Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Libraries On Ice

Urgh. Another long and frustrating day, though this time I actually managed to get some things done. Not surprisingly, given how often it's happened in the past few weeks, I was awaken by the Acme calling me in at 10AM. This time, though, I said no. I wanted to get some things done, and I didn't like the sound of the weather. It was supposed to snow and possibly sleet later in the day, and I didn't want to be riding home from work in it.

After I hung up, I spent at least a half-hour laying in my bed feeling guilty. On one hand, there was the weather to consider, and the fact that my last day off was Thursday and my next day off isn't until Saturday. Maybe it was babyish, but I didn't think I could last more than a week without a day off again. Besides, I really wanted to send some Valentine's Day items and my stepfather's birthday present.

On the other hand, I really shouldn't have turned them down. They might consider me unreliable and not ask me anymore. When you need help, you need help. Not to mention, the extra money would be nice, especially since it's rare that I'm not broke at this time of year. It's selfish to not help people out when they ask. You can't think of yourself all the time. You have to consider other people.

I finally talked myself out of calling Donna back to say I changed my mind. I did want to make it to the post office and bank, if nothing else. I spent the rest of the morning after my breakfast of banana pancakes signing cards, writing checks for bills, and preparing Daddy's package.

The post office had a short line, but was otherwise no problems. The bank didn't even have that. It was dead as a doornail. I was in and out in less than five minutes.

It had been flurrying on and off since the morning, but nothing serious. I figured, since the snow seemed to be holding off, that I'd go do my library volunteering and run a few errands.

Big mistake. I ran into some tree branches trying to slow my bike while riding down the hill the Westmont Plaza's on. Thankfully, other than a few scratches on my nose, I stayed on my bike and my glasses were fine (the branches pushed them down when I ran into them).

The bike didn't wear so well. Much to my horror, I discovered when I got to the library that the wire for the back brakes had gotten twisted and popped off. I've been so terrible to my bikes. They're both getting rusty because I haven't gotten tarps for them yet. I'm surprised nothing like this has happened sooner. I'm a very irresponsible person. I should learn to take care of things better. (And of course, the area's only bike repair shop wasn't open today.)

Much to my surprise, the library was busy when I entered. Since the kids weren't out of school yet, I assume people were avoiding the weather or getting something to read and watch just in case the snow got worse. The librarians were too busy to talk to me or give me an assignment, so I just put the children's DVDs in order again. I was disappointed that I never got a chance to ask them about where they went to college and how they financed it.

The snow DID get worse as I headed back out. I made my usual stops at AC Moore (their Valentine's decorations were almost gone and there was nothing good left), Super Fresh (icing for the cake I was going to make the family here; also got some cardboard Easter cutouts for my walls), and the dollar store (Valentine's Day cards).

The snow had picked up as I entered AC Moore, and by the time I made my way home, it was sticking. It changed to stinging sleet and frozen rain around the time I hit the White Horse Pike. I stopped at 7-11 really quick for a hot chocolate and soft pretzel. (Thank goodness the Mint Hot Chocolate machine actually had hot chocolate in it this time!). I wish I could have stayed there. I slipped and slid half-way down West Clinton Avenue before I finally decided the sidewalks were too treacherous to be walking on and hit the street instead. The less-used Manor Avenue was even worse. The road was just as slippery as the sidewalk there. I was taking as small of steps as possible and still move. I touched a car; the rivulets of rain water were frozen solid. I was one big icicle when I finally got in my apartment. I had ice EVERYWHERE, from my green knitted hat to my sneakers.

Even my cake didn't turn out well. I wanted to make a strawberry cake and use up some frozen strawberries that were in my fridge for a while, but I put way too much water in the batter. The one-layer heart-shaped cake turned out well enough for me to frost, but no amount of baking could firm up the mushy cupcakes. I threw them in my freezer for later. I was going to give my biological dad, uncle, and their families and sweethearts' families a cupcake-cake platter, but they're just gonna have to settle on the cake.

Actually, I'm now glad I didn't go to work. Super Fresh was ghost-town quiet when I was in there, as was AC Moore. (The dollar store was slightly busier, probably because the kids had just gotten out of school at that point and were fishing around the store for cheap candy and junk.) At any rate, I suspect the Acme may have ended up not needing me anyway. Less than a half-hour after I finally got home, my porch was a sheet of solid ice. It started raining around 10, and while it isn't quite as bad as in the evening, it's still pretty icy out there.

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