It’s January 26. Write a post in which the number 26 plays a role. How about -26 C. That was the ‘wind-chill factor’ going into work on Friday. The actual temperature was only -17, but the winds picked up the light snow and shot it like a sandblaster. I looked out and saw there was only a little snow on the car, most of it was blowing around. What I didn’t see was the ice on the windshield under the snow. When I dusted it off I realized it was completely iced over because I’d gone out to Zumba the night before. The car had warmed up then the first snow turned to ice. It took me an extra five minutes to scrape and I was covered in snow.
I have a new job and have to drive on Hwy. 26 to get there. This is a lakeshore highway so the winds are fierce. It’s also a major trucking route being close to the U.S. border so there are lots of big rigs on the road. When the snow plow goes over it becomes smooth then the wind and snow polishes it to a glassy sheen. The salter/sander had only been on the opposite lane. My little Focus can get pushed sideways when there’s a blast of wind making my whole body turn to mush. All you can do is pray to God you don’t start going off course. You can’t brake, you can’t turn the wheel…. you just have to hold steady and pray. Then a big rig goes by in the opposite lane spraying the windshield with a salty frozen mush completely blinding me. I curse at the windshield wiper I paid big bucks for; a ‘really good’ windshield wiper so it wouldn’t miss in front of my face but it misses in front of my face. I have to crouch low, my knuckles turning white from gripping the wheel. I swear a lot at times like this. It’s a release from the fear and keeps me from whining.
It should take me 20 minutes but it takes at least 1/2 hour plus the time I need for dressing. I have to add another 10 minutes to my time just to allow for all my clothing. The uniform is black polyester pants with a belt, white button down shirt with black zippered sweater, (a small, pain-in the-ass zipper that won’t start), and the apron when I get there. (All polyester, except the shirt which is 26% cotton) Now with long johns and T-shirt underneath , getting dressed takes some time to get all the layers over-lapped properly and then get my boots and coat on. By the time I get there I have to pee again from morning coffee and fear but first have to get my shoes out my locker so I can take off my boots. The floors are wet from everyone’s melting boots; learned that the hard way. The coat rack is jammed with huge fat coats. I go to the washroom; again all the layers now adding the hair net, hat and apron.
By the time I get to my station I’m exhausted and want another coffee. Can’t do that, though, because I would have to pee again in 26 minutes.
It will be so great in the summer when it’s 26 degrees out and it only take me 26 minutes, house to station.
Footnote; it’s all true except it’s Hwy. 21 and my shirt is 60% cotton.