rides with You (art by Vero Vanblaere, WonderlandSnow!
Day-Old SnowIt's Nice to Have You in Birmingham

Clusterflake 2014, a set on Flickr.

Please note: My car was not in motion during ANY of these pictures. That would be incredibly foolish and dangerous. However, there was plenty of time to take pictures during my four-hour drive home.


Filed under Autobiography

2 Responses to Clusterflake. Snopocalypse. Our Day of Wreckoning.

  1. Hunter Murphy

    Great pics, CJ!

  2. I agree great pictures. A day I will never forget. Saw some incredible acts of kindness as well as some incredible acts of selfish behavior. Luckily the former vastly outweighed the acts of the latter.

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