Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Freeze Frame in H-town

(32-degrees and holding)

I confess.
I brought the ice storm to Houston this week.
Not that I want to take credit for it.

I was in Ft. Worth when the teeth of the storm gnawed a hole through the clouds and a torrent of icy needles were hurled across the north Texas plains.
Brother, it was brutal.

Woke up the next morning with my rent car looking like it had been deep batter dipped for frying. A sheet of ice fell away from the door as I pried it open.

My return flight to Houston was cancelled, so I elected to out-run the storm in the rent car. Finally caught up with the leading edge at Huntsville. There was a pack of us, all running along together at about the same speed down I-45, and as we crossed a rise, and dipped into a valley on the highway, our cars dove into the warmer, moist air ahead of the frontal system. We all turned instantly white and wet with condensation on the cold metal and glass surfaces.

That was Saturday.

Last night, the bitter chill pill was swallowed with a chaser of rain showers and ice chips all over Houston. Because county road crews had been ready, many of the streets I traveled this morning to get to the station were clear and if not dry, at least un-glazed.
I had no trouble commuting.

It was the same at the office.

We all arrived with wide-eyed wonderment that we’d actually ventured from our dens and made it to work. I thought it rather interesting, the mix of hardy souls who drove in, aware of the potential dangers, but showing up for duty nonetheless: Two pregnant women, a fella about my age, a temp and a part timer.

Sort of put the rest of the staffers to shame.

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