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.
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.
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.
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.
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.