Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let is Snow

I woke up to a gift from God this morning. From my window, I saw everything peacefully snuggled in by a fresh blanket of powder snow. The fainest flakes still hesitantly fell as the sun began to rise and I couldn't help but be excited for the day.

After I returned from my shower some 15 minutes later, the picturesque view that had cheered my morning was not longer there. Beautiful snowflakes, warmed by the sun, now fell as rain - the painting melted in front of me. Anxiously I got ready for work, knowing full well that trying to get there could be difficult. Armed with my new boots, umbrella, and two coats, I faced the day.

The day faced me back - and it was cold. Pockets of snow still clung to the ground, but mostly everything was just wet. Quietly whispering words of encouragement to myself, I made my way down the street to the corner I catch the railcar at. Halfway there, I realized I forgot a pair of shoes to change into once I got to work. I turned around and quickly made my way back to the house, slipping twice on the way.

With my heels packed, I made my second attempt back to the railcar stop. I tried to keep my focus on the ground to watch my step, but the rain and wind combo kept forcing me to cover my line of sight with the umbrella. Distracted for a moment, I took a step and landed in a 3 inch puddle of water that had accumulated in the snow. The water immediately began to soak into my boots. I didn't have much time to get upset because I could here the railcar approaching (they make kind of a metallic screeching noise when the break for the stops). I illegally crossed the street and hurried my way on.

The railcar was fairly open and I was easily able to find a seat. As I assessed my boots and quickly numbing toes, I felt the railcar jerk slightly, turn and make a "clunking" noise. My first reaction was "We're derailing", but no one else tensed like I did. Unknown to me, the railcar I had gotten on did not go east to west, but instead turned south - which explained the lack of people riding. It hit me then that I had no idea where I was going, when the next stop was, or how I was going to make it back to work on time. After a few minutes of panicking, the car slowed and I made my way to an exit.

I have no idea where we were dropped at. Had I been paying more attention, I'm sure I would have easily been able to determine where I needed to go in order to get back on the correct railcar. But at that point, I was cold and frustrated and could only think of doing one thing - hailing a cab. My driver was friendly and tried to offer me snow advice. He laughed when he saw my shoes and indicated I should get something else to wear if I were planning to make it through the rest of the week. He wished me luck when he dropped me off outside the office.

Everyone seemed somehow affected by the weather - traffic apparently stops with the first snow of the season. I had been almost 30 minutes late to work, but this didn't seem uncommon as others walked in after me. Despite the troubles of the morning, there was work to do and every dispersed to their own activities. I continued work on the receipts and envelope stuffing as I let my feet dry.

I was asked by one of the correspondents to help with Zoom today. I had to browse websites looking for Catholic news that would be pertinent to the Canadian community. After we compared notes on what we had found, I was additionally asked to write the script of one of the stories. It's not very different than writing a lead and the first paragraph or two of a newspaper article - you have to be concise and clear in a short amount of time. I was able to watch the filming of Zoom and was proud when my portion of the script was used. If you watch the Zoom from today(, I wrote about the assisted-suicide discussion Quebec is having.

After Zoom I had lunch - a very warm bowl of Chicken Noodle soup, which could not have been more appropriate for the day. I returned back to work, warm, full and sleepy. Without anything to do, I again made my rounds asking if anyone needed help with anything. I was asked to go through a set of mislabeled DVDs and determine what was actually on the disc. The effort took some time, but I was glad to be useful.

When the day approached 5:00, I was nervous to venture forth outside. My boots were still damp and I was dreading being cold again. It was then that I decided I was going to go to the Eaton Center, a big mall a few blocks from work, and buy rain boots. Enthused by my new assignment, I left work bundled up on foot.

The walk was only a few minutes, but the wind and rain made it feel longer. I was very cold and very grateful when I had made it inside and immediately began looking for a store that sold the boots I was looking for. It seemed like the rest of the population of Toronto had come to do the same. You could hardly make your way into a store, let alone try and actually shop in it. Crowds are my least favorite thing, but I was determined to find the right shoes. I think all in all I went into about 7 different stores. In the last one I went into, however, I spotted a pair of lightly insulated rain boots - green polka dotted and lined in light pink. They were, obviously, meant for me. Luckily, they were on sale and available in my size. I didn't even hesitate in buying them, knowing I could easily use them in Houston too.

I picked up a sandwich in the food court on my way out and headed back to the convent. It was still raining when I left, but the railcar showed up almost immediately so I wasn't outside for too long. The whole day was quite a different experience than I was expecting. I understand now why people become frustrated with snow. This was not magical and fun; this was gross and inconvenient and I can't imagine dealing with it daily for 3 or 4 months straight. It makes me miss Houston "winters".

Miss you guys,


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