Never according to plan

Not that I think all my readers set up a special calendar just to track my comings and goings (And, I might add, if you do, there is something wrong with you and you should get help immediately.) (Why are you still reading? Go get help!), but 50 minutes ago, I was supposed to be settling into my seat at the Kitchen Garden workshop, the first of the day at the Winter Gardening Fair.

Instead, I’m settled in at a coffee shop in Coralville, waiting out an inadvertent snowstorm.

I should not be surprised. This has been the snowiest winter since I arrived in Iowa, and I have been amazed at how my body has finally adjusted—when my car starts sliding on a road, instead of breaking out in a cold sweat and beginning to whimper, I stay relaxed and just let out a steady stream of words that would wilt a tomato plant.

I consider this progress.

So this morning, I got up with plans to get out of the house in plenty of time. Plenty of time, that is, for a dry and cold morning, which is what the weather forecasts all said it would be. There was a 30 percent chance of scattered light snow in the forecast, which, in my interpretation, is significantly different from the reality forecast, which goes something like this:

When you arrive at your car, you will have to brush two inches of snow off it, but the windshield will already be covered with a thin layer by the time you get all the way around the car because it is snowing so hard, and then you’re going to have about a 72.8 percent chance of your feet sliding out from under you because the snow is on top of a thin layer of ice oh yeah oh yeah, and even the trucks out on I-80 are going to be driving 45 mph because the roads are allegedly partly covered but more like mostly to completely covered and why are you even outside, Genie, why, oh why?

That is the forecast I would have liked to have read. I clearly need to find a new weather web site.

I did give it the college try. I got out on the highway, and felt fairly comfortable out there, cruising along at 43 mph, following a four-wheel-drive vehicle that was going fairly slowly, at peace with the fact that I was not going to make it to Kirkwood in time to make the first session, when suddenly it occurred to me that it was snowing even harder, that I couldn’t even really see out there, and that if I woke up on a weekday and the world outside looked like this, I would email my office and tell them I was working from home.

And thusly and therefore, it made not a single lick of sense that I was risking my car, life and limb (although I’ve never been able to figure out why you need your limb if you don’t have your life) to drive to a garden fair in weather that would ordinarily keep me from even opening my front door. And then it occurred to me that there was a chance the garden fair might even be delayed or canceled (according to my sources, which I have checked since getting my coffee, it is not, but that is neither here nor there), and I would feel even more stupid if I arrived and was the only idiot to show up in the snow. And then there it was. An exit. With easy access to a coffee shop.

So I got off the highway. And I’m thinking, now that this is the second year in a row that winter has given me the No-Garden-Fair-For-You smackdown, perhaps I should learn to leave well enough alone and quit registering for this thing.

UPDATE: Snow stopped. Roads cleared. I’m currently sitting at the Garden Fair learning about birds and butterflies with Prairie Robin. Rock on.

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13 Responses to “Never according to plan”


  1. 1 Sugar Creek Farm February 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Aw, what a bummer. It’s not going to help when I say it’s doing nothing up here in this part of the state. Makes me feel better about not coming down for the INCA conference this weekend, though. Hey, try it again next year. Third time’s a charm, right?

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener February 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Kelli, really? Nothing up there? That’s nuts! This weather business is bizarre…

  3. 3 Moe February 2, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Only a little bit of snow here in Davenport. My wife went up to IC / Coralville this morning and the drive took forever because of all the snow. But, again, really nothing here just an hour east!

  4. 4 Jenny Litchfield February 2, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I think you people are heroic driving on the roads. News of your winter weather makes me shiver. I won’t grizzle again about the dust nuisance of our gravel road.

  5. 5 PrairieRobin February 2, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Yes indeed, it was treacherous going this morning! By the time I made it as far as Marion, it was equal distance from there to home or the Fair..so why not go to the Fair?

    I’m glad I made it because I learned so much about gardening in this cold climate. I’m already planning my big bird & butterfly garden. Now, if this icky winter would just end!

    Oh, it was really nice to meet you today!

  6. 6 Curtis February 2, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    We got a few inches of snow on wensday but that was about it. Its all gone today. I know this doesn’t help. I hate to think of all the snow you get there.

  7. 7 kate February 2, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    We live with much the same thing – weather forecasts are often completely wrong. At least you made it to the garden fair. Good for you for not pushing on when the road conditions were bad. Smart!

  8. 8 hotfessional February 3, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks this is the snowiest winter the Midwest has seen in a good long time. Enough already!

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener February 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Moe, I cannot believe what a targeted band of snow it must have been!

    Jenny, I’d take dust any day!

    Curtis, it’s ridiculous. We got another eight inches today!

    Prairie Robin, I’m so glad you and I made it and that we were able to hang out and chat! It was so fun to meet you.

    Kate, thanks — I was much more comfortable safely ensconced in the coffee shop.

    Hotfessional, it’s so irritating, especially for those of us (the mes and the yous) who are road warriors, too!

  10. 10 Muum February 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    We spent Sunday shoveling, ’cause we got another 18 inches of snow that day. blech. 6 more this morning, oh I wish I was at a gardening conference! pics on my blog show the driveway (where the snow is stacked about 8 – 10 feet !)
    yeah, I’m feelin’ like spring should get here now!

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener February 4, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Muum, we got 8 inches of snow on Sunday…I don’t even know what I would have done with 18! I’m coming over to check out your pics, because I also don’t know what I’m going to do with more snow — I already have mountains in my yard…


  1. 1 Not a member of the society of snow lovers « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on February 5, 2008 at 7:17 pm
  2. 2 Farewell, February « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on February 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm

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