Snow Day in Somers

The weather forecast was mostly right this time around; they were predicting between 3 and 10 inches of snow for Westchester County, starting around 4am and going into the afternoon. I had an 8:30am meeting in Somers, so I went to bed with a feeling of unease.

The alarm went off at 6, and I turned on the TV. Naturally, the weather was the top story — Channel 4 kept showing the situation in Mt. Kisco, about halfway from my hotel to Somers, and it was not encouraging. Snow was falling at about an inch an hour and visibility was limited.

After breakfast, I checked with my colleagues to make sure that the meeting was still on; it was, and I set out from the hotel at 7:30 for what would usually be a 25 minute drive.

Of course, I forgot that I’d have to clean off the car. So by the time I actually got behind the wheel, it was 7:45.

It was snowing hard; most of the traffic on I-684 was going the other way. Very slowly. There were a few other cars going North with me — some were driving much more slowly than conditions warranted, and so I had to pass them. With no lanes really clear, that was tricky, but every so often, there were stretches with two of the three lanes passable, so I was able to pass safely. And I entered the building right at 8:30, along with one of my local colleagues.

All but one person actually made it to the meeting in person, including the executive to whom we were presenting. We were among the few IBMers who were in the building — most people chose to stay home and telecommute. Of course, the cafeteria people had had to come in, so coffee was available. But there were, perhaps, 50 cars in the parking lot for Building 4 instead of the usual 400 or so.

The meeting went well, but I was somewhat distracted at times looking out the window. Normally, I could see three other Somers buildings from that conference room, but there were times today when I could barely see one.

The meeting ended a few minutes after 10, and then some of us stayed for a postmortem and weather discussion (three of us were hopeful of flying home; one from Newark to Frankfurt, one from LaGuardia to Tallahassee, and me from JFK to San Jose). As we talked, the snow slowed. We finally broke for lunch at 11:45. There was no line in the cafeteria, needless to say.

By the time we finished lunch, the sun was out! So I walked out to my car, removed the snow, and headed to the airport. There was a lot of snow on the roads until I got into the Bronx — after that, all I had to worry about was wet pavement and a messy windshield. And as I was merging from the Cross-Island onto the Belt, I was passed by an idiot driving 80; the world was back to normal.

I’ve been sitting in the JetBlue terminal for nearly two hours already. All indications have my flight home operating on time, but it’s Friday at JFK, so my optimism is tempered. It’s been a good trip, but I’m definitely ready for the weekend!

Shabbat Shalom!