From what I have been told by those in the know, the state NEVER closes buildings, even for terrible, terrible weather. That’s definitely been the case since I’ve worked here, but there are rumors going around today that our big honkin’ winter storm is going to force the closure of the state buildings at noon today.
Walking to work this morning was an interesting task. I had to get all bundled up in layers, hiding my wet braided hair under my Emily the Strange hat (with kitty ears!), wrapping my long green scarf around and around my neck and lower face, putting on my heavy wool pea coat. Today I knew the conditions would be bad-ish, so I wore jeans and knee high socks and my clompy snow-going zipup boots. The snow was stinging cold powder blowing straight into my face the whole way to work, and every minute or so I brushed off my coat, purse, and mittens, unable to reach my backpack and the layers of snow that piled up. Few people had been out on the sidewalks, or enough snow had fallen that the footprints of those who had walked before me were obscured, so my footprints fell deeply into the inch or two of snow on the sidewalks, announcing to the world for at least a few minutes which way I had gone.
The girl walking ahead of me wore a bright red coat, fuzzy hat, and mittens. I love brightly colored coats, both for the visibility factor and for the contrast between the whiteout conditions and the vibrant color. My peacoat is at least 30 years old (maybe more like 35) and a hand-me-down from my mom. It’s warm and fits me, so though it’s black I’m sure I’ll be wearing it for years.
Cars drove by much more slowly than usual, as the snowplows either hadn’t been out yet or hadn’t been by in a while. It was cold enough outside to keep the snow in the road from melting much, but everyone is careful when driving in these conditions, at least the smart ones are. I was glad I didn’t have to drive. In the interim breaks between waves of cars, the still snow silence roared in my ears along with the wind blowing gritty powder into my eyes.
As I got to work, one of my coworkers approached from the building across the street, huddled under an umbrella. I felt like kicking myself; the umbrella would have been a wikkid smaht idea. Maybe I’ll remember next time.
Inside the building, I roasted immediately and began peeling off layers, shedding my winter skin like a snake. Off come the hat and mittens, and I stamp the snow off my boots and clomp carefully down the stairs to the basement. In my cube, I unwrap my scarf, shake off my hat, mittens, coat, scarf, backpack and purse as I remove each item. Even my sweater has a bit of snow accumulation around the collar. Everything gets hung up to maybe dry a little before I venture out into the world again.
It’s official; the building is closing at 2 PM. I think I’ll leave at 1 and go to the gym. I don’t want to break my exercise streak (been going 5 days a week for the last 4 weeks to negate the 2 months of traveling and eating out I had to do for work this fall). It remains to be seen whether we’ll be told to stay home tomorrow. If we aren’t, I may be one of the only ones who can get in to work, since my legs work much better in the snow than vehicles stuck behind the huge drifts in some of the suburbs caused by plows. Maybe my wish to see a white Christmas will come true for the first time in my life. There will probably sill be some of this snow around this weekend, if nothing else.
People around here moan and groan about snow in the winter – at least, my coworkers do. I’m sure it gets old after living here for years and years, and I can understand why someone might want to flee for more temparate climes. But for me, snow is still magical, and a small, childish part of me has always wanted to see snow at Christmas. I’m sure for Wheels in Winterpeg or for Leah who grew up in SLC, snow is more of a hassle than anything else, but when it comes to snow I feel like I did anticipating Santa before I figured out he didn’t exist. Snow is magic and special and I’m going to stomp my clompy boots and insist on that for at least another winter here in Colorado.
Update: It’s 11:30 and we’ve been given the OK to leave. Maybe I’ll just do a pilates DVD at home, because I don’t know what the weather will be like in an hour after I might be done at the gym.