Monday, January 24, 2005

Back Home, Frozen 

Well, that didn't go very well.

6:30 - Left the house. No additional snowplow bank blocking the driveway. On my way.

6:44 - Stop to assist two guys trying to push an Audi out of a snowbank, while third guy operated the car. They were pushing and spinning to no avail, but my tiny additional musculature did the trick, because we got it out on the first try. Turns out the two pushing guys were also passersby, whose car was parked across the intersection. Feeling warm with the glow of friendly New Englanders helping each other through bad weather, I continued on my way.

6:58 - Board the Orange Line at Oak Grove.

7:15 - Jam-packed train departs Oak Grove. Stops a few times en route to the first stop, Malden Station.

7:30 - Arrive Malden Station. This is normally a less than 5 minute travel segment. Much kerfuffle arises, with the train operator opening and closing doors, apologizing for delays, etc. Around 7:40 they cleared out the last car, as they couldn't make the train move, and hoped that lightening it up would help. My confidence for the day is going down.

7:45 - Train goes out of service, and we all must jam onto the Malden Station platform. Unfortunately, the platform had not been fully cleared of snow, so this trainload of commuters were packed onto the narrow walkways that had been cleared.

8:15 - After standing on the platform for 30 minutes without a single train coming or going in either direction, I give up and leave messages for my boss and coworker that I would be going home. I go down to the street level to catch the 8:30 132 bus back to Oak Grove. My fingers and toes are quite cold.

8:25 - I finally arrive at the bus stop downstairs, after working my way slowly and steadily through the masses of frozen commuter pops on the platform, jamming the stairs and crowding the lobby. A number of people have been standing at Malden Station since 6:30, waiting for a train into Boston. Several other people are also waiting for the 8:30 bus.

9:05 - A woman waiting for the bus is assisted inside, as she is not feeling well.

9:15 - Ambulance arrives, and same woman is assisted back out of the building and into the ambulance, where hopefully they will fill her with warm IV fluids. Can I have some too?

9:45 - The 132 bus at last arrives. My toes are numb, my fingers feel swollen, and I am shivering uncontrollably.

9:55 - Arrive back at Oak Grove. If my legs would respond to my commands, I would run to my car. Instead I slowly make my way to my car. As I exit the parking lot, NPR informs me that it has warmed all the way up to 8 degrees, but the wind chill is around -15 to -20.

10:15 - Arrive home. There is a brand new, 3-foot high plow bank across my driveway. It is full of heavy, compressed snow boulders and I am unable to bash through it with my Jeep. I park on the street, climb over the snow mountain, and retrieve the ergo-fucking-nomic handled snow shovel. I return to the plow bank and bash through it with sheer willpower. My wrists, forearms and biceps object to this, as they are still sore from yesteray. I tell them to shut the hell up.

10:30 - The Jeep is in the driveway, having safely navigated through the 1.5 car width opening I cleared. My slow process of warming up begins.

I will now retreat to my reading on the couch, under many blankets.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:46 AM