Posted tagged ‘blizzard’

Tuesday Before the Lights Went Out!!

March 14, 2018

This storm is horrific. Branches banging against my window woke me up. I ran to look out and to check the backyard and the deck. The snow is so heavy it has the tree branches on the huge oak tree in my yard bent and hanging over the deck to my window. If any tree goes down, it will be that one, and I think it will be a catastrophe given where it is hanging. My electricity keeps going out. It has come back on each time, but the frequency of the outage is getting more intense. My cable, internet and phone go down. My cell phone had no service. I think in this world of instant communication, I have never felt as isolated.

We don’t have much snow yet. When I went to bed at 2, it was pouring, loud rain on the roof pouring. That was as predicted. I don’t know when the rain turned to snow, but it is a wet, heavy snow. According to the predictions, the biggest amount of snow has yet to come. It is snowing around 3 inches an hour. I don’t mind the snow so much. It is the wind which is scary.

The combination of wind and the rate of falling snow have caused this storm to be rated as an official blizzard.

I don’t know if the papers were delivered. I’m stuck reading the Globe and Cape Times on line, if I can. I don’t find that satisfying at all.

J. R. Rowling needs to sue Betsy DeVos who has usurped the characteristics of Dolores Umbridge, a character from the Harry Potter books. First of all, their positions are much the same. One is the Secretary of Education. The other was the Headmistress at Hogwarts who had enormous power over the students, teachers, and the curriculum. Like DeVos, Dolores had no background in education. Both are protected by men in power: DeVos has Trump while Dolores has the Minister of Magic. DeVos is probably the most disliked of Trump’s cabinet members, and Umbridge was detested by not only the students but also the staff. In the 60 Minutes interview, DeVos smiled at every question and her own answers. I found that creepy, and that’s when Umbridge came to mind. She smiled when exacting painful consequences on the students and when enforcing new, Draconian rules. That too was creepy.

DeVos, though, is the scariest. She’s real. She didn’t know the answers to questions asked by Leslie Stahl; instead, DeVos gave vague, often off-topic, answers and smiled every time. When asked her opinion, DeVos deflected and smiled. The worst was when she had no opinion. My favorite answer was when DeVos was asked if she had visited underperforming schools. Her answer, ” I have not — I have not — I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.” Did she visit a few by mistake?

I know this is sort of an off-beat Coffee, but I was an educator for my entire professional career. Listening to DeVos makes me cringe. It makes me afraid for the future of education in this country. Dolores Umbridge was taken by centaurs into the forbidden forest. Where are centaurs when you need them?

“Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem.”

January 7, 2017

The first thing I did when I woke up was check the clock then look out the window. The weatherman had said the snow would start around 10:00. It was 9:30 when I woke up, and it was already snowing. I jumped out of bed and got dressed to go outside. Gracie needed dry dog food.

The roads had more cars than I expected. Even Agway had a lot of customers. I didn’t check the grocery store parking lots, but I suspect they’re filled, and the stores are depleted of milk and bread. Peapod came last night so my fridge and cupboards are filled. I anticipated being housebound so I bought hummus, pita bread, chips, cheese and snacks as well as the staples. I have a bottle of champagne and plenty of orange juice.

The snow is supposed to fall between 1 and 3 inches an hour until 3 or 4 in the morning. My car is covered as are my footprints. Gracie slid down the last three steps when she went outside just a short while ago. I watched until she disappeared under the deck. She is a smart dog. Under the deck gave her a bit of protection from the snow.

I am mesmerized by the falling snow. I keep looking out the window at the flakes slanted from the north to the south. The snow on top of one big pine branch is sort of my measuring stick. It is double the height it was just a while ago.

Pine needles are all over the house. Most of them are still on the living room floor, but Gracie and I have carried needles on paws and slippers to the rest of downstairs. If I get bored, I’ll sweep then vacuum, but I’d have to be really, really bored. The Christmas decorations fill the couch and one side of the kitchen counters, but I just can’t conjure enough energy and enthusiasm to haul up the boxes to put everything away.

The corner is empty where the tree used to stand. The living room is dark without the glow of lights. The wonderful aroma of pine is gone. I hate saying goodbye to Christmas.

“The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.”

February 8, 2016

I’m not lying. I swear I saw a herd of reindeer romping through my backyard then leaping, almost flying, over the six foot fence. I tried to watch the them as the deer ran through my neighbor’s yard, but I lost them in the storm, in the blizzard with almost zero visibility. The wind is so heavy it whistles. I keep waiting for a train.

The larder is full, the animals have plenty of food and my house is warm. I’m happy to hunker down until this storm is over.

Happy New Year! It is the year of the monkey. We celebrated last night with Chinese food and then tried origami of the various animals of the Chinese Zodiac, known in Chinese as Sheng Xiao. We did the monkey first, and it seemed easy and even looked like a monkey when we were done. The origami dog, however, was a different story. We just couldn’t get the tail right. We folded and refolded the paper so many times it looked like an accordion. My friend Clare gave up on the dog and folded a perfect tiger. If we gave prizes, she would have won. Tony, though, wouldn’t even get honorable mention. He couldn’t even finish the monkey.

Mohammed and I had had quite the conversation around midnight last night. My Comcast e-mail doesn’t open. An empty page does. He said they were working on improving service. I think he said that as an answer to every question I asked. I wanted to know why everything on my computer worked except for my e-mail. Guess what-it is because they are working to improve service. He then said he hoped he had helped solve my problem. Nope. I asked again about the e-mail: same answer about the service. I then decided to get chatty. Mohammed was in India, it was 11 in the morning and the temperature was fine, but it was a bit humid. I do think we bonded a bit. He then gave me a phone number, said good-bye and went on to his next poor customer who will find out there is maintenance.

The snow will end in the late afternoon.

“Can you go cazy without knowing you’re crazy?”

February 15, 2015

The Cape has the only blizzard. Everywhere else has a major snowstorm. The wind is the difference. It has been as high as 65 MPH here but is now slowing down. The snow has stopped in Boston. We will be the last holdout. Bitter cold is coming tonight. In Boston the wind chill will be -30˚. During the rest of the week the temperature will hover around 0˚.  At the storm’s strongest, 4 inches of snow an hour fell last night. This winter has jumped from the 9th snowiest on record to the third, and winter is far from over. They are predicting another snow storm for Tuesday but a small one, only a few inches. The last two weeks have been described as an historic event.

I find myself talking aloud. I suspect it has to do with being stuck in the house with only the dog and cats for company. Gracie is the best listener. She looks right at me when I’m talking to her. She could be thinking I’m crazy, but I prefer to believe she is intently listening to what I have to say.

My Sunday papers are somewhere near the driveway. I am having withdrawal. When I opened the front door, I figured if I could see the papers I’d go get them. I didn’t even see the driveway.

Gracie went right out this morning with no hesitation. She really must have needed to go. She squatted then started to head for the backyard to finish her business but thought better of it and ran right back up the stairs to come inside the warm house. She is sleeping now, exhausted from her few minutes in the snow.

What to do today? Nothing piques my interest. The laundry is still in the hall, but I’m not so stir crazy that doing laundry has any appeal. Maybe I’ll watch a movie or read a book or maybe I’ll just stare out the window with glazed eyes and slacked jaw.

“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.”

January 27, 2015

Last night I was fretful and had trouble getting to sleep. The wind howled and had that runaway train sound. Gusts blew up to 55+ miles. I woke up every hour and checked my old clock radio to see if the time was still lit. Finally around 4:30 I fell asleep. When I woke up at 8, it took a minute or two before I remembered to check the radio. It was still lit. Glory! Glory! I have electricity. When I came downstairs, I had trouble getting the back door open. I had to really push to move the snow. When the door opened, Gracie took one look out then looked at me. I could read her question, “Do you really expect me to go out in that?” I closed the door. She was relieved. I don’t know how long it will be before she has no choice but to go out. I wouldn’t mind if she went on the deck, but she never has.

No plow has yet to tackle my street. The snow is drifting, borne by the wind. My car is perfectly cleared of snow. Last night it was covered. I can’t see out of most of my windows as the mesh of the screens has caught the snow. I watched the news for a while, but it is all the same, a rehash of the weather, live shots of some poor on-site reporter being buffeted by the wind and no schools listings still running along the bottom. By now you’d expect that every one knows the schools are closed.

I am not a fan of daytime TV, but Doctor Who, the David Tennant Doctor Who, is on BBC. The Doctor and his companion, Donna Noble, are in ancient Pompeii, on Volcano Day. The current Doctor has a major part in this episode. I wonder if someone remembered him when they went looking for the newest doctor. During commercials I looked in on the Lone Ranger, a regular on CoziTV. I like how the sets transition from real outside to an inside house. When the door is opened, you can see the fake scenery outside the door. A stagecoach was being driven outside on a dirt road. When the coach was stopped, it was inside. I laughed at the prisoner handcuffed to the deputy. His eyes kept shifting back and forth. He was obviously the proverbial bad guy.

We are only about half-way through the storm.

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”

January 23, 2014

The blizzard did not live up to its hype. The Cape Cod Times reports this morning we have 7 or 8 inches of snow here in Dennis though it looks like more in some places because of the drifting. My car had very little snow on it, but my back step had so much snow Gracie chose to jump over it rather than step into the drift, but she had no problem going down the stairs into the backyard as the snow wasn’t too high for her. Today is sunny and cold with a temperature around 19˚. Tonight will be in the single digits, but by Saturday it will be in the 30’s. Maybe I’ll even sit on the deck and catch the sun. I’d have to shovel first of course.

This is only our second snow storm so I suppose complaints aren’t warranted, but I hate how cold it is and how cold it has been from all those incursions by the polar region. Given a choice, though, I choose being cold over being hot. When it’s hot, there are only a few ways to get cooler, excluding central air of course. You can sit in front of a fan going full blast, take cold showers or go swimming, a temporary reprieve at best. But when you’re cold, you can bundle up, snuggle under a down comforter, layer or just stay in the warm house with the heat cranking. It is just so much easier to get warm.

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, the heat in the Upper Region was interminable this time of year. I’d sit in my living room reading, and when I’d stand up, my sweaty imprint would be on the chair cushions like the chalk outline of the victim at a murder scene. I had no fan so a cold shower was my only way to beat the heat. I’d take one just before bed, not dry off, go inside to sleep and let the air dry me, sort of my own cooling system. Most times I could fall asleep. During the day, though, I lived in a condition of perpetual sweat whenever I did anything. It wasn’t pretty.

I’ll complain about the cold now and in August I’ll complain about the heat. That seems to be part of the human condition, the complaining I mean.

“January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.”

January 3, 2014

The first thing I did when I woke up was check to see if the clock radio was still working. When I saw the red digital time, I knew I had electricity. After last year, that had been my biggest fear, but we are warm and cozy.

Some windows are so covered with snow I can’t see out. It is still snowing, and the storm won’t end until mid-afternoon. Everywhere else the snow ended this morning. My street isn’t even plowed. One plow went by early last night but none since then. I had trouble getting my back door open for Gracie who didn’t want to go out, but I pushed and out she went. It was then I noticed the back gate had come open and Gracie had run out of the yard. I yelled and she came right back into the house, a first for Gracie the runner because even an open gate wasn’t enough to keep her outside in the snow. I’ve decided to attach a couple of leashes to each other then to Gracie so she can go out the front door if she has to go. The snow is so deep it reaches to her belly.

The snow flies from all directions blown by the wind. We are still in blizzard conditions. The birds are at the feeders, including a woodpecker at the suet. I am glad I filled all those feeders yesterday. When Skip finally comes to plow, I’ll have him shovel a path to the feeders so I can keep them filled.

We are warmer than Boston by eight or ten degrees. I guess that’s the silver lining, but not one I’ll enjoy as I don’t envision leaving the house for any reason. The roads here on the Cape are not treated with salt, just sand, because of the water table so they usually have a layer of snow even after being plowed. It takes a sunny day or lots of traffic to melt that snow. Driving around corners is tricky.

I have everything I need to wait out the storm. It has to stop sometime!

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”

February 7, 2013

The morning had a bit of promise when I woke up around 9. The sun was shining, and it was cold but bearable. I put the coffee on and went out to get yesterday’s mail and the newspapers. I noticed much of the ice had melted yesterday, but, true to form, I still managed to find one icy patch and down I went. The mail scattered, and I whacked my elbow enough to make me yell; of course, no one saw or heard me. I stayed there a minute or two then slid over to the street where there was no ice so I could get up without falling again. I managed to get up, grabbed my mail and papers and went inside. My elbow was killing me so I sat on the stairs, held onto it and moaned a bit. Gracie came over and put her head in my lap. That’s just what I needed, a bit of sympathy. The elbow has a huge lump, and I’m sure it will be black and blue, but no bones were broken so it was a good fall. I’d give it an 8.

Snow is coming in what the paper has called historical proportions. Blizzard warnings are in effect in most of the state except here where we have a winter storm warning. It’s a nor’easter which could bring up to two feet or even more, up to 30 inches, of snow. The exact amount is still fluid as the weather pattern could change. Down here on the cape, we’ll have, for a time, a mixture of rain and snow so they’re only predicting about 9 inches for us. The snow will become heavy tomorrow afternoon and evening with 2 or 3 inches an hour falling. I have all my groceries, but I don’t have sustaining weather food: some chocolate or some ice cream (ironic food for a snow storm) or even cookies. Gracie and I are going to the dump later so we’ll stop and pick up a few things.

No mice in the last three days so I’ll have to check the trap to see if I set it right. If the peanut butter is gone, it means the mouse dined without being caught. The trap has to be set exactly right to work, and it takes me a while to do that. I find it frustrating though I can’t argue with the results.

The sun is back as is the blue sky. Mother Nature is giving us a bit of treat before the wallop. She does have an ironic sense of humor!