Image via WikipediaWe had a fairly nasty snow storm blow through the DC area last night. It was one of those heavy, wet snows that cause a lot of problems with trees breaking and power outages. We were fairly lucky in our house as the lights flickered a couple times but they never went completely out. My brother lost his power late yesterday, and it is still out nearly 24 hours later.
It was also one of those storms that cause a lot of havoc on the roadways. They expected the snow to hit pretty heavy right around the evening rush hour. Evening rush hours around here are pretty brutal anyway, but add snow and ice and it makes it that much worse. The local television news programs last night and this morning were full of horror stories about last night's commute.
Once again, I was lucky. Yesterday at about 2:30, my department head came around and asked everyone if we were packing up to call it a day. It was about an hour or so before the weather was supposed to hit the area. I left shortly thereafter and made it home by 4:00 as it started to sleet pretty heavily. It was a wise move, as the news reported total gridlock on the roads. There were reports this morning of people taking over 12 hours to get home. Several people just left their cars on the roads and started walking.
I woke up this morning and called into our office information line. It said that the office would be opening at 10:00 but liberal leave was in effect. I got up and started the process of shoveling the sidewalk and digging out the cars. Our HOA rules require that we shovel the entire walk in front of our homes, which I proceeded to begin. Then I started working on digging out the cars, starting at the front of them since the snow plows piled several more inches of snow in front of my parking space.
While I was working on digging out the cars, I could hear somebody singing as they were shoveling the sidewalks. As they got closer, I realized that it was a group of Latino men who worked for the landscape company that plows are complex. I knew they were Latino, not because they worked for the landscape company, but because they were singing and yelling at each other in Spanish. It was then that I realized that they were shoveling the sidewalks of our complex, not the walks from the door, but the walks in front of the houses.
This was the first time that I had ever seen the landscaping company shoveling the front walks of the houses. They usually only do work in the common areas of the complex, and we are responsible for the areas in front of our townhouse. I was a little perturbed because I had shoveled my walk, and the residents of the houses on each side of me didn't have to bother. If I had of known they were going to do the shoveling, I could have saved my self an extra 30 minutes of shoveling and concentrated on getting the cars out. Such is life.