My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Celestial Dandruff Instead of Dragons

Normally at this time of year I'd be writing about the FCC Chinese New Year event.  Over the last few years, I've taken lots of photos, watched the kids running around and having a blast just being kids, and even slung hash helping out with the lunch.

Well... welcome to "Snowmageddon II," everybody! (Ugh.)

We started hearing rumors of bad weather approaching over the weekend, with the rumors quickly morphing into a Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service.  Remembering the winter of 2009-2010, I began worrying about getting stuck at work -- and proved to be a better fortune-teller than perhaps was absolutely necessary. The Advisory became a Watch, which morphed into a Warning, and we all began to worry about getting stuck at work.

On Tuesday night, I reminded our Nursing staff about the company's bad weather policy and reviewed safe winter driving tips with several of the more nervous staffers, then returned home (late, as usual) and made sure I had all my laundry done. Late on Wednesday afternoon, I packed my old carry-on, then decided to add a little more "just in case" -- again, doing a better job of foreseeing the future than I would like before heading out to work.

I'll let my camera tell the story of the next few hours...

Wednesday, February 12, 10:49pm:

 Thursday, February 13, 2:49am:

 Thursday, February 13,  6:54am:

The three photos above were taken looking out the front door at work. What they don't show is the repeated trips out & back on the main walk with snow shovels in a (vain) attempt to keep it clear; I remember one 30-minute sojourn where we cleared the walk all the way down to concrete, and yet it had a full inch of fresh snow on it by the time we reached the other end.

I wasn't alone staying overnight at work; in addition to the Nursing staff, I had the Administrator, Director of Nursing, Environmental Manager, Nurse Practice Educator, two Unit Managers, and even the Activities Manager for company. It may sound happy & chummy, but the result was that all the good spots for sleeping were taken -- so I ended up trying to sleep in my office chair. Let's just say the key word there was "trying" and most definitely not "sleeping" -- thus my strong, heartfelt desire to head home sometime during the day on Thursday.

Unfortunately, my boss said he did indeed expect me to return to work as usual that night, and within moments of digging my car free & leaving the driveway, I heard a weather forecast for more snow and freezing rain expected to arrive just at I was supposed to be driving back... so I reluctantly turned around and returned to work. Then...

Thursday, February 13, 2014 6:29pm:

Finally, after another nearly-sleepless night (I'll admit to sneaking a 70-minute nap in an empty bed on Thursday afternoon), and some more shovel work to once again get my car loose from Old Man Winter's snowy grasp, I finally returned home on Friday morning -- and promptly spent over two hours shoveling nonstop to clear a spot in which to park.  Notice how, in the photo below (taken at 12:30pm), the pile of snow is actually slightly higher than my vehicle...

Of course, I had to return to work on Friday night, which I did after logging a total of slightly less than seven hours of sleep (and slightly over five hours of shoveling snow) over the preceding three days. This left me not only thoroughly bleary-eyed, it also left me worrying about being able to wake up in time to get to Saturday's FCC CNY event.  My concerns became moot later in the evening when AJ called to say the event had just been cancelled because the forecasts called for even more snow.

Saturday morning (yes, I really did manage to wake up before noon!) dawned bright and sunny, and I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe, everything should have been left as planned... until this happened:

So, needless to say, there are no stories of feeding lots of hungry people in a very short time, or of interesting items found at the silent auction, or... well, no stories of the FCC CNY event for the Year of the Horse. We're hoping we can attend a rescheduled event (or receive at least a partial refund), but for the time being the score is Old Man Winter 1, Chinese New Year 0.

Oh, well... at least I got lots of exercise shoveling snow...!

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