Friday, January 18, 2013

1/18/13 The Snag

I had our escape from the Bay Area for the holiday weekend carefully orchestrated: I'd arranged early pickup with the teachers, I'd worked extra and prepared coworkers for not being available Friday afternoon, everything was pre-packed and ready to go --

-- And at precisely 12:50pm today, I arrived at school to pick up the kids, expecting to hustle them out and straight into the car, in a determined attempt to beat traffic to the mountains.

And was foiled by -- would you believe -- a school lockdown ?!

Seriously! I drove past a somber-looking Sheriff into a totally dead-quiet school, and had to knock my way into the school office. The whole school district was on "Code Blue Lockdown" because:

Dear Parents:

We were contacted by the Sheriff’s Department around 12:45 p.m. today informing us that they were in search of two unarmed suspects in the neighborhood surrounding the school. As a precaution they recommended that we enter into a Code Blue lockdown.

As per our school safety protocol, the school site was immediately secured with all doors being locked and students remaining in their classrooms. The students and staff handled the situation extremely well and during this time the teachers were able to continue their lessons.

I get that Newtown was a huge deal, but now any petty thief in the area can shut down tens of schools for an entire day. GREAT!

Fortunately, there were a smattering of other parents in the school office to pick up their kids for various reasons, and at least those kids were released to parents. After all, a school truly can't keep kids from parents.

I only had to wait for two kids though -- one of them had already found his way into the school office prior to the lockdown. Guess who!

But this set us back a very crucial half-hour. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered, but for whatever reason, we paid dearly in traffic terms -- not so much locally, but we hit Sacramento rush-hour traffic squarely. Every "lane merge" turned into a painful 20-minute delay, and what should be a 3-1/2 hour trip was stretched out into an exhausting 5-1/2 hours of driving time.

The worst part was having to forego my fabulous dinner plan of take-out burritos at Taco Station in Truckee, close to our rented cabin -- we'd have arrived with dinner ready. Instead, we had to reduce ourselves to Arby's just outside Sacramento. Guess a yummy junk-food dinner (burritos) as opposed to a gross junk-food dinner (Arby's) was a silly expectation on a heavy travel day. On these days, flexibility is a must -- but I never thought I'd have to factor in a Code Blue Lockdown.

Snags and all, we made it! And are now happily ensconced in our snowy Truckee cabin, toasty inside while the outside dips into single-digits. The Plan is to ski tomorrow, but to tell you the truth, if everyone just wants to hang around and play in the snow, it will be hard to argue!

We're all so happy to be back in the snow and mountains!


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