Here's the Scoop: March 3, 2010
So nice to see you... again... and again...
This is the beginning of a multi-part column. My storm observations will continue until I run out of things to write about “The Event” or until it melts. I’m betting on the latter happening first.
Normally, I try to ignore weather forecasts. Last week was different. They were calling for a foot of snow on Tuesday and another 12-20 inches on Thursday.
Oh, yeah, there would also be blizzard-levels winds, with gusts up to 70 mph, one report showed. Cool. Unless your house doesn’t completely qualify as “easy access” to the real world.
So, we prepared a checklist. Food purchased. Firewood sheltered on the porch. Flashlights. Batteries. Candles. Cadbury Mini-Eggs (I argued that we might be snowed in until Easter and we’d miss a big part of the Mini-Egg season).
We made sure to have plenty of drinking water and five-gallon bottles of toilet-flushing water, in the event of an extended power outage.
My wife also insisted on filling the bathtub with water. The cat enjoyed this huge drinking bowl, but I wasn’t so sure.
“Is this in case we have to deliver a baby?” I wondered — a pretty unlikely occurrence in my eyes.
My humor was not appreciated. And that was before my wife and I spent several days without seeing another soul. Well, we did see the cat occasionally, but she was doing her best to empty the tub, scratchy-tongued lick by lick.
While we didn’t appreciate the thought of losing power, we were ready for the storm. Well, we were ready for some of it anyhow.
Face it, getting snowbound with someone you love is pretty romantic. It’s probably more romantic if you don’t both have colds, but still.
While we were both “under the weather” (in more ways than one), we still had energy to do things while the Great Wall of the Catskills rose higher.
Phase One of the storm started out in promising fashion. Because we had stocked up on food, my wife went on a mini bake-a-thon. We were all set in the sweets department.
The Clint Eastwood Marathon started on the second day of the storm. We pulled out a box-set Christmas gift and watched Clint dispatch countless bad guys (or worse than Clint guys) using only a threatening stare — and an assortment of high-powered firearms. Fun stuff.
While I had been mixing in “real” work between long periods of vacantly staring out the window, the house began to feel a bit messy. It was nothing a little dusting, vacuuming and mopping couldn’t cure.
By Day Three, the house was very clean — but the walls were closing in.
“Wow! That’s a lot of snow!” had ceased to be big news.
Plus, the Bake-A-Thon had used quite a lot of the milk and there was little left for my coffee. Worse yet, the coffee supply had not been as ample as I thought. On one hand, this was a huge problem. On the other hand, there was really no need to be terribly alert.
By Day 4, I was making little jokes like, “Honey, I’m home!” and “Here’s Johnny!” Those of you familiar with the book / movie The Shining will understand this reference. My wife did, and I noticed that she hid the ax.
While I was going off the deep end a bit waiting for a snow removal vehicle, the feeling was mutual.
“Don’t take this the wrong way,” my wife commented, “but four days of seeing no one but you is a bit hard to take.”
I chalked up this remark an extreme case of Cabin Fever.
Fortunately, just when things seemed to be spiraling out of control, I stepped out on the porch (casually looking around for that elusive ax) and I heard a strange sound.
At first I thought it was Scatman Crothers (see The Shining reference) breaking through the enormous piles in a Snowcat. It wasn’t. But it was the next best thing — our part-time resident neighbors had braved waist-deep snow and were hiking to their house. They were having “fun” in the snow. Just like we had been — four days earlier.