A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 pm today. I looked outside from the terrace and heavy snow is falling. According to the forecast, 5 to 7 inches of snow will be likely from around Brookings area. There is no wind gust. Based on previous experiences, taking the wind factor effect out, it won’t be freezing cold to walk from home to the office.
It is Monday morning. A 10-minute walk from home to Wecota Hall is the best alternative since my car is too powerless for the snow-filled streets. Filled. No more humps. Street gutters are unrecognizable. No more yellow lines. Everything is white that you tend to lose the concept of colors. Apart from the endless snowfall, my morning hike to work will be a breeze — nothing will ever stop me from traversing on foot and singing in the snow. Geared for the battle, I put on my ever-enduring coat that have lasted many worse winters, including my ninja headgear outfit that I sometimes find ridiculous efficient. Ridiculous since it really makes me look like a fighting ninja. Efficient since nothing compares at how it makes my head so warm.
Unlike the squirrel that seemed to have lost its way home, I managed to find the walkways. Three inches of snow is no big deal for an experienced snow trekker (com’on, four years in Brookings is long enough to learn the tricks, isn’t it). As a matter of course, I whistled few happy tunes. The good thing about this town at this time of the year is that, no one is outside. Whether I sing at the top of my lungs or not, no one cares.
Like what I suspected, I was all alone in my journey. Although the visibility was low, I could still see a car crossing an intersection 5 blocks away. And that was the only moving thing I saw the entire trip. Around the first bend, my enthusiasm began to retrograde. A huge pile of snow, courtesy of the Brookings snow plowing trucks (thank you!), hindered my tracks. I took a deep breath and held my cool. I crossed the street and transferred to the opposite sidewalk. The farther I went, the worse the sidewalks became.
No one was cleaning the sidewalks. No one cares a fig! Not even halfway to the office, I was walking, no, wading through knee-deep snow. I wonder why there are areas in this town where snow accumulates faster than others. My old apartment in the intersection of 11th street and 7th ave, was one of them. Those feet of snow others got in hours, we got in minutes. Ah, must be because of the wind directions. I remember having a mountain of snow in our front yard, while the houses a block away barely had a foot thick.
My hope to be in the office that morning suddenly faded when I realized that my jeans were wet from the knee down. Too much snow-wading resulted into melted snow soaking into my shoes and socks. My feet felt cold and I had no option but to go back home.
The moment I turned back, I saw there was only one set of footprints. “Is it the Lord’s?” I asked. “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” Did the Lord carry me? Nah, it was mine.
I did not follow my footprints going back. I trekked another route, instead.
This time, I did not care of the pile of snow along the way. I was leaving my footprints in the snow and was proud to disturb it first.
I stayed home more than half of the day and waited for the walkways to be cleared of snow. The next time I walked to the office, I was whistling a happier tune.