Seattle, WA

Strangers share motel room when storm keeps them in town overnight

Lefty Graves
SnowstormPhoto byColin LloydonUnsplash

** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as shared with me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission. **

I lived in the Seattle, Washington, area for over 25 years. One afternoon a coworker and I were discussing Seattle drivers and snow storms. About seven years prior to our discussion, the city of Seattle had received over six inches of snow in an hour.

For those of us who grew up elsewhere and were used to driving in the snow, this wasn’t a huge issue; however, for those Seattlites who had never driven in the snow, this was a huge issue. People were abandoning their vehicles in the middle of the road, in the middle of the streets, and on the highways. They simply stepped out of their vehicles and walked home or to nearby motels.

Although my friend had learned how to drive in the snow, she had taken the bus to town that day, so she couldn’t drive home. Instead of panicking, she opted to rent a motel. The only issue was that there was a long line at the motel desks all over town, and rooms were booking fast.

Most people were trying to call the motel while they were in line in an effort to secure a room. Strangers were sharing rooms to help ensure that everyone had a place to sleep. And that’s how my friend wound up sharing her room with a perfect stranger.

She and the woman in line in front of her struck up a conversation as they both attempted to call the motel front desk. They waited in line as well. Somehow, they struck up a deal that whoever got through first would reserve rooms for both of them. Unfortunately, there was only one room left, so they had to make a quick decision.

Since they were getting along well enough in line, they decided that they could share a room. The room had one queen-sized bed, and neither of them had any changes of clothes with them. This made it a bit awkward, so they both slept in their clothes.

They remained in touch after the snowstorm and are good friends today. Both of them keep extra clothes in their offices in Seattle just in case something ever happens again. My friend had never seen a city paralyzed by six inches of snow, and personally, neither have I (as I’m used to several feet of snow where I live), but the story is a stark reminder to those who have never driven in the snow to always be prepared in the winter months. Seattle isn’t a city that normally receives a lot of snow, so few were prepared. Have you ever been caught in an unexpected snowstorm? If so, what happened? We’d love to hear your story in the comments.

© Lefty Graves. 2023 All rights Reserved.

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington State.

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