I am sitting in my small but functional kitchen listening to the sounds of the television playing in the other room, while trying to finish my second morning coffee.
The weather report is talking about the snow storm that struck in the night. Before retiring last night there where warnings of today’s impending storm. Glancing up over the rim of my cup at the Affordadollar store clock that is hanging crooked on a small nail left in the wall from earlier renter, I check the time.
Thinking that it might be better not to retrieve my car from its nice and warm underground parking spot, I find myself searching my memory for the bus and subway lines I will need to take to get downtown in time for my appointment.
I finish up the last bit of my now cold morning coffee, then place empty cup in the sink. I peek out the kitchen window to check how the storm is developing. I can no longer see the founders fountain in the park, as the storm tightens its grip around us. I wonder if my schedule will be workable in all this snow.
I head back to the living room, walking by a television that seems stuck on just one channel these days, was a red background ticker scrolling information about the storm. I paused for a moment as I started wrapping myself with my winter hat, coat, scarf and fur-lined boots, watching to see if there was anything that could affect my trip.
Blindly reaching over to grab my purse while still trying to follow the weather information on the TV, I end up knocking it to the floor sending everything inside flying. As I gather up my wallet I glance at my driver’s license seeing how red my hair looked then. It has faded to being more and more white over the last few years making me remember all the times during her golden years that my mom quipped about snow on the roof.
I finish stuffing everything back into my purse and click off the TV before I quickly head out the doorway and down the stairs to the street. A blast of cold air hits me in the face giving me feeling of how tight of a grip this storm holds on the city.
The streets are full of hardly moving cars, pedestrians walk on the sidewalks slipping and sliding their way their destinations. As I slowly make my way past the corner convenience store I notice bare shelves. Bead and milk have become the must haves of snowstorm survival.
Clutching my purse as I walk, I can’t help but to notice with amazement how others are handling the storm. Children pulling their sleds behind them. Mr. Green, one of the street store owners is shoveling the sidewalk for people to have safe entrance to and from his hardware store. It is slow going but luckily the next corner is where my bus stop is. I will need to take a bus and two subways as I work my way into downtown. I reach the stop and begin waiting on the #9 bus.
We were entertained by watching two men standing by their vehicles in the intersection screaming at each other to get their stuck cars out of each others way. It is truly sad how many people seem to lose all patience with their fellow-man in times like these.
It seemed like no time until to my amazement the #9 bus made its way down the snow-covered street and came to a shuddering sliding stop in front of us. As always I use my metro bus pass to pay the fare. Placing it on the touch pad it sounded out a beep as the red lights changes to a welcoming green. Sitting on the bus gives me time to read, and I keep a book in my purse to help pass the time. After going a few slow but steady blocks, the bus comes to the terminal.
I stand and work my way off the bus. I pause on the not yet clear sidewalks to give an elderly homeless woman some loose change before making my way to entrance to the subway. Sliding my metro card again on the touch pad, the light flashes from red to green. I merge into the crowd and head down the stairs to the red line.
I ride the red line for 3 stops before connecting with the green line. Switching in the green line station, I ride for another 6 stops bringing me into the downtown area for my appointment.
Getting off at my last stop, I head back up to street level. I can see just why everyone secured their rations of bread and milk. This is turning into a winter storm that will bring any city to a stand still.
I walk down the snow-covered sidewalk past the Affordadollar, and up to the Department of Motor Vehicles on the corner where I have my appointment.
You see I had received a notice saying I needed to have a medical check done before I could get my soon to expire driver’s license renewed.
Entering the elevator in the lobby, I take it to the 9th floor listening to the Muzak as it rises. Exiting the elevator I walked up to the counter to check in for my appointment. I handed over to the woman at the counter my ready to expire drivers license. Thinking I had been running behind due to the nasty winter storm, I just stood there in amazement when I discovered that I had 2 hours till it was time for my appointment. I laughed as I remembered that my Affordadollar wall clock had stopped and was in need of a new battery. The receptionist asked me to have a seat, and if there was a cancellation that they would try to work me in sooner.
Sitting there I looked inside my purse to find the list on a small piece of paper now just behind my metro card. It reads the following: stop by Mr. Greens hardware store and restock a needed 9 volt battery needed for my Affordadollar clock, plus a $2.00 coupon for the #99 red hair dye at the Affordadollar. It hit me then, these where my two items needed as my snow storm survival must haves.
The receptionist calls out, “Ms. Babs Everlast, we can see you now for your appointment!”