Six Times The Commute, One-Third The Fun

2013_0122 Tuesday

“Are you kidding me?” That was my reaction when I looked outside this morning and saw it had snowed more than just a dusting. It didn’t look like more than half an inch, but I knew it would impact my morning drive to work. I was right.

My commute is usually 20 minutes. Today it took me 120. That’s right, two hours. Six times the commute, one-third the fun. What happens to everybody when it snows? We live in a snowy town people, we should all be used to this. Where do all the extra cars come from? You people aren’t in my way on sunny days. I don’t get it.

The first leg of my trip that on a normal day takes maybe five minutes, tops, including two traffic lights and a school zone, today took me over an hour. An HOUR. At one point my car didn’t move for 15 minutes. The whole time I was sitting there I was thinking, “There’s got to be an accident somewhere ahead. This can’t possibly just be traffic.” But, when I finally got to the intersection, no accident, just a stagnant river of cars, as far as the eye can see.

 The snow was beautiful, but I didn't need to look at it quite that long.
The snow was beautiful, but I didn’t need to look at it quite that long.

I was trying to have a good attitude and just enjoy the beautiful snow, I certainly had plenty of time to sit and stare at it, but by about 75 minutes in I was starving. I don’t eat anything at home in the morning. I wait and eat my yogurt at my desk at work. I could have dug my yogurt out of my backpack, but, alas, I was without a spoon. At one point I considered attempting to eat the yogurt using a cookie for a spoon, but thought better of it. Note to self: Pack an emergency spoon.

Finally resigned to my fate, I started entertaining myself by flipping around the radio stations. In the morning I usually prefer listening to the banter of local radio personalities, but then my commute is usually only 20 minutes. Today I had more time to fill. Tired of scanning the dial, I put my music on random and suddenly the morning was saved. Out of my speakers floated the distinctive opening of Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream. Just what I needed! I associate this song with summer, for no other reason than it contains the word sunshine. The perfect musical escape when trapped like a rat in a snowy maze. I was singing with abandon and drumming away on the steering wheel when I eventually noticed the girl in the car parked in the lane to my left was looking askance at my head bobbing. She didn’t look like a girl who would appreciate how cool this song was, but then I probably don’t look like one either, you never can tell people’s musical tastes. She could have been over there listening to White Room, for all I know. So I just gave her the casual “Hey, what’s up. I’m not embarrassed you think I’m weird” head nod and went on about my singing.

Shortly after the song was over, as if Clapton’s guitar had kick started everyone’s morning, there was a surge of  energy and traffic started moving. Ten minutes later (I used the word surge relatively) I made it to the gas station on the corner and filled up my tank. Another note to self: Always fill up your gas tank when its low, even if you don’t feel like standing in the cold to do it. You never know when the next day might involve two hours of idling.

After the gas station it was comparatively smooth sailing the rest of the way. The hills by work are steep. I slid down one and fishtailed up another, but luckily I’m well-versed in driving in the snow after twenty years behind the wheel in this town.

I’m sure my commute this morning was not unique. Every car in the mosaic had a driver with somewhere to be, and they weren’t getting there any faster than I was. Everybody has a story. Today this was mine.