Snow in Seattle



To account for the recent Seattle snowstorm, I left work at 2:30 PM to make the 13-mile commute back home. I didn’t walk into the door until after 8:30 PM. Are you good at math? Did you get that my whole journey took SIX HOURS?! The first leg was a bus ride downtown where I transferred buses. That ride was easy enough and I expected it would take a little longer than usual. Fine. I listened to a podcast. I sent some emails. Then I hopped on the second bus and that’s where I was trapped for FIVE HOURS. FIVE! CINCO! CINQ! WHATEVER “FIVE” IS IN ESPERANTO! OR THE UNSPOKEN LANGUAGE THAT TWINS SPEAK!

The first two hours were uncomfortable then as the time ticked away, my iPhone battery dying a sad one bar death in the process, it became surreal. We had barely moved out of downtown when people started leaving the bus and walking through the wind chill. I pondered about that–what escape routes I had if the bus never moved. I could spend the night at a motel nearby that offered free WIFI and HBO (Are there any motels that charge for HBO?) but I would miss my babies too much. And my poor husband who had to manage a house with a baby and a boy and intermittent phone calls from his wife who would say, “UPDATE! I DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM BUT MY PHONE IS DYING! BYEEEE!”

I became accustomed to the faces that surrounded me for five hours. There was the Filipino couple who had hopped out of the bus, walked to the Jack and the Box, had a full meal and then walked back to the bus because we had not moved! Another woman tapped out on her Blackberry and listened to an iPod. That was a smart move–backup tunes! That’s what I needed, an emergency playlist of J. Lo circa 2002 to get me through a wretched trip.

As the hours rolled into each other, I thought about the Stephen King story about the family that has to fall asleep to travel through space but the little boy holds his breath to find out what happens. When the family wakes up after a nanosecond, they find him gray-haired and crazy because a blip in time for them was an eternity and a second for him. I imagined leaving the bus and making the two-hour trek through the wind chill home and when I collapsed in the doorway and Mike asked how long the walk was, I would barely eek out, “It’s longer than you think!”

Thankfully, no babies were on board. Not chronologically-aged babies that can legally sit on your lap on a plane ride, but more like the teenage babies who kept moaning about how they wanted to jump out the window because they had been on the bus for so long. Why didn’t they! Take initiative, future leaders of America! I am done with your double negative usage, your love of making a scene, and especially your constant addressing me as “MA’AM”! I am not that different from you! Hath not an almost-thirty-year-old woman eyes? If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you hand me the remote control, will I not automatically change the channel to MTV and then tell you if this is a new episode of Teen Mom?!

Finally, the bus crawled close enough to my neighborhood that I could make the last leg of the trek by foot. Snow crushed under my heavy boots, my footprints the only marks left in the white path. Mike had turned on the lamp near the window. The light ricocheted through the blinds, a beacon that reached its yellow fingers out to me as if to say, don’t give up, you are almost home.

But enough Hallmarky-sentiment! Check out this video of cars and a BUS sliding down Seattle hills!

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  1. You were on that bus for FIVE HOURS??? Oh my God. I can’t even imagine. Argh.

    (Also, I totally love that Stephen King story and randomly think in my head whenever something is taking forever: Longer than you think!!!)

    Once, as a kid, my church group went to a concert with our pastor and his wife, who drove. On the way home, we got stuck in a nasty ice storm. I fell asleep in the car looking at a house with pretty Christmas lights. TWO HOURS LATER I woke up and I COULD STILL SEE THAT HOUSE.

  2. That video is crazy. And I am so sorry about your five hours on a bus. Are you recovered? Phillip tried the bus, then ended up catching a ride with a friend, which I think is the only reason he made it home for dinner. I am not thrilled about the fact that he went BACK to work today.

    EONS ago my bus got stuck in snow in the U District and I hiked home to my apartment in Lake City. Never doing that again!

  3. All I can think about is what did you have to do if you had to go to the bathroom?

  4. That’s a long time be on the bus! Glad you made it home safely in the end. Hopefully this snow will go away soon and leave us alone!

  5. Your utterly HELLISH commute makes me very grateful that I live in a rural area, where even when it’s unbelievably snowy I can still get home in under 20 mins.

  6. I would most certainly figured out a way to make a prison shank and started threatening people by about the 1.5 hour mark. By 3 hours we’d probably be able to laugh about it, and be 5 hours I’d be giving all comers ink tats of their favorite basic shape, triangles being my specialty…obvs.


  1. My iPad! says:

    […] I’m so worried about losing power and being stuck on a bus in a snowstorm for six hours. Which really happened. Please never again! I don’t want to be on a bus with nothing to read but a crumpled […]

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