Monday, January 24, 2005

The Blizzard of 2005

Wow!!! I think that word almost sums it up. The biggest snowstorm of the winter hit this weekend and it was just amazing. On Saturday I went to work to get something accomplished without pesky people bothering me every two minutes. The snow started to fall around three and by the time I left at five it was really starting to come down. As the red line passed over the Charles river, I glanced back towards the city and it was just a large white blur. It was snowing so much I could barely make out the lights on the old Hancock building. My first stop was at the Star Market in Porter, which was truly a mob scene. The lines for the registers were halfway down the aisles. I gathered all of the supplies I would need to make quesadillas and pizza. Everything I needed was available except shredded cheese. The entire section was empty except for a couple packs of shredded swiss cheese, so I improvised and grabbed block cheese instead. The checkout had died down a bit by the time I got there and I quickly got out of that mad house and walked home. Earlier in the day I had moved my car in anticipation of the snow emergency and it was nicely placed two cars in from the corner and close to the curb.

Once at home I quickly packed my backpack with clothes, books, dvd's, a pizza stone and anything else I might need over the next 24 hours. After packing I threw the bag on my bag and nearly tipped over from the weight. I put on my boots, gloves, hat, vest and jacket and trudged out in the half a foot of snow. Ten minutes later I arrived at Jennifers and unloaded all of my stuff. We quickly went to work making quesadillas, which turned out to be a success. Oh if you ever make quesadillas it is definitely easier to use one tortilla folded in half than it is to use one on top of the other. We watched a whole bunch of television and read a little before going to bed. At bedtime we looked out the window and estimated that there was about a foot on the ground already. The wind was blowing so heavily when you first heard it you thought a plow was driving by the house.

Sunday morning we awoke to about two feet of snow on the ground with drifts up to three feet deep. We would quickly move from window to window peering through the blinds trying to get a complete picture of our surroundings. I quickly became bored with this and decided to make brownies and pizza dough. After I was finished with the dough we decided to go out and shovel around Jennifer's car. She had parked the car in the armory parking lot, because there weren't any spaces available on the street. At first this seemed like a good idea, but it would later lead to a bit of a challenge. We waded through the sometimes waist deep snow out to her car and began shoveling around it. Thankfully the snow was light and it didn't take too long. Afterwards we walked around a bit and checked out the snow on and around Highland Avenue. Cars on the main road were buried so much at first you thought it was just a snow pile until you could see the little antenna sticking out of the top. People were walking around awkwardly in groups, it reminded me of the end of The Day of Tomorrow, when all the survivors start popping out of their shelters. We started back towards the house and helped a guy whose car was stuck on the corner of the street.

We made it back inside where I continued my kitchen work and made sauce for the pizza later on. I finished the sauce and was bored once again, did a couple of crosswords and read another chapter in my book. I realized I hadn't eaten lunch so I went back to the kitchen and began making the pizza. The pizza came out really well although I think there was a little too much sauce. After dinner Jennifer began calling around and trying to find out if she had to go to school today. Finally we found out that her school did have school, we couldn't believe it since it seemed like every school in and around Lawrence was closed. The snow finally stopped and it began to clear around sunset. I checked the temperature and throughout the storm the highest it reached was 24, but for the most part it stayed around 15 degrees. I became extremely bored at around seven o'clock and started playing Minesweeper on the computer, which kept my attention for about fifteen minutes. I became completely stir crazy and told Jennifer I was going to go for a walk. The walk back to my house wasn't too bad although it was starting to get cold. It was nice to be in my house and I quickly changed into some long underwear before going out to see my car. I was worried it would be buried up over the roof, but when I turned the corner to my surprise it didn't have any snow on it. It did have a little on the hood, but besides that it was free and clear. I started the car and began shoveling around it and within ten minutes it was free and clear. As I tend to do with shoveling I took it to the next level and actually pulled the car out of the space and shoveled out the entire space down to the pavement. I was quick about it and put it right back in to the space and left the car for home.

The walk back to Jennifer's wasn't too bad since I was still sweating from clearing out my car. The temperature began dropping again, so by the time we went to sleep it was about five degrees. The interesting thing I have noticed is that before all of this snow a temperature of five degrees would have felt so cold, but now when you go outside it doesn't seem like a big deal at all. Anyway this morning we woke up and Jennifer called the school only to find out she definitely had to go to school. I looked out into the armory parking lot and it still hadn't been plowed, but there was somebody out there shoveling a couple cars down from Jennifer's car. I saw this as a great opportunity, because it was going to be a lot easier to shovel if there were other people helping out. Of course Jen protested, but I insisted that it wouldn't take long since there were other people to help. I went out and started shoveling at 6:10. It only took about a half hour before we had shoveled about sixty feet and managed to force both cars out to the end of the driveway. We went back inside to get ready for the day and rushed out to the car. She ended up leaving on time and made it to work safely. I walked home and finally got to take a shower. After getting out of the shower I looked at the clock and realized I was right on schedule to start a regular day.

FYI - Jennifer made it to school safely and they had a total of seven kids show up out of the usual twenty six. No waste of a day there :oP

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