Wednesday, February 10, 2010


You know how people say that they can't remember it ever snowing so much? Well, this time it's true. We have gotten 36 inches of snow since Friday. We have gotten more than 73 inches of snow this winter. This shatters the old record for a season's snowfall, by more than 10 inches.

By any yardstick, we have gotten a record snowfall. So what does it mean? For us, it means a change in schedules. Our son doesn't have to go to school. He has not had a full day of school since last Thursday. And he won't go back to school until next Tuesday. Monday is President's Day, so the schools were going to be closed for that anyway. I went to work briefly on Monday, but my office has actually been closed since Friday morning. My husband's schedule has been unchanged -- he telecommutes, so no snow days for him.

It means a change in mobility. I got stuck trying to get out of the neighborhood on Sunday, despite being in a large SUV with 4-wheel drive. Monday, I managed to get out, but the drive was so treacherous that it took 45 minutes to go 7 miles on local streets. I got the car back home and haven't moved it since. Right now, our street is again impassible. We haven't been plowed, and there is just too much snow to get out.

It means being more careful. I did get out and get groceries on Monday. But we do have to watch things like milk, because we don't know when we can get more. We can't run out for bread, or a missing ingredient for dinner. We have to eat from what we have on hand. We had to stock up on water, and batteries, in case of power outages.

It means being more thoughtful. Both in the sense of taking care of each other, and of neighbors, but also in the sense of thinking before doing. We can't forget gloves, or wear the wrong boots. We can't forget to wear a hat. We have to think carefully about where to walk, how far from home we can go. We have to think about where the dog can get to, and how to keep him from making a dent in his healing process.

It has its pluses. Time is different; less frenetic, less scheduled. We have spent more time with the neighbors than we usually can manage. There is a sense of us all being in it together. We can't spend tons of money, because there just aren't that many places open. We are getting plenty of exercise shoveling snow and walking through drifts. I'm caught up on my reading for class. I have some time to read for pleasure. I've tried a lot of new recipes. I sent in our taxes.

I still can't wait to get back to "normal". I like to be able to get out, even if I have no where I want to go. I just like knowing I have the choice.

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