Most of the interns had some kind of trouble as they arrived in Washington two weeks ago. The weather was relentless, and waiting two hours for your bags after a delayed flight is hardly a warm welcome. The “polar vortex” quickly followed. Our first day, we trudged out in temperatures beyond anything this Florida gal had ever experienced, and when the arctic temperatures subsided, I realized what the weather would be like in the ninth circle of hell: freezing drizzle.
So there was a lot of that: complaining about the weather. What we didn’t do, though, was let it stop us from telling stories. I had the opportunity to watch Sen. Marco Rubio, D-Fla., deliver a speech on the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. I had been inside the Capitol before, had met Rubio many times and knew some of the reporters in the room. I was back in Washington, and it felt great.
A stark contrast was the walk to Union Station, about a half mile away, when I snapped some shots for our office photo contest. I don’t have much experience with frostbite, but when you have trouble clicking the camera shutter because you can’t feel your index finger, it’s time to go inside.
In many ways, learning to deal with inclement weather was one of the major themes of the week. Whether it was standing in freezing rain to go through security at the Dirksen Senate Office building, or learning to avoid walking on bricks when the ground is frozen (they’re more likely to be icy than a concrete sidewalk), I can confidently call myself a reporter, rain or shine.
And by the way, it wasn’t just me citing the weather for hardship last week. For my first story with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, I wrote about the December jobs report, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unusually cold weather was blamed for job losses in the construction industry.
In life, things tend to come full circle. Tuesday I covered an event at the White House, where President Barack Obama hosted the Miami Heat following another championship win. My Miami Heat brought warmth with them. Because yes, I miss the Miami heat.