Well, I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy me a snow day every once in a while, and yesterday was one of them.
The lead up to it was, of course, over the top.
Since NYC was expected to get clobbered, the storm – which even got named: Juno – was the focus on all news attention on the 24/7 networks (CNN, MSNBC, and, I suppose Fox, although I don’t get that particular network) starting on Monday.
While Juno may have been the storm’s “official” name, those of us in “the impact areas” could not help but thinking of it in more extravagant terms: Snowmageddon! Snowpocalypse! Snowlapolooza!
Up to three feet predicted! Yikes ! Yay!
After all, when you come right down to it, there’s not all that much difference between 24” and 36”, and 36”, why that’s historic. And if you’re in the news biz, well, historic is plenty of reason to go histrionic. And histrionic, well, that’s sure good for the ratings.
For NYC, Juno became the one that got away.
Anticipating a Sandy-level disaster, the Mayor pretty much shut the city down – no subways, even – so when the snow totaled to a meager, less than a foot amount, it was all pretty deflating. (And, for those who don’t believe that we’re experiencing climate change, plenty of ammo: see, if they can’t predict a snow storm,, how can they predict that the polar ice cap’s melting.)
I had actually planned on being in New York yesterday, hoping to celebrate my husband’s birthday having a glass of ale in his honor at McSorley’s Ale House (Jim’s favorite watering hole of all time), and – quite possibly - by leaving a few grains of his ashes in the pot-belly stove there.
But last week, the forecast was that it would be in the low-twenties, with the possibility of light snow, so I changed my plans. McSorley’s in the spring, when it will be more fun to be in New York.
As a substitute for commemorating Jim’s birthday doing something he would like (the ale drinking, not the ash-scattering – although if Jim could have figured out how to scatter his own ashes, he would have been totally down with it), I decided to do something that he would have hated: I scheduled an appliance and kitchen showroom excursion with my just-retired friend, Peter.
By Sunday, we realized that the storm was going to put a kibosh on that jaunt.
So I spent my snow day doing what people do on snow days when they don’t have to shovel out (which, blessedly, I no longer have to do, as our condo association has finally come up with a system that seems to be working; I do end up doing a marginal bit of shoveling, and have assumed solo responsibility for the storm drain on the corner, now that my 80+ year old neighbor Dick, with whom I used to share this good citizen task, has hung up his shovel and ice pick).
I looked out the window and plunked on the couch with the channel cruiser and swung from one station to the next keeping up with the storm news, vaguely monitoring the count on how many houses in Scituate, Marshfield, and Duxbury (on Boston’s South Shore) had been condemned, and noting that Plum Island (on Boston’s North Shore) – which generally leads the pack on houses swept away in big storms- had been somehow spared.
Oh, I got up to do things like make a cup of tea and answer a couple of e-mails. And I made a few half-hearted stabs at reading a book (hah!) or doing some work (hah-hah-hah!). Inexorably, I was drawn back to the news, rooting with the local weather-folks that we could salvage something out of this storm.
If not the biggest on record, at least let us make it into the Top Five. Or at least the Top Five for the month of January.
As of this writing (mid-afternoon), it does look like we’ll easily make it into the Top Five for January – maybe even the all-time January storm. The cold is your friend here: it makes the snow light and fluffy, so the amounts are bigger. Plus it’s easier to shovel. The downside of having a blockbuster in January is that it doesn’t melt away as easily as February storms do. Instead, it ices up and hangs around for a while, with those pristine snow banks turning into crusty, boogery mounds covered with car exhaust and dog pee.
But for now it sure looks pretty.
Here’s the view from the kitchen, mid-afternoon, during a bit of a lull:
I like the artistic inclusion of the ice cream cone to the left.
This was from one of those fake stained glass window kits that my husband bought for my niece Molly a good dozen years ago. Since it’s been baking in the afternoon sun for those good dozen years, it’s pretty much soldered on there and I think I’d have to replace the window to get rid of it. But who wants to get rid of it? Looking at it reminds me of how much fun Molly and Diggy (my husband’s nom de famille) used to have.
All’s quiet on the southern front (outside the front door), too.
That’s Beacon Street, which is generally pretty well-trafficked.
My grandmother Rogers always used to tell us that she was going to send a sign when she died, letting us know whether God, indeed, existed.
Well, the day she died started out as a perfectly pleasant day in April, but while I was on the phone with my sister Kath, who had called to tell me that Nanny was gone, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, the skies turned black, and it began to rain sideways.
What we never figured out whether Nanny meant the sign to say “yes” or “no”, leaving each of her descendants to decide for themselves.
And here we are on Diggy’s birthday, getting clobbered by a couple of feet of snow….
(If that’s an afterlife “yes”, I miss you, Diggy….)