Snowmaggedon is over, in the sense that no more snow has fallen since Sunday, and no more is expected this week.
But the city is still an icy mess.
Every evening we get a text from the school - "no school tomorrow" - and another from the Embassy - "late start tomorrow" - because the roads are impassably icy in the morning.
I left the house at 11 this morning. The temperature was in the 40s. But the hill from my house down to the Embassy was an icy slide, because the street is mostly shaded by apartment buildings, and the ice simply wasn't melting. I made my way sloooowly down the hill, mostly because once on it, there's no getting off it. I figured I could always turn into the median if necessary. From the looks of things, lots of folks before me had already done exactly that.
On the way home this evening, I drove a friend home. Well, almost home. He told me not to even try getting down his hill, so I left him a short way from his house. I suppose he could've simply slid down the hill on his rear. Apparently he'd had to resort to crawling up the hill on his hands and knees in the morning, so icy was the road. Now that, my friends, is true dedication to the job.
Today, the school administrator finally threw his hands up in despair. The buses are still trapped in the lots. The lunch area collapsed under the weight of the snow. The teachers haven't yet dug out of the snow blocking their apartments. So he sent the dreaded message: "Merry Christmas! Don't come back until January!"
It was absolutely the right call on his part. The school needed to lock down and clean up. But ohdearlord I am a single mother with a full-time job here. My kids haven't been in school for the past two weeks, in part because of snow and in part due to illnesses. I have a lady who cleans the house and meets the bus while I'm at work, and that's great for things like laundry and ironing. But she can't cook or shop or remind the kids to brush their teeth. She can't entertain them particularly well. She can't read to them. I mean, I guess she could. But she doesn't. That's my job, and I haven't been particularly successful in getting her to take any of that on. (Remind me some time to tell you about the Great Spaghetti Sauce Disaster of 2013. Let's wait til it seems funnier though, shall we?)
So anyhoo. Somehow I have to work my full-time job while making sure my kids are fed and not scratching each other's eyes out from boredom. It would be nice if I could keep "don't get scurvy" on my To Do List as well. But until the roads clear I'm afraid there is no way to venture out in search of my beloved fresh vegetables. I mean, the vegetable vendor is open, just down the road. But his tent collapsed, and he is sitting out there in a field of snow next to the traffic circle. Ignoring the fact that it probably wouldn't be smart to park my car on the adjacent icy field in order to buy some apples, I can't even figure out, logistically speaking, how to walk across that field in order to reach the vegetables when I don't own a pair of snow boots. So there they sit, all of those apples and oranges and peppers, tantalizingly out of reach, while I heat up yet another box of frozen corn in my microwave and try to convince my kids that's it's different corn from yesterday. I could go out at midday, when the roads aren't so icy, but midday is when I'm at my paying job. They can live without apples for a few days, right? And I'll hit the store this weekend with the rest of Amman.
I think it should be better by this weekend. The snow is slowly melting, which means the streets will be clear soon enough. For now, though, I back out of my driveway carefully, trying not to hit the giant frozen snowbanks on either side of the car, snowbanks that block my view of oncoming traffic and prevent me from turning my steering wheel too early. Of course, there is a Porsche stuck in the snow directly across from my driveway, so I don't exactly want to turn my steering wheel too late, either. I think if I can get through this tour without hitting a Porsche, I can consider the tour a success.
For those of my friends who thought I was a wimp for camping out at STJ's house over the weekend, I can only say: you're wrong. You may have lived here until recently, but I can guarantee you never saw a snowfall like this while you were here, and you wouldn't want to skate down the street in your car, either.
Enjoy the weather, wherever you are!
(Can't give a photo credit coz I don't know who took this. But it's making its way around the Internet today.)