Things I Know Now

If I had gone to Colorado State University, I would have most likely been fine with any snowfall. It’s Colorado– they have snow equipment.

If I had gone to Seattle University, I would have most likely been fine school-wise for any snowfall. I lived four blocks away from the university.

I’m at Oregon State, and I live on-campus. I have no excuses for not being able to get to work due to snow.

I should have thought through this more.

I remember my very first snow day at Western Washington University.

Let me preface why. I grew up in eastern Washington, as most of you know, where snowplows make up 10% of the working population, and de-icers and sand trucks are common sights during the winter. Everyone has snow tires, unless they drive an AWD vehicle, which is common. (Note: I loved my studless traction tires that were on my Corolla. They were like a badge of pride in Bellingham when I went to college.) That said, snow days back home were, at the most, a two-hour delay to the start of school. That was mostly to accommodate the folks who came from Badger Mountain or other towns outside the direct city area. Word on the street is, my friends at Cashmere High School would sometimes shovel snow off their gym’s roof during P.E. classes on snow days. Either way, snow back home was usually no big deal. (Unless you had procrastinated getting your studded tires on and were driving front-wheel drive. Then you had to get out of the car and walk the rest of the half mile to school. But gosh darn it, my dad was still able to get the car turned around and back down the hill. I, on the other hand, spent the rest of the school day looking like a drowned rat.)

Snow at WWU was another beast. I woke up early one morning, peeked through the blinds, and saw 1 or 2 inches of fluffy white snow on the ground. I grumbled to myself, “Hour delay at best.” I made my way into the bathroom and began showering. About halfway through my shower, and nowhere near being awake, E popped into the bathroom suite to tell me, “Classes are cancelled!”

Excuse me?

At first it seemed ridiculous. Of course, it was lots of fun. Two of the future Nesters and I even took the bus all the way out to the mall.

But the mall was closed at 4PM. Due to snow.

We wandered around some more– I think we were looking for gloves or something– finally finding Cost Cutter open. Eventually, we made it to Denny’s, enjoyed some hot chocolate, then waited for the bus and its chained-up glory to arrive.

The roads weren’t plowed. There were tire tracks which packed down all the snow. But there was no salt, and the only plow I remembered seeing hadn’t even been plowing at all.

Well, whaddya know. The roads froze over. And that’s when the town REALLY shut down.

All because of what I thought was a one-hour delay.

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