Posted tagged ‘storm’

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?

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

March 14, 2017


Today is miserable. The snow started early. When I first woke up at 9, I checked out the window and saw snow blowing north to south. I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 10, it had just started raining. I went out to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. Gracie was with me on her leash. She hated it and looked beaten walking close to the ground with her ears down. The street was pure slush, snow topped by rain. I left footprints right down to the street. Gracie finally peed then ran to the door. She should have stayed out as I know she still has more to do, but I wanted in as well. I was soaked. Later she wanted out again but didn’t take the plunge. The wind was ferocious so Gracie just backed into the house. We did that twice, both to no avail. She is sleeping now. I hope she enjoys her nap. My hair is still wet.

The first load of laundry is in the dryer. I threw the bags down the cellar stairs last night so I wouldn’t have to look at them anymore. This morning I decided to bite the bullet and do the laundry. I found a missing gray sock on the floor in front of the dryer so I reunited the pair. Two other socks wait for partners. I first thought them a pair but realized in the light one is black and the other dark blue. There must be another exact pair in today’s laundry.

On the Peace Corps Ghana Facebook page are pictures of current trainees doing their laundry. They are all sitting on the porch edge with buckets of clothes in front of them. Clean laundry hangs on lines behind them. I got a chuckle out of that bucket brigade. All through training, my group found Ghanaian women to pay to do our laundry. During the first two weeks of training, the women were from Winneba where we were staying. You gave laundry to them one day, and it came back the next, ironed and folded. The only exception was undergarments. Those we had to wash ourselves. I hated bucket laundry. In retrospect, I figure maybe a smidgeon of that feeling is responsible for two bags of laundry sitting in the hall for nearly a week. Maybe, though, it is just laziness, but I suspect running out of clean undergarments forced my hand and prompted my memories.

“…disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business….”

March 13, 2017

Today is bright and sunny and will even reach 34˚, but I’m not taken in, not beguiled by the brilliance of the sun. I’m on to Mother Nature and her tricks. I know all that sunlight is just a cover for what’s coming: more snow. This time, though, we’ll get less. The Boston area will get clobbered with up to 2 feet while down here we’ll only get 2-4 inches, a mixture of snow and rain. For some strange reason, though, I feel cheated. I’m thinking it should rain or snow. A combination is just a mess. Mother Nature should know better.

All my icicles are melting in the sun. I can hear the drops. The road is wet from melting snow. Along the sides of the road, small puddles have formed from the piles left by the plows. I just hope all that water doesn’t freeze.

I loud bang accompanied by the sound of a howling cat woke me up this morning. I figured the bang was a falling icicle. The cat howls every morning so nothing was wrong. I rolled over and slept another hour.

My dance card is totally empty for the week. The meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. I have a to-do list which still includes my laundry which is still leaning against the cellar door. I guess I’ll work on finishing the list or at least get the laundry done. I admit I’m tired of looking at it.

I want some elves like the shoemaker had. I want to wake up to clean, folded laundry, the aromas of breakfast baking in the oven, and of coffee perking. When I get downstairs, I’ll find the table set with flowered dishes and a small clear vase with a couple of daffodils. The elves will have left, but I’ll see small footprints in the snow leading to and from the house then just disappearing.

Too bad wishing it away doesn’t get my laundry done.

“The earth tucked herself in for the year with winter’s cold, white scarf of snow.”

March 10, 2017

When I woke up this morning, I ran to the window. It was snowing though the ground didn’t look as if the snow had started in the wee hours when they predicted it would. The brick walk in front of my house and the street were still uncovered. They were wet. The deck stairs had a bit of snow, but it was easy going for Gracie and me. She ran into the yard. I swear she was smiling. She loves the yard. I checked the news: no school. It was a decision based on what might be not what was. They were right. In the nearly three hours I have been awake, the snow on the tree branches has more than doubled in height and the street is starting to disappear. I keep looking. I am drawn to the window by the quietly falling flakes and the beauty of the snow.

In the two years I was in Ghana, I never missed snow though on the hottest of days I did miss winter. I missed seeing my breath and bundling in clothes to ward off the cold. I missed the comfort of a warm house on a snowy day. Only during the night and the early mornings at the beginning of the harmattan, in December, did I ever feel cold. It was wonderful to have my windows open to the cold and to snuggle under a wool blanket to stay warm. It was in the 70’s on those nights. I still have my wool blanket.

Gracie probably has arthritis in her left back leg. She is now on three new medicines. The pain med will last two weeks while the other two are for every day and should improve her overall leg joint movement.

When I was a kid, Duke, our dog, never had regular vet visits. He did get a rabies shot as it was required but the town used to give them, not the vet’s. The only other time I remember him going to the vets was when he was old and was mauled by a dog down the street. His neck was torn open. My dad said Duke would be fine taking care of it himself. My mother said nothing. My dad, who was working in Maine until we could move, only came home for weekends. While he was gone, my mother sneaked the dog to the vets who took care of the neck and gave him antibiotics. By the time my dad got home, Duke’s neck was looking better and was healing. My dad told my mother,”I told you so.”My mother, the wisest woman I knew, said nothing.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 5, 2016

When I woke up this morning, I was disappointed. Where was the rain? Where was the wind? All the forecasts last night had the storm starting Sunday night or early Monday morning. I was eager for rain, and who doesn’t like a mighty wind?

The weather changed in the last couple of hours. All we are missing is snow. It rained twice for a total of about five minutes, and in between the sun came out. The wind is getting stronger. The oak leaves are blowing and the tree branches are bending back and forth. The trunks of the pine trees are swaying. People are always drawn to the beaches during weather like this. The waves are as high as 6 feet. The energy from the wind and waves is palpable.

It took me only about ten minutes yesterday to ready the deck for the wind. I took the clay pots off the deck rail, took down the bird feeders hanging from hooks on branches and also took down candles hanging on hooks. I closed and fastened the umbrella. I’m hoping everything is safe from the wind.

Right now it is getting quite dark. I hope it means a rainstorm.

Today is a lazy day. My only chore is to bring the laundry from the cellar downstairs to my bedroom upstairs. The dump is closed today so trash will have to wait until tomorrow. I choose not to make my bed as I envision a nap in my future. Right now I’m watching TCM. The theme of the day is movies with devil or angel in the title. The Devil Makes Three just started. It is not a movie I have ever heard of before now. It stars Gene Kelly as an American serviceman in post-war Germany, specifically Munich. The description says he discovers a plot to revive the Nazi Party. I think it sounds like a perfect movie for a stay at home day.

The trouble with “weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”

January 22, 2016

The paper is filled with news of the weather and the Patriots. A snowstorm is expected here by Saturday night. The amount of snow keeps changing, but it appears the Cape will get more than Boston. The Patriots play the Broncos Sunday in Denver. The Pats are 3 point favorites which is nothing given their horrendous record in Denver.

This morning was sunny but the gray sky is back but not dark enough to hide the light. It’s cold so I’m staying home and keeping warm and cozy. Last night around 6 I went to the store for a couple of things. The roads were just about empty. The parking lot at the market had 4 or 5 cars, usually I have to go around a couple of times until a spot opens. Inside, most of the stores were closed, but I did manage to find some goodies including shrimp fried rice, clam chowder and a couple of cod cakes. My larder is well filled.

When I was a kid, weather reporting was simple. We didn’t have warnings about when the storm might start and stop or how many inches to expect. My mother never raced off for groceries like bread or milk or water. We kids always had high hopes they’d be too much snow for school, but we wouldn’t officially find out until the next morning when the fire whistle blew.

Meteorologists now do the weather reporting on TV. They follow storms for days and tell us what might be coming. They even know how much snow we should expect. Gone are the markers, the white boards and the maps on erasable boards. Everything is computerized, no more guessing, no more fire whistles. Everyone now knows when to rush out to buy their water and bread. Tomorrow morning should begin the onslaught of frantic people facing a huge snow storm and bent on filling their fridge with water.

“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!

“There are those to whom one must advise madness.”

February 16, 2013

It’s late, but I woke up late and chose a leisurely morning. The coffee was delicious, and the maple butter on my toast was perfect. Baseball news is back in the papers, and my Red Sox are not in last place any more. I hungrily read everything and know that David’s injury is getting better each day, Lackey has lost weight and the team is much happier with its new manager. Maybe spring is not as far away as it seems. Okay, here’s the truth: I don’t really believe that. It’s just one of those things I write to give myself a bit of hope, a small bit of hope. I call it my Pollyanna syndrome. Today is cold, cloudy, icy and a really ugly day. Spring is still on some island somewhere sipping on a drink with a small umbrella while sitting on a lounge chair in the sand.

Snow has become a four letter word. George Carlin could have added it to his repertoire as the eighth dirty word. Yup, we’re expecting 4 to 8 inches of the filthy stuff starting tonight. With it will come heavy winds. The Cape is the storm’s main target. The rest of the state will get a dusting or maybe an inch or two. Once I finish here, I’ll do my storm chores and errands. The feeders need filling, the trash needs dumping, and I need comfort food. Gracie and I will go together then brace ourselves for what is to come, but I swear if I lose electricity this time I won’t be accountable for my actions. Call it temporary madness brought about by s***.

The sky has an eerie color, a before the storm color. Nothing outside is moving, not even the dead oak leaves. It’s strange and disconcerting. I feel a bit like Scarlett O’Hara did in that scene in the field where she stands, raises her fists to the sky and says, “As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they’re not going to lick me! I’m going to live through this, and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again – no, nor any of my folks! If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill! As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” Substitute cold for hungry, and you have me.

“About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.”

February 8, 2013

Sorry for the late morning, but I met friends for our monthly breakfast. We worked together for years and are all retired now so this is our way of staying in touch. During breakfast, the snow started. The flakes are small and wet so none are sticking, but that will happen soon enough. I bought seed and suet this morning so I need to fill the feeders as soon as I finish here.

My car is backed into the driveway, the best spot to get it freed after the plowing. I have no reason to leave the house so I’ll hunker down and watch the weather on TV. I got a chuckle yesterday when I read in the paper that a weatherman calls it weather porn when people are mesmerized by the news and pictures of extraordinary weather on TV.

I still get excited when it snows but not the same way I did when I was a kid. In those days a big snow storm meant sledding down the huge hill on which we lived, building snow forts, having snow ball fights and, if we were lucky, a snow day. We’d be up early hoping to hear the fire whistle announce no school, and if it did, we’d cheer and get dressed right away to play in the snow. On went the snow pants, a sweater, the winter coat, a scarf, mittens, a hat and boots.

I remember the first few runs down the hill on my wooden sled after the big storm. The snow ruts from the sled’s runners were red, rusty from the sled sitting in the cellar all summer and fall. After a couple of runs, the rust would disappear, and the sled would go  so much faster. We’d hold the sled with both hands, run for all we were worth and jump on the sled, stomachs down and feet in the air then whiz down the hill. Steering was never easy. The front of the sled turned left or right but not very far. Hitting a snow bank was common. We’d hope to go all the way down the hill into the field at the bottom. That was an accomplishment. We’d grab the sled’s rope, usually icy by then, and walk back up the hill for another run.

The little kids sledded down the hill in the backyard. That way they were off the street and under the watchful eyes of parents.  Most had wooden sleds but a few had metal flying saucers which went wherever as there was no way to control them. You just slid down the hill, sometimes in circles. The little kids always walked back up the hill along the side yards so they wouldn’t wreck the run.

By the time we went in the house through the cellar, ice was stuck to our clothes, mittens were soaked, snow was inside the boots and we were shivering, but I don’t remember being cold. I just remember those runs as the most fun of the whole winter.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”

October 30, 2012

All is well here. Sandy left a mess of pine needles, leaves and branches but no damage. Even the lights stayed on, a phenomenon in these parts, though they did flicker a bit to give us pause. During the day I went out a couple of times to pick blown covers off the deck and put them back over the furniture. A light rain was falling so I had to be careful walking on the slick leaves covering the deck. The backyard has the most fallen branches. Half of the front lawn has disappeared under a sea of brown pine needles. Sort of pretty in its own way.

It was near the water where Sandy was the most devastating. The ocean was mighty with huge, fierce white-capped waves, and they, combined with Sandy’s wind and the high tide, dragged buildings into the sea and flooded roads. The paper this morning is filled with pictures of beached boats, damaged buildings and fallen trees. For the second day in a row, there is no school.

I went down my friends’ house last night for dinner and games. Mine was the only car on the road. I took the long way around and circled the neighborhood to check it out but saw nothing. Later, as my friends and I were sitting at the table, we heard the rain. The drizzle of the day had given way to a heavy rain. I got soaked just going to and from the houses and the car.

I awoke this morning to sun, but it has gone. The day has darkened, and the sky is filled with clouds. Rain is in the forecast. I’m okay with that as I have nowhere I need to be and nothing I need to do.

Yesterday I battened down the hatches and on the deck took down or put away anything which the wind could carry. The breakable bird feeders were the first taken down. The covered umbrella was leaned against the rail so the wind wouldn’t smash it to the deck. Later, I saw the bird feeders which hang off the trees swaying high back and forth so I went outside and took them down. This morning all of them were hung back on the tree branches.

The one thing I most worried most about was my palm tree. It is tall at 6 feet and too awkward to move so bringing it inside was not a possibility. Yesterday was dark enough to trigger the timer so the palm tree was lit all day and well into the night. Before the storm hit, I got a bungee cord and nailed one end to the deck then wrapped the other end around the thin, metal trunk of the palm tree. I checked the tree several times, and it swayed but never fell. My palm tree has survived a hurricane.

We were lucky yesterday.

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