North Texas spent the early part of the week awaiting a much hyped ice storm. Although temperatures were still above freezing, most schools closed early on Tuesday. Roads were expected to be too slick for late afternoon bus runs.
I refilled the feeder for the juncos, chickadees, cardinals, and finches when I got home, then waited for the freeze. In the middle of the night I awakened to the sound of frozen precipitation hitting the skylight. Sleet is too impressive a word for it. Frit or slizzle sound about right.
Knowing I'd either have a slippery drive to school or have to call a phone tree if school was cancelled kept me from sound sleep. I worried about how layoffs at Texas Instruments might impact our school families, and therefore enrollment. About 4:30 I heard the crunch of the newspaper deliverer's car tires on ice and gave up on sleep. After my Dallas Morning News I started reading The Big Necessity. That gave me more to worry about, what with most of the world lacking the most basic sanitation facilities, antibiotics flushed promoting superb bacteria in our rivers, and inadequately treated sludge being dumped on farms.
As soon as the sun came up, the ice was dripping off my roof onto the patio. No school meant time to catch up on email, work on the draft for my next volunteer newspaper column, and participate in an online discussion about the future of newspapers, all wearing my jammies. I can understand the attraction of cyber-commuting!
Wednesday night the moisture on streets refroze, and we awoke to freezing fog Thursday morning. Freezing fog is quite beautiful if you can stay in your jammies. The world looks soft and fuzzy, but it makes for a dangerous drive back to work.
"Freezing fog" seems to be the description for the returning students. The preschoolers were in a daze, wandering the room then becoming catatonic. The kids were more discombobulated after one day off than they were after the long Christmas break.
Today it's a gorgeous sixty-seven degrees, and perfect for walking. My exercise buddy and I needed an extra mile just to vent and compare students and schools. It's good to know her students had a bad case of "freezing fog" on Thursday, too.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder