There are two ways to look at a blizzard like the one we had this last weekend: a horrible disruption or an unplanned vacation.
Your view has to do with whatever the snow and ice disrupted: if you were getting married in DC this past weekend, I feel very, very badly for you. And I sincerely thank the public servants who worked so hard to prevent disaster. For many of us, however, this storm leaned more towards holiday. One reason was that we were prepared. An early week unexpected snowfall of a couple inches threw our area into complete mayhem with dozens of accidents, hours of traffic and panic that helped us all prepare for Jonas. By the time Friday’s storm arrived, blizzard watch had turned to blizzard warning and everything closed down (yes, weather forecasters, isn’t it nice when you’re completely correct). Shopping started between the mid-week mini-storm and Snowzilla and the grocers and sidewalk-salt sellers were ready. Schools and work places mostly shut down before the first flake of the big storm hit.
The friends and family members I checked in with over the weekend sounded relaxed and happy they hadn’t lost power, and savoring the quiet of a shut-in weekend. I played scrabble with my daughter Sunday without use of a computer. We watched movies, planned our dinners, admired the resilience and fortitude of tiny birds faced with 40 mph winds (they know which side of the feeder provides protection).
We also met more of our neighbors than we’ve even seen in many of the 20 years we’ve lived in this location. We were all out of our homes Sunday, having “lived” through the blizzard part and beginning the long process of digging.
This storm brought back a memory from 38 years ago when I was a reporter in London, Ohio. It snowed for several days, but I lived close enough to the center of town that when the paper asked for a someone to join a “rescue” mission, I volunteered to walk to “disaster center”. A caravan of school buses joined trackers and plows to travel into the surrounding farmlands and extract families left with no heat to bring them to safety. We were told to expect misery and maybe some dead bodies. We came back to town with not one single individual: the farmers were hunkered down and totally prepared, resting by their fireplaces and glad to have a day off from tending to chores. What’s more, they were not about to leave their homes; most had livestock to feed. The storm had disrupted their lives, but given them a grand vacation.
Plows haven’t made it to most side streets this morning. And I know there are many grumbling muscles from hours of shoveling. We have a long waiting period ahead before we can easily go about our business, but many of us don’t even want that to happen yet.
–Genilee Swope Parente
January 25, 2016 at 11:23 am
Lovely! You were a sweetheart then …and now. Love your photos, too.