Snowmageddon

The nor’easter which hit the US and Maritimes recently reminded me that it’s the ten year anniversary of “Snowmageddon” – the storm of the century in my part of Canada.  A  raging blizzard so bad that a massive dump of snow closed the major highway for two whole days.  Police patrolling the area on snowmobiles counted 200 tractor trailers and more than 100 cars trapped in the drifts, but the unofficial count put the number much higher, with estimates of 1500 passengers stranded and 700 rescued, with many vehicles simply abandoned on the country roads.

The storm started brewing on Sunday. Snow squalls coming off the lake usually move, but this one stayed stationary dumping over 40 cm of snow on the roads with 70 km/hr north winds making for blustery driving conditions. A state of emergency was declared on Monday and the national guard was called in, complete with rescue helicopters to airlift passengers who had been stranded in their vehicles overnight or longer.  

Send in the helicopters…

A snowplow towing a school bus was dispatched to collect people along the route and bring them to warming stations in the nearby villages.  By Tuesday night close to 300 motorists had been rescued from the worst hit section, but it took several more days for the plows and tow trucks to clear the 30 km stretch of highway and start in on the side roads. At the rescue centres, residents of the small towns and villages were generous with food donations, blankets and cots and some even opened up their homes to grateful strangers.  

Now, it’s nothing new for this highway to be closed periodically in the winter, usually just for a short period of time as streamers coming off the lake make the area notorious for sudden white-out conditions.   I should know, as I drove to work in this region for over thirty years.  As an essential worker, I was used to driving in anything, but even I did not go to work that day because all the roads in the area were closed.   People who had detoured off the main highway soon found themselves on roads less traveled but just as deep with drifts.   Friends of mine took in a couple who were stranded in front of their farm – for two days they fed them home-cooked meals, and played cards and told stories and so people from the city got to experience a dose of rural hospitality until their vehicle could be pulled out of the ditch.    

When I was working, I dreaded winter.   It might be bright and sunny when I left home, but by the time I reached the snowbelt area it would be a raging blizzard.   If you didn’t go in you were home safe but sorry, as you would inevitably feel guilty about leaving your colleagues with a skeleton staff and a 12 hour shift and you’d make up for your day off with an increased workload the following day.  But I was a dedicated employee who seldom even took a sick day, so I’d go in and the drive would be predictably awful and my nerves would be shot by the time I got home.   

When I worked at a rural hospital, I was lucky as I drove in daylight. If it was bad out, I might leave a bit early to get away before dark, and if it was an exceptionally wicked storm I was allowed to stay home, at my discretion.  This would happen maybe once a year.  As so many of the employees lived out in the country, the hospital had a contingency plan where the current staff stayed over, and someone’s husband with a snowmobile could always be counted on to go out and collect the staff who lived in the town.   There wouldn’t be a lot of admissions on those days, surgeries would often be cancelled if the surgeons couldn’t get out, (once one of the doctors had to do a C-Section by phone when even the ambulance couldn’t get there), but the ER would be busy with the usual disasters that such weather always brings on – heart attacks for the snow-shovelers (best stock up on clot busters) car accidents, (hopefully minor, but not always, hence my anxiety about winter driving), and once someone frozen under the ice in a creek overnight (miraculously he survived intact).   

After I changed jobs and started working evenings, there was no backup plan.  I drove through everything as the only excuse for not showing up at work was if you were dead.   Snowmageddon was the only time I ever remember my workplace being closed, and that was only for one day.   Even my boss didn’t go in that day, having turned down the offer of a snowmobile ride.   It was one of the few occasions where there was nothing open and nobody out and about. The hospital was open of course, so it’s not like people were without medical options.   In fact, ER was doubly busy with all the stranded people who did not have their insulin/inhalers/critical meds with them.   And just for the record, this storm had been predicted – there had been plenty of warnings and advance notice starting on Sunday, so it’s not like it came out of nowhere, but some people don’t pay attention to the weather forecast.   I always had the weather network and the winter road report on speed-dial, and my emergency car kit would go in the trunk in the fall and stay there until May 1st.  Once November skies darkened and the flurries began to fly, my snow anxiety level remained on high alert.

Although I was some distance from the worst hit region, I didn’t have a snow day. I offered to pick up a shift for someone who lived along the lake and had no hope of getting here – she actually started crying on the phone, so great was her relief.   I only had a short drive and once I made it out of my subdivision it was okay.   It always amazed me how busy we would be on snow days, but I’ve reached the conclusion that some people just cannot deal with the claustrophobia of a snowstorm.  They must be out and about in the worst of weather conditions – to the grocery store to buy eggs, the library to return books – any excuse will do.

Waiting for the highway to reopen….

The next day, when the county road was still closed, I called my boss and told him I was not coming in.   This was met with a stony silence (and probably some degree of shock) and then a small voice….well couldn’t you come in later, if the road reopens?   It did finally at 4 pm, but no, I did not, as I would have had a miserable drive home in the dark, and there would have been no hope of booking in at the only B&B with all those stranded passengers. I didn’t even feel guilty as there was no thanks for helping him out the day before, and it’s not like he was by himself as someone who lived in town had come in to help him out.  The next day the sun shone and my courage returned, but there was hell to pay, as we were still backed up, but personally I’d rather be safe than dead in a ditch.        

We’ve had very little snow this winter, a few inches here and there, but no major snowstorms so far, although there has been in other parts of the province.   When I think of all those years I drove through hell and now that I’m retired, practically nothing, it makes me mad.  It also makes me wonder about climate change.  Maybe blizzards will soon be a thing of the past?    Maybe I’ll be like one of those old people telling tales about walking ten miles to school in two feet of snow….and reminiscing about the big blizzard of 2010. (Next week – Part Two – The Worst Drive Ever)

PS:   Does your workplace have a snowstorm contingency plan?   It seems to me that some places are open when they needn’t be.  Like the library for instance – is that an essential service?   I wish administrations would think about their staff when they make decisions, especially if they are driving home at night.   Even closing early would help.

62 thoughts on “Snowmageddon

  1. Kate Crimmins says:

    Most of my career was with an electric utility that never closed. I was deemed essential so I always had to go in. I had some white knuckle drives! There was no option of working from home which many non-medical people can do. You had to show up or not get paid and worse.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Kate Crimmins says:

        We had hydro but it wasn’t our biggest producer. We had oil and nuclear plants too. We were more likely to have lines go down with the weight of the snow or trees toppling them. I wasn’t in the departments directly related to that but I was in public relations which has to respond to all the inquiries from the media. When I moved into training, I had a meeting two hours away. I left my house at 5 a.m. I go through a tunnel to get there and on the other side there was a really bad snowstorm. White knuckle on roads I was not familiar with. Turns out the meeting was cancelled because the locals couldn’t make it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. avwalters says:

    I guess it’s what you’re used to–or rather, what your local Road Commission can handle. My American home town gets socked, regularly. Fifteen inches of snow (your snowmageddon) would get your attention, but not so much to interrupt the normal rhythms of living. Here, it would probably shut us down a day, but not more. We regularly get 8 to 10 inches, which is not a problem unless wind-driven, and then it’s a visibility issue.
    But this year has been scant. Our normal January ‘base’ (the snow that is carried through the season) is thigh-high. Now, we’re mid-shin. Climate change? Maybe. But normally in the el nino/la nino cycle, if California get hit, Michigan is light. A friend of mine in the California foothills just weathered a storm with an outrageous dump of five feet. So I guess our light year is within normal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I admit I live more in the “banana belt” part of the province, but I don’t think it was so much the amount of snow, as the whiteouts. At one point they had to take the snowplows off the highway due to the winds and the poor visibility, and the sheer number of trucks on that highway is always crazy as it is the main route to the US border. I never take that highway due to the constant stream of trucks, it’s scary sometimes. I often wonder how places like Buffalo cope which gets dumped with 90 cm storms some winters, cope, but like you said, perhaps they are used to it and better prepared to cope. It’s definitely been an El-Nina (which ever one is mild) here, but as I type this a winter storm is raging out there tonight, with howling winds and whiteouts, but probably only 10 cm of actual snow. I find the seasons have shifted – later longer winters, shorter springs, brutally hot summers and late mild falls.

      Liked by 2 people

      • avwalters says:

        I see the same seasonal trends. And we’re accustomed to higher snow dumps–though nothing compared to where my mother lives. I suspect that a pre-requisite to driving a snow plough around here is a mild case of craziness. They’ll drive in anything. Occasionally they damage the roadbed, or take out a tree…because they were driving in a white out and couldn’t see a thing. Somehow that doesn’t interfere with pushing forward though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jo Shafer says:

    Eastern Washington state used to get heavy snows, along with blizzard conditions, back in the 80s. Snow plows came by in those days to clear residential streets, leaving 12-18 inches of wall at the foot of driveway. Rarely did Hubby miss work, stubbornly “plowing” through the 50-mile trek to work with a van load of fellow engineer passengers, often taking two hours over hill and dale to the nuclear plant. The children, on the other hand, loved those exciting snow days at home — their lunch was a bowl of creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Ah . . . the memories . . . except the ones where my car seemed to develop a mind of its own on ice-slick roads hidden under thick blankets of snow. Once, we had to get out and walk home. The car wasn’t going anywhere; it was jammed into one of those road side walls and would have to wait until Hubby returned home in the dark — if he did.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      That’s interesting Jo. I think of Washington as having mild weather, more like Vancouver. It does seem like we don’t get as much snow as we used to, but as I write this tonight, the winds are howling out there and it’s started to snow, but only maybe 4 inches of snow predicted. I’m thinking tomato soup and grilled cheese will be on the menu tomorrow!

      Like

    • Joni says:

      I’m much rather have rain than snow….snow is just horrible to drive in. I guess if you’re used to it you adjust, but I don’t find the winters nearly as snowy as they used to be. Where you have drought, we have less snow.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. brilliantviewpoint says:

    My gosh, that was a storm. Makes our Chicago blizzard look mild. Glad we are warm and cozy at home tonight. Today we had rain mixed with snow, then below zero temps, so everything will turn to ice. Hate the ice, can deal with the snow. Thanks for sharing, incredible photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. annieasksyou says:

    Wow, Joni; you should have received a gift from your boss instead of annoyance that you didn’t come in the next day.

    I think climate change is just filled with surprises. We were supposed to have little snow this winter, but we had about 15 inches on Monday. Last month we had such incredible winds that three huge trees fell right near our house—one on our side of the street; two on the other. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the house near us was badly damaged and a car across the street was totaled. The area is cratered now, with no sense of when repairs will be made.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      The boss wasn’t much for thanks, but then neither was the company. It was very profit-driven, not a good thing in health care. He was pissed off, as like I said, the only excuse for not going to work was if you were dead, and yet he himself had declined to open the day before. I’m in central Canada, so we missed your big Monday storm, but are having a small snowstorm today – not too much snow but howling winds. I never sleep well when it’s that windy, as I have two giant trees on the neighbours lots. About 8 years ago, a 3rd one fell in the middle of the night and grazed the house beside it. No one was hurt, but the deck was crushed, and wow, what a thud it made – it woke me up at 3am. You’re lucky you escaped damage and no one was hurt.

      Like

  6. rkrontheroad says:

    In 2003, a blizzard dumped seven and a half feet in two days in my area of the Colorado mountains. Fortunately I was mostly working at home those days and could avoid traveling. That was a good thing because it was four days later when I could find someone came to plow out my driveway. Good for snowshoeing though! The major highway was closed and the elementary school in town was set up to house people in the gym.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Linda Schaub says:

    That’s amazing that Snowmageddon is already ten years ago and they didn’t mention it on the news. That was a big event – the news stations dropped the ball I’d say. I admire your fortitude in driving through Winter Joni. I always took the bus to work until Robb/I moved out on our own, then it was two buses to work and the City of Detroit buses were unreliable, especially in the cold or a snowy day and I started riding with someone in the building (nice on paper but didn’t always work out). I’d be a white-knuckle driver in snow … my grandmother died 35 years ago and the funeral was on February 1, 1986. My mom and I came home from Toronto after the funeral because their weatherman called for some snow in Toronto, but not even an hour out, on the 401 it started snowing very hard and I drove behind a snow plow for a long time – never again. A four-hour trip took eight hours and I had a Pacer which fishtailed like crazy despite loading it down in the hatch back. Bosses never think of their employees’ welfare – if they made it, why wouldn’t you? (Even if they were there already!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I’m not sure it’s much better riding with someone else, as then you feel like you don’t have control of the car! I’ve never driven on the 401 and wouldn’t even attempt it. Had some bad drives home with my dad when we would visit my sister and that was back when the traffic wasn’t as bad now. I wouldn’t drive in Toronto now period, they drive crazy down there, it’s like a video game. Yes, bosses don’t have too much sympathy, esp when profits rule.

      Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We used to go to my grandmother’s house for a four-day weekend. We’d leave very early here and get there, four hours door to door and 240 miles, but the last 20 minutes was bad for driving, congestion and we did not even pass through the heart of Toronto – that would be terrible in bad weather. We came home 402 sometimes but Sunday was less traffic anyway. That was a concern sometimes – I rode with someone with bad brakes and said I didn’t want to ride with her anymore – they squealed like a pig. She got her ex-husband to put on new brakes (then that worried me – not a mechanic?) No, it was not a good situation and the other person was never around half the time and was not reliable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Breaks installed by a non-mechanic does not sound safe to me either! I don’t think I could carpool, I’m too used to driving on my own. I don’t like to drive and chat/talk. I’ve gotten to the point where even the radio is a distraction.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I agree -I told her I was not paying to ride in a car that squealed as it needed to be fixed and she said that was the problem and her ex had to fix it because “I told him that your son rides to and from school in this car so fix it!” I quit driving with her as her husband was a security guard for the Detroit Art Institute and her mother-in-law was the Human Resources Manager. So, many days her husband would decide he wanted the day off, call in and that was that … didn’t get fired by his mom, the H.R. Manager. He “called off work” and so did she. She played rap half the time and when she didn’t do that, she had a Bluetooth and talked to some friend of hers the entire trip to/from work. I used to like riding the bus for the reason that I could read … a 30 or 35-minute drive twice a day, but the one-mile trip in City of Detroit on those buses was not that good. The morning went pretty flawlessly – at night, not so much and I would walk downtown half the time from work. I had another person to ride to/from work and he was not much better. I only have the news on in the car and I have found that the radio is a distraction in the house anymore. Amazon has free music, pretty much unlimited, songs or whole albums, uninterrupted. So yesterday I heard that it was the 50th anniversary of Carole King’s “Tapestry” – I played that album a lot back in the day. Decided to listen to it – it is really almost easy listening, but I had to shut it off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I could never car pool with someone who listened to rap. I hate rap. I’d like to listen to that Tapestry album again – I think I have a copy of it in the basement, but the old stereo is down there and it’s too cold to go down there now!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        And, if it wasn’t rap, it was talking on the phone … to me it was rude, but we had nothing in common anyway. Also, she listened to this morning show where the hosts were “pranking” people with stupid phonecalls. I hated it. That is when I started getting behind in books and magazines. I always read on the bus and hated when people would talk to me. I would get on the bus and hurry up and open my book so no one would speak to me. My internet is having issues and in the middle of this message, it has gone out twice. Sigh. You can listen to the entire Tapestry album here at YouTube. You will have to listen to an ad at the beginning, then it starts, the full album. There might be ads in between. I also loved that album. My basement is freezing cold. I think tonight is the first night I don’t have to go down and do laundry, but I’m going to leave the water dripping. Here is your album – enjoy!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Linda. Hope your internet isn’t being affected by the Polar Vortex! I don’t have anything out to read right now and the library is closed for renovations. I had 4 books out but none of them were any good, so I returned them through the return box, and now have to wait for it to reopen, hopefully next week. I guess we are in “orange” level next week – it’s so hard to keep up with it all.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I just checked what your orange level is … we returned to indoor dining just recently, but only at 25% capacity I believe. I can’t keep up with it either, but didn’t I just say we had 14,800 deaths in Michigan, just a few days ago? They did a records review and discovered 90 yesterday … our death total is: 16,018. That’s a lot. I hope the internet is not the cold either … it is constantly just dropping the internet and if it happens at work, I have to log back on. Plus we have to use Internet Explorer to log into work and I.E. is shaky. So much for reading now in this upcoming brutal cold … how long is the renovation?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I checked to see if museums are re-opening but it doesn’t say, nor on the site where mom’s art is up until mid-April, so I’ll wait and see. The curator said she would let me know. We had an increase of 30 cases today, for a total of 80, which is too high, so no wonder we’re in orange. We were in green, the lowest for a long time before Xmas. Monday is Family Day Holiday here, but library should reopen Tuesday – they were closed for 3 weeks to install new shelving, but IMO there was nothing wrong with the old shelves. They’re only open for curbside, but I have my project to work on, and Reader here, where I am behind again…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They never had Family Day Holiday when I lived there but it was a big holiday as it was the celebration of the Canadian flag. I remember that was school while I was still living in Canada – just Googled it … Canada flag 02/15/65 and no more Union Jack. I am behind in Reader and going to be there until ACG&S begins at 9:00. Walked again, shoveled and uploaded some photos I took for a Wednesday post and next week’s Wednesday post. I am at February 8th – I know I won’t catch up completely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I think it’s something Dalton McGinty the Ont. premier put into effect in 2007, as Ont. did not have a Feb. long weekend, like some other provinces. Most years nothing much is open, even the grocery stores, but this year with every day being like family day, I’m not sure. It was a beautiful winter day today – I walked in mom’s park and tried to get pics of kids toboganning (not too close though for privacy), and then took mom for a drive to scout out some bald eagles which are rumored to be hanging out near the ice floes – no sightings although a guy with a long zoom lens told me he’s seen 5 of them, but they were very high in the sky. I have hope though some other day. Not tomorrow or Tues – I’m dreaded the snow storm and hope we don’t get too much, but it’s supposed to be a big storm. Wow, you are behind in Reader…..I almost got caught up last night, but only because I don’t have any books out to read.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I did not know it was that recent of a holiday. It was beautiful yesterday and I got down to the Park once again on foot and it was better for walking as the sun was out, I left a little later and there was some snow melt in the street. I took the camera yesterday as well and enjoyed the walk … in fact I savored it as I knew a walk won’t happen this week, especially since we have this second snow storm, supposed to be comparable in snow depth coming Thursday into Friday. I’m dreading both of them and always worry for the power going out. Our snow started here around 6:00 p.m. and will continue til noon tomorrow. Our City has a snow emergency in effect from 10:00 p.m. tonight until 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night, so no parking on the road for the snowplows to do their job properly. Down at Dingell Park, the eagles nest in the trees on the island across from the shoreline every February and they come down to the ice floes to fish. I saw some photos someone posted on the Dingell Park Facebook site. This is the first year I won’t go there, mostly due to the snow that is no doubt here til Spring now, but mostly because it is a small pavilion area where the photographers with the long lenses come to take pictures and people stand with cameras and binoculars. No social distancing as it’s a small platform … I was there last year in February and my eagles looked very small. Next year hopefully is better on many levels. I caught up last night just before “ACG&S” began and was two days behind, but now three days behind but I think I’m going to bed early tonight … that 10-inch snowfall sounds a bit daunting. Plus running around with the taps and laundry. before bed as well. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I hope you didn’t get too much Linda. We got over a foot of snow, and my neighbour used his snowblower to shovel me out, as it was too deep to shovel. I’m having someone else do the decks tomorrow, as it looks like two feet on the back deck. At least we are plowed out now. More on Thurs/Friday but only an inch or two. I hope your hydro stayed on. Way behind in Reader too, but going to bed as my eyes are too sore to read. It’s very dry in the house and I use drops but they don’t help much this late at night. I do think the US has worse storms/weather than we do!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I have been nodding off tonight as I am doing comments (just comments, not made it to Reader for the third night in a row as I caught up so much over the weekend … not anymore … tomorrow I go to Reader first). Anyway, we got 8 inches of snow Monday night and it had drifted badly so we had one foot at least of snow on the one side of the house where the side walk/door is. I could barely get out the side door. I shoveled about 90% of it and left the rest along the house behind the gate and patio as that was more of the foot-high snow. I did that this morning and my neighbors did not remove their cars in the snow emergency so I got dumped on by the City
        snow plow since they could not get close to my driveway. That happened after i shoveled this morning. We have 2-4 inches of new snow very early tomorrow morning and through the day and then possible freezing rain on Sunday. It had been so nice until that first snow on February 4th. I think I’m tired from work as I’ve been busy and from hefting all that snow. I find the drops blur my eyes badly and the gel smears and then I can’t see clearly for a long time. I think you’re right about the U.S. storms – they said 70% of the U.S. had abnormal cold and snow yesterday. It got to -6 early this morning! Stay warm – no walks for each of us for a few days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I haven’t walked since Sunday Linda, I think you said the same. We had it seemed like a foot of snow – neighbour did the driveway with his snowblower, and I hired a teenager to clear the snow off the back deck as it was 2ft in parts where it had drifted, and I didn’t think that weight would be good for the boards. The snow even came through the very fine screen on the French doors too which I’ve never had before. I’m sick of it, but we will get more too over the next week, but maybe a bit warmer. I hope your power stayed on…..feel sorry for those people in Texas, 4 days without power. I think February has more than made up for the mild winter! Wonder what March will be like? I’m too tired to do Reader tonight – behind 4 days now.

        Like

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am doubtful I’ll walk until Sunday Joni, as we got more snow today and will have snow squalls on Friday which they say could put down more and make it slick. And now, the snow will be even higher at the Park. I can assume they plowed the perimeter path, but they don’t always do that. I may get down there and have a difficult time walking inside. I will try though and I am grateful for the warm-up next week. I got dumped on the end of the driveway thanks to the neighbors parking on either side (in a snow emergency yet) and I’m waiting for it to be milder to scrape away that snow – it is heavy right now. We got a foot where it drifted but 8 inches everywhere else was our official total here. I could hardly get out the side door and I had snow in the screen too and can’t reach it, so I have to find something to poke it out if possible. We had a nice Winter until that snowfall on February 4th and it’s gone downfill fro there. I hope March is not snowy or freezing rain and ice storms. They originally predicted a precipitation-laden Winter season. I went to Reader first tonight and am caught up until the morning of Tuesday, February 16th and then I came here for a few minutes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I haven’t read since Sunday 14th and feel badly about it, but am busy writing. Will get caught up on the weekend. I could walk today, but probably won’t – too cold and snowy underfoot. I think we may escape the weekend storm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I feel bad/guilty about it but I did not go to Reader today and am just doing replies to comments and leaving as it is Friday (my Friday two Mad Men episodes which I watch every Friday night and look forward to now). I saw it was clear in the street when I looked out late this afternoon so that’s good, but more snow overnight. I shoveled all the snow at the end of the driveway today and grumbled and gritted my teeth the entire time as I always shovel the bottom of the driveway into the street and the plow did this due to my neighbors on either side parking there even though it was a snow emergency. I hope we do not get a lot of snow and miss the ice storm Sunday and that the 40+ temps will melt the snow a little. It will be interesting at the Park tomorrow even if they plowed the path as I must step off to make my stops and we’ve had 11 or 12 inches of snow since Monday afternoon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I didn’t end up going this morning as it snowed some more (1 1/2 inches) and the road had not looked bad, but was icy and I would have walked around it. That was last night – this morning there was more snow and couldn’t see the ice and I have to wear my tall boots as I need to get off the path at the Park. Decided to wait until tomorrow, but felt badly when the sun came out this afternoon. I really like to go in the morning to be honest … tomorrow if I don’t go early, it will be in the afternoon for sure. We are getting more snow tomorrow night, maybe slushy snow, but still ….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I walked today for the first time in a week, as our roads were bare. I also went to the mall to return a Xmas present, as the stores just reopened last week in level orange and now on Monday we are stepping up to red level. All because of 40 cases at the jail? The mall was a zoo, as everyone had the same idea – waited half an hour in the return lineup, but I double-masked. Also bought another puzzle for mom. Was only there for an hour, but felt unsafe so came home right away.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I walked this morning for the first time since Valentine’s Day (unless you want to count walking behind the shovel). The streets were bare … the snow that was there yesterday melted yesterday afternoon in the sun. But yesterday morning I was reluctant as it had snowed and I did not know what was there. It was very cold, but otherwise beautiful and sunny and a blue sky. I have not been to a store or for gas since November 23rd, but will have to go in March sometimes to drop off my taxes. That does not bother me as I may be able to hand it off to one of the workers going in, but picking up the finished returns, I will have to bite the bullet and interact with people. That day I’ll take my glasses in to be repaired, get gasoline – I am on a half-tank right now and I could get some more paper towels, but not sure I want to venture into a store, but ordering them from Amazon may be better … just wrangle cardboard box on the porch, open it and take them out … still thinking about it. I don’t blame you as you figure that all the people converge at once at the store. Our stats are looking better but the vaccine rollout here is very bad. My friend Ann Marie is 78 and her husband is 84, with pre-existing conditions of respiratory issues and heart problems for which he was hospitalized for fluid on the heart this time last year, and they are listed all over and still no shots for either of them. I got an e-mail from Meijer to register so I have and sent it to her and she’s registered … maybe when I’m 65 I might get called. I know I am at the end of the list for now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I heard the stormy weather in the US has delayed vaccine shipments, whereas our problem is we just can’t get enough period. It was beautiful today, so I took mom for a drive up to the lake – lots of other people with the same idea! Took about a hundred pictures of the ice and very few turned out well…..oh well….it was an outing. I’ve used up my prepared blogs for Feb, so will have to come up with something this week. After they do the over 80’s they are going to do the 60-80 so I might be able to get mine by April, but not holding my breath.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, the bad weather halted distribution of the vaccine and my friend Ann Marie and her husband, 78 and 84 respectively, have not had their vaccines yet. And Steven has underlying conditions. They have to do all the 65-year-olds before they go below 65. Though I’ll be eligible in April for the 65-year-old category, I’m not holding my breath either. And I keep hearing all the stories about “well, we have so many arms to jab that we cannot use precious vaccine for the second shot since just one Pfizer is so effective.” I said that would happen a month ago already. They also make it sound like the people who got the two doses are not all that protected either. Today we crossed the 500,000 mark for deaths in the U.S. I heard that we would cross sometime today, then I watched a small ceremony commemorating the event with 500 candles and the death toll was already up to 500,071.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I just saw a short video of the candle ceremony on the National news tonight. I remember last summer when we thought 60,000 was high. I would want 2 doses of Pfizer as that’s what was studied.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Prior... says:

    hi
    i enjoyed this post so much
    and commuting during winter does have many challenges and you sound like a die hard / that is a good thing 😉
    i have driven in white out “lake effect”
    snow back in late 80s and handled it because like you – it was what we did .
    the last time i drove in bad weather was black ice – a few years ago and it was a mistake
    – you me irked how your nerves would be fried / well that was how i felt after that black ice driving

    also / it just is not safe and so now i opt out and go in late if i need to

    love the snow photos here too ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ruthsoaper says:

    I remember this storm and while I’m sure it was bad here mostly what I remember are the news reports of how bad it was on your side of the boarder. It was big news here. I think I don’t remember the impact here because I wasn’t working at the time and the schools shut down so I didn’t have to go out (drive) in it. It seems like my husband was home at the time so between him and the kids my share of the shoveling wasn’t even that bad – we may have even had a neighbor how up with a now blower to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think it was more the whiteouts and streamers coming off the lake that caused the problem, not so much the amount of snow, but the fact it caught a lot of people off guard. Because that highway goes to the border, it’s always busy with big rigs so that’s why they had 200 big trucks stranded, and because they had to call in the helicopters to rescue people we made the national news that night! The storm here Monday/Tuesday reminded me of it as we got a ton of snow – my neighbour used the snowblower to clear my driveway but there was about 2 feet drifted in places on the back deck that had to be hand-shoveled. I don’t mind staying home but hate that closed in claustrophobic feeling that I couldn’t get out even if I wanted to. Was glad when the roads were open again. More snow on the way, but not as much. I wouldn’t want to be in Texas right now, as they are not used to this!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        Now that you mention it I think the closures caused truck back ups over here. Texas has had big problems with wind mills and gas wells freezing. We heard as many as 3 million people had no power and there were long lines at the grocery stores when they re opened.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. J P says:

    It was great to read this, all warm and comfy in my house. The only thing I ever experienced even close to this was a blizzard that hit my area in 1978. I was in high school and schools were closed for an entire week in our city school system – something that never happened.

    We had a good snow storm about a week ago but all evidence of it is gone now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      An entire week! That’s a record. I remember school being closed three days in grade school once as the buses couldn’t run. I vaguely recall that big storm of 1978, not for the snow but for the blustery winds in downtown Toronto where I was a student at the time. I recall hanging onto a lamppost and then getting blown across Bloor Street almost airborne – a scary feeling. Luckily traffic was minimal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J P says:

        I think we got 16 inches in northern Indiana and the drifting was amazing. After it all finally stopped there was a drift blocking our driveway that was taller than me.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to J P Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s