When I was a kid, a blizzard didn’t faze me. It meant no school, building igloos in the front yard (that stayed intact for months), sledding, tobogganing, shoving snow down my brothers’ coats and all sorts of wonderful snow activities.
We bundled up in snowsuits, gloves, boots, hats, and scarves and stayed out all day long after it stopped snowing, coming in the house only after we couldn’t feel our faces. Nowadays, when I hear the word “blizzard,” I find myself panicking and researching homes in Florida.
The Blizzard of 2016 had me a bit distraught, I admit. All the news stations ran almost constant weather reports from meteorologists who seemed to take a sadistic pleasure in scaring the daylights out of their viewers. They said things like, “Even worse than Hurricane Sandy,” “Whiteout conditions,” and worst of all for me, “Possible power outages.” (By the way, did we have power outages when we were kids? I do not remember any.) For me, a power outage means no computer, no TV, no coffeepot, no way to charge my cell phone. Terrifying.
So we went out and got supplies for the Blizzard of 2016. A half-gallon of chocolate marshmallow ice cream (for me), a bottle of wine (for my husband), Wheat Thins and blocks of cheddar cheese, milk, bread, half-and-half, rock salt, a new shovel and some soup. All set.
When the first flakes began to fall on that Friday evening, we were confident we were ready. We were cheerful at the prospect of a day to do nothing. Just lie around, watch TV, nap and recharge.
When we woke up Saturday morning, reality set in. There was a ton of snow out there.
Right off the bat, our dog Mojo urgently needed to use the rest room. I went to open our porch door for him and was greeted by about a foot of snow. After getting a gander at that, Mojo looked at me as if to say, “Number One, are you kidding me? And, Number Two, you better figure something out right quick or we are gonna have problems.”
So I, dressed in my full-length fleece robe and slippers, eyes barely open, shivering and swearing, frantically dug a small path for the poor creature to relieve himself outside. Mojo actually backed out of the door like a small 18-wheeler, front half in the porch and back half outside, did his business, and broke the sound barrier getting back in the house.
Every time a gust of wind blew, I prepared myself for the power to go out. Thank heavens it never did. We rented the movie “The Martian” and watched it while eating our Wheat Thins and cheese. We chilled out, read and relaxed. All in all, not a bad way to spend a blizzard.
Sunday morning, clean-up ensued. Ewing got, what, 24 inches or so of snow? George usually does our property, my dad’s property and two of our neighbors’ properties with our snowblower. Little problem this time, however. After he got done clearing our driveway and front walk, things started to fall off the snowblower. Like… parts. Important parts, apparently. Parts that are vital to, um, clearing the snow.
Now what? There was no way that we could shovel that snow. It was way too much, too heavy and just… no, we were not doing it. I ended up calling a friend of ours and asking him to do my dad’s property. (Thank you, Mark Breece!! I’ll love you forever.)
I called our neighbors and told them that our snowblower had basically gone on strike, given up the ghost, fallen apart, and that we could not lend our usual hand to them to clear their property. I felt terrible about that.
Sitting in the living room looking out at the transformed landscape, I tried to conjure up that blizzard enthusiasm I used to have when I was a kid. Tried hard. Yeah, I couldn’t do it.
I know that we live in the Northeast and the Northeast gets snow. I get it. But I am still allowed to hate it. And I am also allowed to kick our broken snowblower too, when my husband isn’t watching.
I urge you to say yes. Loudly.