They had predicted the snow, so as usual I went to the store to get basic provisions. When you live in the south, at the mere hint of even a dusting of snow, Southerners panic and empty the milk and bread aisles. When I moved south in my twenties from the Finger Lakes Region of NY, I thought I had entered a bizarre reaction to a non-event. I used to refer to them as snow weenies. I eventually learned that they had no snow plows really, nor large enough provisions to take on the occasional large amounts of snow that fall. When I lived in NC, high schoolers drove many of the school buses, so school was often cancelled on just a prediction of minimal amounts of snow or sleet. Safety precautions. Good ones. When I was young we went to school in outright whiteouts, and if you weren’t careful, the snow plows would bury you straight away on the sidewalks. We had great bodies then, because you used every muscle in your butt to stay balanced, and you were carrying your books, which kept the upper body in good shape. I remember standing at my locker when the weather was horrible out, pondering if I really needed that textbook to complete homework, because there was no parent waiting for me out the door to take me home, and the walk was decent enough, and often horrible enough to keep you fit. Sorry……..memories.
Anyway, the snow started during the night. When we got up that morning there were several inches on the ground and huge wet snowflakes were still falling. We lost power early that morning. This was the view from my deck when I woke up.
I didn’t worry, because in the nine years I have lived in this house, I have never lost power for more than a few minutes, even through hurricanes, winds and snow, even when others in town were without power for several days. Ohhhhh, I shouldn’t have assumed anything. Although I filled many containers with water “just in case”, I didn’t prepare in other ways. As morning passed into evening and still no power, I moaned an “uh-oh”. Before it was completely dark, I got out the lanterns. We are on a well, so we were going through the water at a good clip. Fortunately we have a soapstone fireplace on the terrace level, so we were warm. Keith finally started the small generator and plugged in the refrigerator and the modem so we had internet, although not reliably. Night became day, and total accumulation was about 8 inches and still no power. Keith heated some water on the fireplace and made me a surprise cup of coffee with the French Press, which I savored.
I decided to finish reading a book started a week before, and was struck at how peaceful a potentially frustrating situation could be. The book was an appropriate choice, and I highly recommend it for parents trying to make their way in a swiftly changing American culture. I enjoyed a surprise, but so welcome, cup of my favorite orange flavored coffee and a chocolate treat.
When it snows in Virginia, everything shuts down. Power lines were down all over and most of the state dealt with outages. It is what it is. We quietly enjoyed the day, frolicking with the dogs in the snow, taking photos, reading and cooking on the fireplace. Below is my Afghan Hound Carter in his first real snow. Boy, this puppy can zoom!
Mid day next, the power returned, and I was eager and happy to jump into the hot shower. The entire time I also thought of the folks in NJ, CT, and NY that are still recovering from Sandy, and it becomes so much easier to simply take things in stride, doing what you can do, and not worrying or overly stressing about things you are powerless to change.
However, that being said, the next storm possibility will find me now assuming I will loose power, and prepare a bit better . A couple of days after the storm, temperatures climbed into the 60’s for several days. It was odd to work outside for a bit in just a shirt, with snow on the ground, on a warm sunny 65 degree day. The snow stuck around for a couple of days, but today’s rain took away the remnants. The clocks are moved ahead, and March has begun in a confusing way, which it often does, teasing us with just emerging spring bulbs, yet threatening us with colder temperatures again. March madness can define more than a Basketball tournament. It also defines what happens to a confirmed gardener eager to dig in the dirt, yet knowing it would be wise to not be quite so ambitious. Soon enough, soon enough.
Below is a short video of Carter zooming in the snow and Whitley trying to not zoom……