February 03, 2011

Snow Day

I live in Northeastern Illinois, just a stone's throw from Chicago.  As you might have heard, we had a bit of a blizzard recently.  It's interesting how advanced weather forecasting has become.  All of the weather parrots predicted that the blizzard would start at exactly 3 p.m. on Tuesday.  And as I was out clearing the drive of the minor snow we had received earlier in the day, at 3:00 the winds started howling and the snow started coming down heavily; sideways and in sheets.  I worried and fretted for about an hour until Jan arrived home and pulled into the garage.  Then we could both relax.

The power stayed on and the house remained in one piece as the wind howled and the snow came down throughout the evening and overnight.  There's something special about that period of time.  You can't do anything about what's going on outside, and there's the fact that everything is cancelled for the next day and you have no worries about going to work.  You can just watch and marvel at what's going on around you.

Jan went to bed early, but I turned out the lights and wandered from room to room, looking out the windows at what was going on in the orange hued semi-darkness outside.  Even after midnight, in the worst part of the storm, I saw a car making it's way down the street and I wondered what the hell could be so important that they had to be out driving around.  At about 1 a.m. the man across the street came out and started shoveling his driveway.  The winds were shrieking about this time and every shovel he took was almost immediately filled in with half as much snow as he had taken out.  He kept this up, working like someone crazed, for about a half-hour, then he went back inside and his house lights went out.

I've been though two of the three worst blizzards ever recorded in this area and I still don't know what's worse ... continual 5 to 10 inch snows that occur every 3 to 5 days, like they've had in the Northeast this year, or one big horrendous dump of over two feet, like we had Tuesday night.

Things still operate when you get a bit at a time, but it works on your head gradually. All at once paralyzes everything and you have a shock to the system that doesn't go away real fast.  Particularly if you're an adult.  Because you know that you're responsible for getting yourself out.

Jan and I spent three hours yesterday clearing out modest driveway.  And we have a big-ass snow blower.  Snow blowers are nice, but they don't work real well when you're attacking a drift that's as high as your chest.  You have to knock it down with shovels and then blow it away.  So, after three hours of work, we finally had the driveway looking like this:

Great, the driveway was clear.  But there was a 3 foot wall at the end of it because the street hadn't been plowed.  At that point, there's nothing you can do, but go back inside and wait it out.  Snow is pretty at first, but after a day shoveling the shit, it gets pretty ugly.  I was glad when night fell yesterday evening, so I didn't have to look at the shit anymore.

Today, I'd like to relax.  But as a two person household, we produce trash.  This is where my trashcan is:

Somewhere On The Other Side Of That Door

So, I've got my work cut out for me later on this morning.  I'll wait until the temperature gets above zero though.

What's really discouraging ... and what you really have to put out of your mind, is that the odds of seeing bare ground again for about a month are slim to none.

Shit.  I hate snow.

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