Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Treacherous Walk

I drive my car the entire 1.6 miles to work every day for a very good reason. Living in the border between midtown and downtown Atlanta isn't exactly safe. However, recently, the an apocalypse of snow and ice has hit Atlanta. Georgia Tech has been closed for two days. TWO DAYS.

In all my 5.5 years at Georgia Tech it has never closed. Not for tornado warnings, snow, ice, or anything. But we have gotten 4 to 5 inches of snow covered in a nice thick layer of ice. Georgia Tech is closed.

However, if you read last Thursday's post, you know that my research team is crazily trying to finish building a satellite which means shortly after I learned Georgia Tech was closed on Monday I got an email from my project manager that said, "You WILL be coming in to work tomorrow."

Of course. Let me just drive my little car up the icy, hilly streets and...yeah that's not going to happen.

So instead I pulled out my boots, my scarf, my hat, my long john's, my turtleneck, my sweater, and my jackets and bundled up like that kid in a Christmas story. I then walked the entire 1.6 miles in the snow with no problems.

That was yesterday. Today was a little different because you see while yesterday I walked to work in snow, today I walked to work in ice.

There were literally parts of my walk where I was sliding down the sidewalk, praying that I wouldn't fall and break something, and using a nearby building to balance.

I watched a car spin out and nearly take out a few other pedestrians.

I was then walking by a church when I heard a strange sound. I looked around in alarm, fearing that a car was careening towards me when suddenly I was being pelted by icy, hard snow. Snow was falling off the roof of the church and on to me.

Once I finally got to the AE building, I couldn't actually get to the first door I tried to access, because the door is on a slight incline that was covered in ice.

Man, I hate the snow.

But it did give me a lot of perspective and great ideas for a new story I'm writing. (I know, I know, I'm always writing a new story. Doesn't help my New Years Goals). Snow isn't something I have a lot of experience in. Atlanta, GA is the furthest north I've ever lived. My life was spent everywhere from Hawaii to Florida, but no where that has snow regularly. And my new world I've created is a cold one. It can't help it. That's just the way the orbital mechanics of the world is.

I now know what it feels like to have snow crunch under my feet (walking in thick snow is kind of like walking in sand, which I have a lot of experience with). I now know the dangers of snow falling off roofs. I now know how terrifying having no control on your footing because of ice can be.

Yes, lots of good ideas came from my rather treacherous walk this morning. Hopefully I'll get even more ideas on my way back...and less bruises.

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