Thursday, January 28, 2010

But now the snow is gone

It rained pretty much all day yesterday. As you can imagine, that much precipitation is pretty rare around here. Someone I follow on Twitter even posted this: Dear Las Vegas: please google "desert" k, thanks. Nobody listened to her, though. It kept raining.

I was walking somewhere mid-day, and when I stepped out into the rain, some cold water dripped down off the roof and onto the back of my neck. That's the thing about living someplace where you hardly ever get rain or snow, you forget to watch out for stuff like that. It was cold. It's times like that I'm glad I don't live somewhere colder. You know, like with snow and stuff. Where you have to worry about trees dumping the snow off their branches, onto your head, and down the back of your neck.

That hasn't always been the case. I've lived in some cold places. I mean COLD places. Like, you're so excited when the temperature finally hits 50 degrees sometime in May that you're out in shorts, t-shirt and sandals and thinking about going for a swim, even though the water temperature in the lake is probably still somewhere in the 30s because the ice just barely melted.

I recently saw a news headline that said they had made it illegal for truck drivers and bus drivers to text while on the road. That, combined with the cold rain water dripping down the back of my neck made me think of some of the things that happened my senior year of high school. Like the fact that one of the bus drivers would READ western novels while driving a busload of kids around on windy mountain roads. You know, because THAT's safe.

One day we were driving the 35 miles or so to school in a snow storm (with the regular bus driver, not the Louis L'amor fan). We're talking blizzard conditions. Like, the only way you could tell where the road went was by looking at the whiteness in front of you, and knowing you were on the road because there weren't any trees. It was kind of scary being that visibility was only about 30 feet anyway. That was before the windshield wipers iced up. The bus driver was faced with a dilemma. He couldn't keep going without being able to clear off the windshield, but he also couldn't stop the bus because if he did there is no way he would have been able to get it moving again. THAT's how much snow was on the road. So he called me to the front of the bus, had me crawl into the small space to his left, reach out the window into the freezing snow and wind, and bang the windshield wiper on the windshield to break the ice off. It was freeeeeeeeeeeezing (yes, that many Es). But I saved the day. We made it to school safely.

By noon, the school had decided to send us back home, so we loaded up on the bus, repeated the procedure. Arrived home safely, despite the fact that they waited until the bus was on the road before they CLOSED THE HIGHWAY. The school district sent a bus full of high school kids traveling home on a snowy mountain road that they knew was about to be closed because of the terrible weather conditions.

Sometimes I wonder how I even survived to see my college years.


steph said...

right? it's just how it was back then!

if that happened now???? oh my god, the kids and parents would all melt from the sheer horror.

i miss the good old days. or something like that.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

I remember this trip. You were the lucky winner because you were tall. (Long arms.) ;)

Amber said...

that sounds like one scary bus ride!

Inklings said...

I remember having to go get you kids in the middle of the night after an out of town sports event, and driving in storms just like that, where you had to look at reflector posts to stay on the road. Then there would be friends to take home with us, and when we dropped them all off, it would be to dark houses where no one was up. We are lucky we didn't slide off into a ravine and freeze there until someone found us the next day.
Also, remember when I was in Vernal and got snowed out? The highway up the mountain was closed due to an avalanche, and when I called home, the girls said you had been in a car wreck with the neighbor girls, and when I asked how you were, the phone line went out right then? :0s
And you forgot to mention that the bus driver who read books while he drove (until irate parents had him relieved of his bus driving)was also the DRIVER'S ED teacher. Ah, the joys of living in a small town. In the mountains. Where they have snow storms Las Vegas can't even imagine. :0)

Boxer said...

I live in rain. All.The.Time.

Good story, scary as hell, but good.