How quickly things changed in 24 hours. I came home from work last Friday (the 13th, which was a good day save for saying good bye to a co-worker who is relocating overseas), relaxed at home and slept in gloriously late into Saturday. Know that feeling when you wake up and it just 'feels' different? In my bleary just-out-of-bed attempt to wake up I couldn't quite figure out what it was...other than it was super quiet outside. No dull drone of street noise.
Aha! It SNOWED! Where did I miss this on the TV weather forecasts? I suppose I should not have been too shocked - it is January, after all. I don't even know where to start with this one. Other than Snow + Seattle area is a very bad combination. For getting around, that is. Otherwise, it's gorgeous. Exhibit A - the view off my back deck.
We got around 6 inches or so in my area - by the time it was done the faint line markings from the deck in that picture were completely covered over. After hearing news reports and reading countless local-area Facebook posts we had anywhere from around 3 inches to over a foot depending on where you were.
The power stayed on here and my furnace is working. Everything else after that truly is all gravy. Check out my Cold Where It's Supposed to be Cold post from (*gulp* wow time flies) November 2010. Two furnace repairs and a crapped out fridge just a couple months prior to that made it an expensive end of that year...after just starting to get some decent income again following a long unemployed streak. So anyway, here we are in 2012 and I relished my warm townhouse, hot showers and the beautiful snow falling outside.
After a couple of days it got old. Driving in the snow in the Seattle area is a hot topic for sure. In general, it's not a good idea. Seriously...a few inches of snow will literally bring us to our knees. We're hilly. We don't have a ton of snow removal equipment. We're not like other parts of the country who deal with this routinely and life goes on. Around here, it just doesn't. Hell, when a UPS truck gets stuck in your driveway, you know it's bad.
What is it about snow? It brings a huge Hush Hug over everything in its embrace. I stay in my jammies all day and take naps. At noon.
But soon it was time to get back to work. Thankfully this team is all about playing it safe and not trying to be heroes getting into the office. We can all work remotely, although in the type of work we do it's not ideal for long periods of time as I learned.
There was one small problem. The power cord for my work laptop was still in my office! I never bring it home because I never work from home. It still reminds me too much of when I was unemployed, and frankly I'd rather get out of the house and be around people during the day. In my last work assignment my work laptop was the same brand as my home one, so it was easy to just swap out the power cords between the two if I ever did work from home on rare occasion. Not this time, however.
On Monday I was able to squeak by with doing email either from my phone or through my home laptop. But I didn't have full access to the internal resources I depend on to get work done. And I attempted a few times to get the work laptop connected with my home cable modem, but the modem is new and I was unfamiliar with the steps to switch connectivity (I don't use a router). And I watched the battery power indicator slowly sink southward as I chatted with our corporate Helpdesk and all to troubleshoot. No luck.
So I knew Tuesday I needed to get into work somehow to get that power cord. They were predicting heavy snow Tuesday into Wednesday. Turns out the main roads were pretty clear. It's the side streets, sidewalks and driveways that are the problem.
I got into work just fine and was pleasantly surprised to see my officemate there already. Ahhh, human interaction! We had both planned to stay for a few hours, but then got a phone call from her husband around lunch time that it was really starting to snow hard and we better get home. I'm so glad he called, because our office does not have a window and it was snowing much harder up near where my officemate and I live compared to work.
When you're stuck at home snowbound, the cabin fever grips tight. The novelty wears off quickly. So to fight it off, I vowed to get out of the house at least once a day for a walk. And it really helps - and is pretty good exercise too stomping through heavy, wet snow.
Thankfully by Friday the snow turned to rain and everything turned into a big slushfest. Relief was coming! Freedom!
And what a great way to blast back into the routine of life with a wonderful Saturday. My friend L ventured out this way to the suburbs (I joke that he's mentally allergic to them but that's another story). With iPad in hand, he and I walked through the townhouse here and talked about tons of ideas to update my place. I know my place needs work, and I know I need to keep an open mind. We jumped around all over the place with ideas and chitchat. And we agreed on a general plan to start work upstairs here where the bedrooms are and then slowly work our way downstairs.
Oh boy. That means my 3rd bedroom - the Room of Crap - is in the hotseat first. And that's actually a great idea as it is very underutilized space save for a large bookcase and random stuff on the floor that needs to get boxed up into storage or thrown out. And I get to think about paint colors too, for it's still Insane Asylum White like the rest of this place was when I first bought it. Oh, the possibilities! L wants to convert it to my home office and have the home office where I am now become a guest bedroom, as this room is larger and can hold a queen-sized bed. Interesting idea!
Later I headed out (Out! After not driving for 5 days!) to meet friends for our annual Chinese New Year dinner at China Clipper in Woodinville. They have wonderful, pretty close to authentic Northern Chinese cuisine. We had a blast at dinner and then headed over to J's house for board games and laughter. Know when you laugh so hard that tears stream down your face?