For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to Jew first and also to Greek. For in it is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
You remember the snow forecast I posted in my blog yesterday? When I checked the weather this morning they had revised the total snowfall up to six to 10 inches, mostly expected to fall during my workday.
This put me in a very difficult position. I don’t ever intend to ride in six or more inches of snow; snow riding is definitely a worst-case scenario for me. When the forecast sounded more reasonable, I figured I could make it. But this revised estimate, with a low accumulation higher than the previous high, made me extremely nervous. One time last year I rode to work on clear, dry roads — as this morning — but found that by the time I tried to leave, so much snow had fallen I couldn’t get out. That time, people had tried to beat the storm home and instead become trapped in traffic jams for hours. Cities had underestimated the snowfall and then, by the time they tried to get plows out, were thwarted by the stopped traffic on all the roads. It was a horrible mess, and I only got home through the Good Samaritanism of a couple Charles River employees I didn’t even know.
That experience was very much in my mind as Ian and I discussed the options. We came up with:
- I try to bike home. Nixed because too dangerous and I didn’t feel confident in my snow riding skills.
- I ride to work and ride home with a coworker. This is a backup plan I ran by my coworker a while ago; he drives right by our apartment. Unfortunately, he didn’t return to work until Friday.
- I drive to work and drive home. Nixed because, despite living in Massachusetts, I have very little snow driving experience. I let Ian do as much driving as possible.
- I ride to work and Ian picks me up. Possible, assuming this was not a repeat of last year’s storm; if it was, Ian could take hours just to get to Charles River.
- I ride to work and beg a drive home from somebody else there. Also possible but unlikely, given the small number of people actually working during this week.
Only one of those options sounded even remotely feasible — number 4 — and even that sounded awfully iffy. Relying on Ian’s ability to drive 13 miles through what could be terrible conditions, I could easily be trapped at work for a long, long time if things turned bad, as they very well could. However, we did discuss another option:
6. I stay home. Nixed because I was scheduled as the only lab sciences writer in today, and I didn’t want to leave our section totally unmanned.
Despite the paucity of decent options, I proceeded with my morning normally. I put on all my clothes, packed my bag, kissed Ian goodbye, and rode off.
Less than a mile from home, I suddenly had an overpowering feeling that I was making a huge mistake. I thought Why am I risking being trapped at work for hours, with no guaranteed way home in the nor’easter? Is this really worth it? Is it reasonable? The more I thought about it, the more absurd it sounded to risk getting trapped at work on a day when probably a total of 10 other people even came to work. So I turned around and rode home.
Later I talked to my boss, who didn’t mind my taking the day off (assuming I have the vacation time, which I do… I think…). Turns out another of my coworkers came in, at least for a while, so I felt a little bit better about not riding in. By 8:00 the snow had started falling, and now everything has that lovely picturesque wintry look.
Our apartment complex has received unceasing snow removal from a plow-equipped pickup truck, a Bobcat, and a backhoe since the snow started — more snow treatment in one day than my parents’ neighborhood received in the entire time we were there. Now men with snow blowers have joined the clearing crew (the thought occurs that snow clearing must emit tons of CO2, what with all the large and small combustion engines running nonstop for hours all over the state). The snow seems to have stopped, 12 hours and about 12 inches after it started, and I expect they will have things fairly well in hand by later tonight. I still am not 100% convinced that not riding to work today was wise — Route 20 is free of heavy traffic, if not snow, so Ian probably could have picked me up without too much trouble — but at least I’m already home and don’t have a nightmare commute ahead of me. Also I read an entire book, Magicians of Night, and lost a game of cribbage rather spectacularly today, so it wasn’t a complete waste.