Monday, January 13, 2014

The Polar Vortex that Wasn't

This time last week, Anna June and I were just leaving the house for work and school. We had been told in advance that the Birmingham City Schools as well as UAB would be opening 2 hours late due to the threat of inclement weather and extreme cold. Our phones kept beeping and ringing with all sorts of weather alerts. On Sunday night, we checked and it was raining, so we thought it may turn to snow with the falling temperatures. Less than a half inch was predicted, but none actually fell. Not even enough to make a tiny snowball, as AJ had hoped.

We stayed home, extending our Christmas vacation by a couple of hours. We went on to work and school and proceeded as normal. Well, as close to normal as we could get. A person in another building rescheduled an appointment for later in the week, as their parking deck was iced over, making conditions dangerous for visitors. Half of AJ's class did not show up at all. It was kind of ridiculous, seeing as how there were only teeny spots of ice on the road here and there (and not even enough to worry about) and the temp was a balmy 19 degrees.

When we looked at pictures of the rest of the country, we felt bad for having it so easy.

But then, the schools decided they needed delayed openings on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. UAB, because it was only going to be very, very cold and not at all wet, decided to carry on as usual.

Here, I will pause for a moment to thank my parents. Because they work from home a lot, and because of an already scheduled off day, they were able to take AJ to school at 10 and I was able to be at work at 8. Thanks, Nana and Granddaddy! The first day I called to make sure they actually went. It was 8 degrees outside. I could see wanting to stay home. Sure enough, my dad did try to convince AJ to stay home with him and help him work, but she insisted she had to go to school. Fortunately, their house is between ours and the school - it isn't far at all.

Anyway, it was cold. I put a sweater on Radar. Once it got back above freezing, we took it off, but he's so proud of that thing I didn't have the heart.

We are very, very fortunate that we don't have far to go in the cold. Our heater works. The heaters in our cars work. The heaters at our school and offices work. (Actually, three Birmingham schools had to close on Tuesday because their heaters weren't working properly, but they were back in order by Wednesday.)

I have covered parking right next to the door of my building. AJ is dropped off at the front door of the school. Ben has to walk a couple of blocks to his parking deck, but we found his gloves and he had a heavy coat, so he's probably the toughest of us three.

Speaking of clothing, we have long johns, but we didn't even think to wear them. We have gloves and mittens, hats, and scarves. We have heavy coats. I actually bought AJ a new heavy coat as the arms on one of her three started to get a little short. That kid just keeps growing! AJ also has earmuffs. She was trying to figure out how to wear a hat and earmuffs at the same time, but we finally convinced her to pick one or the other.

We also just ordered our batch of "winter" uniforms, as AJ grew out of the ones from last year...long sleeve shirts and pants. It was so cold she didn't argue about not wearing a skirt or jumper - long pants it was.

So we were absolutely fine. AJ was actually better than fine, because she got 4 extra hours of grandparent time, eating breakfast, watching TV, reading books, etc.

The weather delay actually killed my momentum. I was excited to come back to work Monday, with it being a new year, so I could get started on all the things that I had missed. But coming in late, and the cold weather making me grumpy, made me just want to forget it all and not come back.

We're due for more cold temps this week, but nothing like we saw last week. Thank goodness!


Anonymous said...

I'm really glad that you skipped the ice and snow-----I know how treacherous Birmingham can be in those conditions. Up here , it was the worst driving I can remember in a long time Once it warmed up a bit , it melted and refroze over the side walks and roads. Sounds like you guys weathered it well (no pun )and I can rest easier for it!

Laura Gallitz said...

Yes, we were sorry to hear things were such a mess in WI. Please be careful!

We were also glad not to be completely shut down by ice or snow. Dad suggested I just park on the street in front of the house so we'd be able to get out if it iced. I told him no, that was nuts - if it really did ice, then someone else would hit our parked car sliding on that! We'd rather stay home!