Snow has never quite been my thing.
I grew up in the South, where snow doesn’t happen all too often.
I’ve never skied in my life.
I did spent a few days snowboarding in Colorado one year and my tailbone hurt for two weeks after.
While I love the look of snow, I’d much prefer hiking in the Arizona desert (though we did have fun sledding today).
You know what else isn’t really my thing? Valentine’s Day. While we’ve definitely celebrated Valentine’s, it’s not my favorite holiday of the year for sure. Too commercialized for my taste.
Yet today, two days shy of Valentine’s Day, I sat in my warm house with my heart-pounding at the thought of my husband of 13 years not making it home in the snow.
Yesterday morning he went to work per the usual. I work from home on Wednesdays, but had the kids with me since school was closed in anticipation of the crazy winter storm coming our way. Sure enough, shortly after lunch, the snow started coming down.
First the is-that-really-snow specks in the air.
Then BAM, snowing hard.
By the time my hubby Daniel left work, pretty much every other worker in the city was leaving work too. It didn’t take long to realize this was going to take a while. His normal drive is about 10 miles. With rush hour traffic, it takes maybe 20-25 minutes, which isn’t bad.
But with all the snow and traffic, he had only moved about a mile or two in an hour. To give you an idea, here’s what a major street in our city looked like yesterday:
As the snow came down harder and harder, I got more panicked. The Internet was my friend and my foe.
On one hand, I used the Find Friends app to watch his icon on the map. As I refreshed and refreshed, I painfully watched him move (or not move) maybe one street address every 5-10 minutes. He was pretty much stuck, but at least I knew where he was.
On the other hand, I kept hearing online about people I know abandoning their cars and walking home. We’re talking MILES in the snow with probably the wrong kinds of shoes on since they were coming straight from work. That only made me worry more.
In the meantime, I was trying to simultaneously work and take care of the kids, but like a kid in love, all I could think about was him.
I cried. I paced the house. I maniacally checked my phone. It was all-consuming because I didn’t know when the snow would end, nor if the road conditions would be any better if he kept pressing on.
Would he spend nine hours in the car like people did in Atlanta? Would his car slip and get stuck? Would he be forced to walk for hours in the snow do get home?
After about four hours, he wasn’t even halfway home with no end in site to the traffic.
That is, if he turned the direction of our house. So after talking it out, he decided to go back to work, since traffic was just about dead going that way.
I knew it was right choice, but my heart sank knowing he’d be spending the night somewhere else. Especially since the weather wasn’t supposed to let up for another day or two. The kids were sad, but I assured them he’d be warm and safe so it was okay. He made it back to work with little trouble.
He had dinner with his boss, who lives next door to work, while I ate a somber dinner with the kids. During grace, my oldest asked to say a prayer for his dad and I saw him wipe his eyes. I gave him a reassuring hug and we finished dinner.
At this point, it seemed that all of the people I knew who were stuck earlier had made it home. Except Daniel. He decided it might be worth attempting to make it home now the roads were clearer. He has a Subaru, which is all wheel drive, so he didn’t have trouble earlier in the day. It was just the traffic and abandoned cars that were the barrier.
So… he made a second attempt.
As I watched his little icon on Find Friends, I immediately saw that this time would be different. In two minutes his icon leapt across the map. At a light, he texted that he was behind a snow plow and not slipping a bit with his car.
Ten minutes later, he had made it just about half way home. Twenty minutes later, he turned onto the main street by our neighborhood. Five minutes later, I saw his little icon on our street and I smiled like when he used to knock on my front door for our first dates.
He walked through the door and I wrapped my arms around him and just stood there, letting the side of my face just melt into his chest.
After 13 years of marriage, you just don’t really hug that much any more, ya know? In our normal day to day, coming home to work is usually met with a quick peck on the lips, not a long, drawn-out hug.
So a hug was just what we needed after a long day of uncertainty and snow. A perfect finish to a day when my husband consumed my mind all day, just like he did back in those beginning days of young love. Young love like a pristine blanket of fresh snow, before the footprints of routine and daily life leave their marks. A comforting reminder that love exists without a special day dedicated to displaying affection and buying gifts.
Take that Valentine’s. I don’t need roses, cheesy cards, or cheap teddy bears. I just needed snow.