The Calm Before the Storm

2016-01-22 07.15.08I took a picture of the sunrise this morning. I hadn’t been sleeping well anyway, so I figured I’d just get up, even though the kids have no school.

Of course, somewhere around noon today the snow should start up and continue for about 36 hours. I’m not a big fan of snow hype – I like snow in general and this winter hasn’t felt like winter at all, given the unusually warm December we had.

Be careful what you wish for and all that, I suppose.

But this whole week has felt…off. Maybe it’s compounded by the fact that I signed up for this little Brighid course online where we are supposed to be looking for signs of Spring before Imbolc, and of course all I’m seeing is signs that we’re about to be royally dumped on by the Ice King.

The way the models have been repeatedly lining up and their snow total predictions of somewhere between two and three feet is unnerving. Usually storms are over-predicted and underperforming around here, or there is some variation in the models. But not this time.

There’s been this odd sort of tension that I can’t quite place, and I’ve been fretting over it all week.

If my current level of back pain is anything to go by, we’re in for a doozy. (On top of that, Maggie has been front loading her meals over the last week or so – asking for double or triple her usual amount. She’s very self-regulating, so I found that rather odd and was chalking it up to maybe a final growth spurt, but now I’m beginning to wonder if she knew the storm was coming?)

And it’s not that I’m a stranger to snow – I went to school in New Hampshire, and trotting about campus in 2 feet of snow wasn’t uncommon. It usually just meant throwing on another pair of long underwear or whatever and off you go. The DC area is a completely different animal – the smallest bit of precipitation coming from the sky usually turns drivers into Chicken Little, where they either try to drive home as fast as they can…or drive as slow as possible. Neither is particularly good, especially when dealing with frozen precipitation.

And I get it – if you haven’t driven in snow or ice on a regular basis, then it can absolutely keep calmbe difficult. Plus the lack of plows/road treatments/etc does no favors to anyone. Obviously places that see more snow have bigger budgets to keep roads clear, yadda yadda – but just because you have a 4×4 doesn’t give you the right to just barrel on down the highway.

I just don’t get the sheer levels of panic that seem to exude from everything. I mean, it’s not helped by the news forecasters telling everyone to run home and hunker down. (Why do people always strip the store shelves of bread and milk? Are you planning on making a lot of French Toast?)

Also, stories about how to buy snow shovels and ways to “bundle up and keep warm” just drive me up a wall. Really, if they want to be helpful, make sure people know NOT to run their god damn generators inside their garages without venting, because that tends to kill you faster than not knowing how to spread salt on your walkways.

Also, also? Why is there a run on shovels every year? Do people just open the door on the first day of Spring and go “Hmm, guess I won’t need THIS anymore!” and throw them away??

That said, the idea of getting over two feet is a little daunting, mainly because the chances of losing power go way up around here. Not to mention the side streets probably won’t be plowed for at least a week, which means school will be canceled forever.

There is something relaxing about being snowed in, but the romance of curling up by the fire sorta dies quickly if you’ve got no electricity and no way to take a hot shower. We’ve got two generators ready to go, a snowblower and a camp cooking stove if it comes down to that. I’ll be crockpotting meals as much as possible in the meantime just so there’s always something warm to eat (and hopefully with leftovers.)

And should we run out of bread and milk, I suspect we’ll just hook Maggie up to a sled and wend our way to the grocery store. Gotta have my French Toast, after all.


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