The blizzard that wasn’t. December 2009. My friends were waiting for me in DC. It was a quick hop; get on the plane if my legs would carry me, although it’s not so much the legs that were the problem as the will. The want was there, but sometimes that’s not enough.

“I can’t take the train?”

“It’s only two days.”

“I don’t want the little plane.”

“It’s a jet.”

“It’s not. I googled it.”


“Fine. I’ll be there tomorrow.”

Happy messages appear on my voicemail while I slept.

5 AM comes way too soon. It seems silly to pack the kids just to drop me off, but –

There is practically no one at the airport. It’s 5AM.

I kiss everyone goodbye and they pull away from the curb.

Can’t I change my mind? It’s dark and they say the weather will be bad. How will I even get home tomorrow?

Inside I hand the ticket clerk my papers and she smiles.

“That flight’s cancelled. Three feet of snow.”
I look out the window at the bare ground, the sun coming up and look back to her as if she’s crazy.

“DC. Three feet of snow. Airports are closed.”

“But it never snows in DC.”

She shrugs. “Do you want a refund? You were coming back tomorrow anyway.”

“Sure. A refund is good.”

I call my husband. He hasn’t gotten too far and he comes back. I guess we’ll have breakfast.

I leave messages. Sorry, can’t come. I don’t tell them that I am grateful not to get on a tiny airplane in December to land in the snow.

“Oh, poor Karen. What will you do snowbound with the little ones?”

“Snowbound? No. That’s just DC and Virginia. We have no snow. I’m going shopping.”

My shovel is dry.

I think Virginia got almost if not more than 100 inches of snow that year. Actually, I do know. Because I got every whiny phone call with each flake landing. I think he cried once. Record breaking snow.

I think we broke records here too – for least amount of snow.