Sunday, February 07, 2010

Mercy Mission: Fail

I had originally intended to be a volunteer driver for the hospital during this storm. They are always in need of people with four wheel drive vehicles to ferry nurses and doctors back forth from home at times like this. I dutifully stopped by the security office and signed the requisite forms a full day before the snowflakes fell.

Friday afternoon, as The Big Kahuna was just getting cranked up, the security office called me. I was asked what time I would like to sign up for. Since my daughter was with me this weekend I had to consider a time that would work around that. The nursing shifts change at 11 PM and 7 AM so I committed to 5:30 AM to 9:00 AM. I was told I’d be called during that time if needed. When I got home I parked my truck at the end of the drive to make it easier to dig out, figuring that The Big Kahuna would really be hitting is stride about that time of the morning.

I figured right.

I awoke at 4:45 AM. I didn’t need an alarm. An incredibly bright flash of lightning lit up our bedroom and was very shortly followed by a boom so loud it shook the windows. It sounded like it hit the backyard. I could TBK hitting the windows and the side of the house. He was an angry storm

As I came downstairs and looked out the window I noticed that my neighbor Art was pulling out of his driveway. At first I figured this a good sign and that I’d have no trouble getting out too. Then he stopped. He drove about 100 yards up the street and stopped.

I suited up and went outside. Art works at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was trying to get to work. By the time I trudged up to his car he had already decided to abort. He said that the hospital told him to stay home.

I trudged back home. There was no way I was getting out.

The fact of the matter is that the hospital never called me either. I suppose that they were advised that any ride, even in a four wheel drive vehicle, would be ill advised at that point in the storm. That saved me the embarrassment of saying that I was unable to fulfill my obligation.
Sometime during those early hours of Friday, our street was plowed for the last time. A guy in a pickup truck made a valiant but futile effort to hold back the big guy . He soon retreated with his plow between his wheels.