Monday, December 13, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010

Are you sick of me talking about Minnesota and our winter weather?  Here she goes again.

I know, I know.

But here's the thing.  This was the fifth biggest snowstorm in the history of the Twin Cities.  Ever.  So if I don't write about it, someday my kids will be all, "Mom, what's with not even mentioning the biggest snowstorm of our lives?"  And I'll be all, "Well, I always wrote/complained about the winter weather so I didn't want to lose readers because I bored them to death."  And the kids would be all, "Yeah, but mom, seriously.  It was the biggest snowstorm of our lives!"

So here's what you should know/what I should mention:
  • Six inches of snow is a pretty big storm.  It will slow traffic quite a bit.  The city will call a snow emergency to clear the roads.  A few events and/or schools might be delayed or canceled.  Overall six inches is a pretty big mess when it comes to city living.  Now triple that.  ON TOP of the snow we already had, which was a lot.  And add in blowing and drifting snow.  And some below-zero temperatures to boot.  That's what we got.
  • It is no exaggeration to say that it crippled the Twin Cities for two full days.  We didn't even get mail on Saturday.  Through rain, snow and sleet but not blizzard, I guess.
  • We have shoveled/snowblowed about six times.  Once in the middle of the storm so Brian could start a path to follow once the storm was over.  Again when the snow finally stopped.  And then four additional occasions for each time the plow came by and left a mountain in front of our driveway and sidewalks in its wake.
  • The "side of the road" is now about three feet from where the curb used to be because when the snowbanks can't go up anymore, they go out.
  • An average drift in our backyard comes up to William's chest.  He can sit on our tree swing and comfortably rest his legs and feet out in front of him like a snow ottoman.
  • We walked to church on Sunday morning dressed like Eskimos.  The attendance resembled that of a weekday mass.  There was no choir and those who did make it filled in for missing lectors, ushers and Eucharistic ministers.  The priest, however, lives next door so he had no excuse.
  • Brian is officially a champion car-pusher having saved countless people on our block who have found some need great enough to get in their cars and venture out only to find themselves stuck in front of our house.
  • I was one of those people who stupidly ventured out to the Post Office today to mail our Christmas Cards.  The Post Office is a few miles from our house.  Round trip took me one hour.  Twenty minutes each way plus another twenty minutes circling the parking lot trying to snatch one of the five spots.  The other fifteen spots were occupied by snow.
  • When I returned I wasn't shocked to see that the plow had come back again blocking my entrance to our garage and to my sidewalk.  Don't worry.  I had my mountain-climbing gear in the backseat.  I threw a rope over and propelled that baby, no problem.

But here's some bright spots of the storm I want to mention:
  • Our snowed-in weekend was a lot of fun.  We played Christmas music nonstop, drank lots of hot chocolate, made three different kinds of cookies, decorated our Christmas tree, snuggled, kept warm by the fire and slept peacefully.
  • The kindness of other Minnesotans is really incomparable to anywhere else I've been in the U.S.  Complete strangers help one another without being asked and they do it with a smile and a laugh.  I'll have more on this later this week when Pay It Forward Friday returns.
  • If you don't have to be anywhere fast and if everything in your house is in working order and giving you a warm spot to rest your head a night, the whole outdoor scene really is majestic.  There's a stillness, a crispness and a wholeness to it all that isn't felt any other time of the year.
  • And finally, it's fun!  William and I got outside for an hour or so today and the kid could not have been more happy if you told him Santa was coming today.
So that's it!  There's my obligatory post on the 2010 Blizzard.  I mean, I think that's it.  January and March are still our snowiest months so there may be a second-parter to all this madness!

Minnesotans: What of your own experiences do you have to add?

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