For the second time in less than a week, Mid-Missourians have found themselves either struggling to get to work or snowbound at home.
For some, the experience is a welcome respite from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life; for others, digging out is a burdensome nuisance and can even pose some danger.
Robyn Baylous, who operates a day care from her home south of Ashland, was up at dawn to clear her driveway. But when three of her four clients canceled, Baylous made a decision to close for the day. "Which is nice," she said.
As Baylous cleared the drive, her 5-year-old daughter, Bradie, played alongside. The snow piled nearby was deep and so the two sat down in it. "It made a perfect-sized couch," Baylous said.
The young mother had hoped to spend the rest of the day creating some domestic bliss, but that plan was scuttled when the power went out at 11:40 a.m. "There won't be any baking," Baylous lamented. "It's a good thing I laid some pork chops out because it looks like my husband is going to get a chance to barbecue."
Tom Kruckemeyer, an economist with the Missouri Budget Project, normally works from home, but left his house early Tuesday to take his wife to work. "The main streets are passable," he reported at mid-morning Tuesday. "But if you don't really have to go anywhere, it's a good day not to," he said.
Kruckemeyer was more apprehensive about suffering through a power outage than shoveling out his driveway. Last week, he hired a local teen to shovel away the white stuff. "But the snow is all back. I want a rebate!" he joked. "Where's my warranty?"
Elonda Kush Blanchard, a Jefferson City resident who works as the preschool director at Noah's Ark, was enjoying a quiet day at home. Other than a little bit of cleaning, some exercise and pulling together some classroom management tips for one of her new employees, Blanchard sounded delighted to be home for the day.
"We weren't sure if we should close," Blanchard said. "But, in the end, we decided to do what the public schools would. So, we're closed down for the day."
Jefferson City's school children were thrilled to be off school.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Julia, Jonathan and Eddie Gill - 10, 13 and 17 years old, respectively - and their friend, 11-year old Shantell Devins, had just made a pit stop at Mr. Convenience for snacks and energy drinks when they stopped in an alley way to chat. They said they had spent the day throwing snowballs, playing outside and shoveling snow to make pocket money.
"It's fun," said Julia Gill. "I like the snow because it keeps me out of school."
A few blocks away, Joseph Kisabo and Simon Makanda were helping their friend, Heraclite Bikumbu, clear snow from around his vehicle so he could return to class at Lincoln University on Wednesday. All three men are natives of Congo, a country with a tropical climate. "I'm very adapted to my native climate," Bikumbu said. "But we try to integrate ourselves to this climate. We try to keep ourselves warm by moving around."
Kisabo was happy to help his friend. "It's a pleasure to help people," he said.