Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow day . . .

In back of my house, where the wind blows across the slope of Little North Mountain which is just a pasture or two away, the snow is falling horizontally. And, by the way, you can't see Little North Mountain. You can't even see the pastures. All you can see is the fence.

Late yesterday afternoon, I was on the phone with Joe Matazzoni, who lugs around the title of NPR's Executive Producer, Digital Media, and still manages to be a lot of fun. Before we got around to talking about assignments, we talked about something much more pressing: sledding.

Charlie and I, I said, have the American Flyer primed and ready on the breezeway. Joe said he had sledding promises to keep with his five-year-old son.

Joe wanted to know if I was taking my grandchildren on a fast ride down the impressive country hill we live atop.

Nope," I said. "I'm taking myself!"

"Don't break anything!" said Joe.

Charlie has been out to feed the birds and take this picture of Little North Mountain draped in an invisibility cloak.

He also reported that the snow is too deep for sledding until the road gets pushed. Then, he said, it will be perfect!

I have a to-do list a mile long and I can't do any of it. At least any of it that involves driving. What a gift to be forced to have a simpler day.

Evidently, it's at least as snowy east of the Blue Ridge. This e-mail came in from Lee Catlin, Albemarle County's Community Relations Director:
Weather conditions continue to cause serious driving situations in the County.  Yesterday evening and last night local police and fire rescue personnel were busy rescuing motorists from stranded vehicles, with particular problem areas being the Thomas Jefferson Parkway and Scottsville Road.  At some time at around midnight, stranded motorists began to be transported to the Monticello and North Garden fire stations, with a total of about 25 being sheltered there overnight.  Officials are now in the process of opening a shelter on UVA grounds at the Aquatics and Fitness Center.  Albemarle County has declared an emergency and we are receiving National Guard assistance to help sweep Scottsville Road (Route 20 South) and Monacan Trail (Route 29 South).  There are about 100 cars with people in many of them on Scottsville Road and about 75 tractor trailers and another 100 cars stranded on Monacan Trail.  Most of them have been there since 5 pm yesterday.

Albemarle County Social Services personnel are staffing the Aquatics Center shelter.  The Red Cross has been notified and they are taking their trailer full of cots and blankets to the Aquatics Center.  The National Guard is transporting people from the fire stations to the shelter.

Rescue worker and VDOT worker are hampered in their efforts by the significant number of stranded/abandoned vehicles on roads throughout the county.  Residents are strongly encouraged not to drive until conditions improve.  Anyone with a four wheel drive vehicle that can help transport hospital personnel and other essential workers is encouraged to call the Emergency Communications Center at (434)979-INFO.
It is officially a day to stay home. And, for once, do a whole lot of not much!  A gift? A frustration? A bit of both, perhaps?

But then, since wisdom suggests that we accept the things we cannot change, I think I'll just go with it and experience the unbearable lightness of relaxation

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so that's what they mean when they say "a state of emergency" has been declared. I hadn't really stopped to think about stranded travelers. I imagined most people would stay in, or be within striking distance of help. Sounds grim.

    It's lovely at our home on DD -- the roads are plowed, but I've seen hardly a car pass all day. I love being able to walk down the middle of the street with my kids and not stress about keeping them to one side. And the wonderful quiet during a heavy snowfall! It's otherworldly . . . .

    Enjoy the required relaxation, Martha. And happy happy holidays to you!