• The Piquant Storyteller

From Y2K to Snowmageddon

In 1999, Y2K was the headline of the day. My roommate and I would go to St. George to visit her boyfriend. His mom managed to work her advice into every conversation.

"Y2K is coming. Are you girls ready? When you go shopping, you should buy two of everything. And not just canned food. You should buy extra makeup too. You never know what will happen when Y2K hits!"

She was intense. A lot of people were, but I had my suspicions. I just could not wrap my head around an impending computer apocalypse all due to the turn of the century. Tensions were high as December 31, 1999 changed to January 1, 2000 in a second. All eyes turned to the computers to witness the predicted snarling mess of epic digital proportions. Nothing happened. I imagine it was quite anticlimactic for a lot of people. Particularly my friend's future mother-in-law.

Six months later I met my husband for the first time. Our first date was July 3, 2000. We were engaged August 7 and married February 10, 2001. The last day of our Victoria, B.C. honeymoon dawned with measurable snow. I swore the Northwest lost their minds as I watched flake by flake coverage on the news.

Over the years, we have done what we can to celebrate our anniversary. It was never the plan to be married four days before Valentine's Day. Originally, we wanted to get married in November. I'm glad we postponed the wedding. I was a first year teacher at a year round school. The year was a whirlwind. Heath and I started dating just before the school year started. Two weeks later we were hypothetically talking about marriage. Two weeks after that he proposed. My students were excited. Then we went off track and I flew to Seattle to meet his family for the first time. We decided getting married the next time I went off track was too soon. It would be nice to have more time to plan. I planned everything, with Heath's help, in the three weeks I was off track in November. February was the next time I went off track.

Sometimes our anniversary competes with Valentine's Day. Roses are overpriced. Restaurants are busy. Kids inadvertently put a damper on things. I was very pregnant for our 7th anniversary. That baby took over our 16th anniversary when she participated in a school play. Nothing says I love you to your soul mate like paying to watch your kid perform in a play. Last year the play didn't interfere with our anniversary. A bathroom fan did. This year's play was scheduled for this week. Mother Nature had other ideas. The Snow Queen play (you can't make this stuff up) has been postponed until later in the spring. I would not be surprised if the only time they can reschedule is during the week of Outdoor Ed. I'm a pessimistic fan of irony!

My expectations are fairly low for our anniversary. I just want the day to be clearly marked on the calendar. I don't want my kids coming home from an overnight winter campout or taking up the day with final rehearsals for play performances that night. Bathroom fans need to take up some other Saturday. Even if all we do is go out to eat, I would be fine. We have lunch dates every day so it's not like I really need the dinner. But I do. It's our day and it should be special.

Enter Snowmageddon. Last Friday, we must have been inspired to go to Costco. It had been months since we had shopped there. Our supplies were running low and we were able to stock up. That trip was a blessing this week. School was canceled two days in a row followed by two delay start days. Today was the only normal day this week. School gets out early on Fridays for Learning Improvement (teacher prep time).

Safeway bread aisle 6:30 am the morning of Snowmageddon.

We went grocery shopping yesterday afternoon. The parking lot was extra full. I wasn't sure if it was people nervous about the upcoming storm or if it was just that time of day. Heath decided to get some more stuff this morning, just in case we are holed up at home for a week. The store was pretty picked over at 6:30 am! News reports showed empty shelves at Costco stores across the state. Now there are reports that cars are waiting in line at grocery stores just to get into the parking lot. The stores that have restocked since last night's prepping panic, are now decimated again. Bread and meat were the first to run out followed by chips and frozen pizza. If you need milk, you are out of luck.

This has been the strangest experience for me. I didn't believe Sunday's storm would turn into anything. By Monday I was grateful school was canceled. We were all home, comfortable, and happy. Wednesday was a difficult day for me. It was the first delayed start this week. Heath also had to go into the office. It had been planned for a while. He wanted to be visible for an important meeting that many prominent employees had been flown in for. He almost didn't go because of the road conditions. He left later in the morning and paid the $8 toll to use the commuter lane. The toll prices vary depending on traffic. You can guess how thick the traffic was for an $8 toll. It took him over two hours to get to work. It normally takes about 35 minutes.

He left and I busied myself with getting kids ready for the day. Every hour on the half hour I sent another kid out the door until they were all gone at 10:30. Parker's bus was 30 minutes late. That was a little weird. He was also marked absent in his first period class as a result. Then he was 20 minutes late coming home because of his bus. It made for a dramatic afternoon learning the story and informing the school, but the situation has been resolved. His absence was changed to an excused tardy. I get anxious on normal days. Wednesday was not normal. I don't mind at all that I emotionally drank Diet Coke that day.

Church activities have been canceled one by one as the week has progressed. Now the storm seems to be upon us. I have one kid home, one who chose to walk with a friend instead of ride the bus, and one on the way. The district texted that buses in the south end of the district are experiencing heavy traffic and will be delayed. Thanks for your patience. So Gwen will be late.

Wally Weatherman's predictions seem to be right. The snow came at the expected time. It's thicker than I thought it would be. Y2K turned out to be nothing worth worrying about. Maybe the falling snow will turn into a snowpocalypse. It looks like we will be celebrating our 18th anniversary hunkered down in the house as Snowmageddon swirls outside.

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