Feb 1, 2011

Blizzard - Seriously

We are having a blizzard.  This blizzard was predicted, prepared for and anticipated madly for at least two days.  The kids came home from school early yesterday and joyously proclaimed that they were not having school today.  Indeed, the blizzard was supposed to start last night here. 

I stayed up until almost midnight reading because I fully expected to wake up and be in the middle of a blizzard.  I marveled at what a difference a "snow day" can make in your life.  We all remember the feeling from childhood of course, but as an adult with a job, snow days are few and far between.  If there is even the slightest suggestion that you may not have to get up and do that same thing at the same time, suddenly everything changes.  Normally I have to drink coffee when I get home in order to stay up until 10 pm, so "tired" am I.  Last night I wasn't tired at all and hated to stop reading even then, but I did because I knew there was the outside chance that the blizzard wouldn't come. Many years of experience has taught me this.  It may not hold true in your life.  I hope it doesn't.  But I do not count on "snow days" until they actually happen.  That's just kind of the way things go with my life.  I 've learned to roll with it.

I think I live most of my life under some kind of deadline pressure, only the deadline never comes.  It's just the perpetual pressure of what I have to do next with a clock ticking, ticking, ticking down in my head.  That needs to stop.  Enough is enough.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  DO other people do that to themselves?  Is it just me?  I know intellectually that there is no "finish line", no "prize", no point at which we will ever be "done", as long as we still live.  But I can't seem to shake the constant checking off of that list and the adding to it. 

So, this is one snow day that will not be wasted.  It will be treasured.  I give myself permission to take a break from the list and the pressure and especially the review of what I did wrong or didn't do at all.

I give you permission too.  

So I wake up this morning, nothing.  Not a thing.  It's just started snowing in KC and Joplin is already buried.  So I figure ok, I'll go to work and stay there till noon or it starts flying, whichever comes first.  Due to the delivery of the new doghouse, I have gotten my car back in the garage, and I am just reveling in the fact that it's inside out of the weather when I push the button to open the garage door and it doesn't work.  See what I mean about my life?  I shelled out the money for a new garage door opener last year and it has never worked right.  The remote almost never worked.  About 1/2 the time you can open it with the keypad on the outside, but most of the time the button works.  Not this morning, but most of the time.  So I sit there and keep hiting the button, which is my technique for things that don't work, and eventually, after stopping and starting repeatedly, it goes all the way up.  I back out the car, have to get back out, hit the button, repeatedly, again, and then have to beat it to make it under the infernal thing before I can even leave to go to work.  I was exhausted already.

So the great Blizzard of 2011 started about 9 am.  It grew steadily worse all morning, cancellations are rolling out of the radio, local law enforcement is advising that visibility is dropping rapidly and basically begging people not to go out, and still no one is calling off work.

I left at noon. I think most people did.  Eventually they all left, thank God, I do not know what time.

What I do know is that we had about 6 inches on the ground when I got home at noon.  If you can believe this, I got the car back in the garage and we battened down the hatches.  I changed my FB status to "let us put on our mother's aprons and cook it up!" and got busy.  I baked brownies, made hot chocolate and got baked beans and tenderloins ready to go for supper.   All this time the snow fell like crazy and the wind blew until you couldn't tell which way it was coming from or going.  We brought in the dogs and attended the Snowpocalypse on FB, ate brownies and watched movies. 

We just went out to check and see how bad it was (and I'm sorry I don't have pictures, but I tried and all I got was a wet camera), and we are officially snowed in, man!!  In front of the garage there is a drift at least 3 feet deep.  There was 8 inches on the porch, most of which I managed to get off.  You cannot tell, at the end of the porch where the steps are, where the steps are.  It's just all snow.  You have to step off and wait till you hit bottom.  The dogs went out and were up to their shoulders.  They had to make it to the street before they could pee! They were pretty excited about it and ran first up the street, then down the street, chased by my Youngest Baby.  He did not have his hat. gloves, or coveralls on either.  But you probably knew that.  The one concession he made was boots, and if he wore them you can bet that there was no other way he could make it off the porch.  He is short on preparation but long on dedication, and between him and me using my meanest voice yelling at the dogs to come back, we got them to come back home.  They had less enthusiasm breaking through the 40 feet of driveway drifted in 3 feet of snow. Never underestimate the effect that the sound of food being shaken in the container  you feed them from.  I recommend using metal container, as the sound carries better through blizzards and stuff.  We are all safe and sound, surrounded by food and many, many blankets.

It's supposed to go on into the night, they are saying.  I don't know when it will stops, but when it does, I am going to have to find someone with a tractor and blade or something to dig me out. 

I talked to my family down south and Neosho is reporting 18 inches.  It will be interesting to see how much we end up with.  I can't see either one of the wagons in the back yard anymore, but with it blowing like this it's really hard to tell how much is on the ground.

Enjoy the blizzard if you are in it.  It kind of makes you feel sorry for the ones who didn't get a snow day, doesn't it?