Friday, April 12, 2013

April Snow Day

It was what Winnie-the-Pooh would call a "blustery day" when I headed off to LSC yesterday morning.  The sky was dark and foreboding and the wind was ready to slam unattended car doors shut or whip poorly-balanced lunches right out of your hand.  I taught my morning class, and noted as I walked back to my office just before 11 am that no snow was falling yet.
Twenty minutes later, two of my afternoon students stopped by my office and asked if I was planning on cancelling classes.  "I doubt it.  This storm will probably just blow over with barely any accumulation." They exchanged glances, then asked if I had looked outside lately.  When I assured them I had, barely a half hour ago, they offered that I should "look again".
We walked out of my windowless office to the giant 2-story window viewing the back parking lot.

I was flabbergasted- it was a complete white-out.  I couldn't even see the first row of cars.  I turned to my students, mildly taken aback, and got out, "Well, looks like it wouldn't be a bad idea to cancel class..."
The official call was made by the college 30 minutes later that afternoon classes were cancelled, and my normally 10-minute commute down the hill took me almost an hour with detours around accidents and slow driving.  The closest I was able to park ABE to my house was a block down, since despite all my best efforts (and a good 15 minutes where I was completely blocking 20th avenue as ABE decided to do a 360 degree pinwheel as he kind of floated down the snowy road).  Despite all that, I was able to get home safe and sound, ready to hole up for the evening with some popcorn, reading, movies, and knitting.  After all, isn't that what snow days are for?

I finished the first mitt and cast on for the second of the Artist Mitts.  I'm pretty excited to get my first of the Christmas presents out of the way- though not telling the recipient about these is going to be mildly difficult. :)
Oh- and I got some crap from one of my readers (hi, Dad!) that I don't post a lot about what I'm reading.  I do update the "What I'm Reading" and "What I've Read" sidebar any time I finish or start a book, and lately I've had quite a few going at once!

I've been on a small memoir kick lately, which is a bit different than my normal reading list.  I started with "Taking Flight" by my long-time friend Sarah Solmonson, a short novel on her father's death from a plane crash.  We haven't really had a long, hashed out conversation about that part of her life- I became friends with her at the end of high school, and she didn't talk about it much then- so it was fascinating to read about that entire side of her history.  I moved from there to "Wild", by Cheryl Stranded, a memoir about Cheryl dealing with her mother's death by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through California and Oregon.  As a hiker and camper, it was funny to read the parts (especially when she set out) about carrying a heavy pack with way too much gear, coping with being a solo woman on the trail, and her thought process as she slogged mile after mile.  Right now I'm about halfway through Steph Davis's new book "Learning to Fly", the sequel to one of my favorite climbing memoirs of all time.  It's a great read for a climber, and she spends a lot of time laying out her choices to BASE jump, climb free solo style (without a rope), and how her vigorous outdoor pursuits helped her through an exceedingly difficult personal time in her life.
To balance those heavy memoirs, I've been blasting through the Hunger Games trilogy (again), along with finally get a thorough read of my "Training for Climbing" book and my "Half-Marathon Training Guide For Women" (because that's happening soon...).  I consider all these memoirs a break from getting through my Book Challenge list, which I'll write about more later.

Today isn't much better than yesterday- the snow hasn't stopped yet, the wind has barely died down at all since yesterday, and all the schools in Duluth are cancelled.  I'm going to try to be more productive today by deep-cleaning the apartment, getting a bunch of grading done, and getting more projects done around the house, but hopefully by later this afternoon I'll be either driving down to VE to climb or snowshoeing down.  I can only be cooped up inside for so long. :)

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