The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Day 1 of the Snow Typhoon: How I Survived The Class 3 Kill-Storm of 2011

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Kent Brockman:  Roads closed, pipes frozen, albinos…virtually invisible. The National Weather Service has upgraded Springfield’s blizzard from “Winter Wonderland” to a “Class 3 Kill-Storm”!”  ~ from The Simpsons Season 12, Episode 8, “Skinner’s Sense of Snow”
 Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011

5PM:  There is a white blot on the weather radar map that stretches from eastern reaches of Kansas and Nebraska past Chicago and into southwest Michigan.  I’m watching it as I work out in the gym next to my condo.  It’s not moving so much as it is crawling over 500 miles of real estate and deliberately inching its way northeast.  We could get as much as two feet of snow by this time tomorrow.  I’m working out now so I can totally wallow in the joy of a snow day tomorrow without worrying about making time for the gym.

For the first time that anybody at my school can remember, school has been called off the day before a weather event.  We are notorious for not cancelling school.  In 2008, we were one of the only schools in Lake County to stay open despire a foot of snow that was imminent.  In 1994, temperatures plummeted to -20 and we still had school.  We’re hardcore.  Or at least stubborn.  Maybe we’re a bit ridiculous, too.

You’d think that this would mean that it’s time to go crazy:  stay up late, drink some cocktails, watch movies, surf the internet, call your friends.  You’re right.  It means all those things and more–hence my workout tonight so I don’t have to think about it tomorrow.  But as a teacher, you have to be careful not to over estimate things.  It’s only one day (at least so far).  Try as you might, you can’t do it all.  But I have plans to stuff everything I can into tonight and tomorrow.

7:30PM:  The parking lot of my condo is getting plowed.  It will be the first of several plowings, I’m sure.  I shoveled off my balcony, turned my grill to face the door, and turned on my Christmas lights.  I’ve been kicking myself for not taking them down, but now it’s all good.  The bulbs are glowing beneath a blanket of snow.  It looks warm; festive.

There are at least 15 movies I could watch tonight.  I just scanned through them on my TV guide.  That’s not counting what can be found on Netflix, which I have streaming on my TV.  That, and Pandora.  I have plenty to keep me busy and entertained.

9:11PM There are icicles hanging from the hoods of the light poles in the parking lot.  It is snowing so furiously that you can almost see the icicles growing by the minute as the snow melts on top of the hoods and drips to the edges and is frozen by the blasts of wind.  Some of the icicles are 7″ long.  I watched one get blasted from its perch a few minutes ago and shatter on the asphalt, which has been plowed three times now.

Priority #1 tonight has been to keep working on the short story I’ve been writing about in On the Rebound.  That’s going well.  Now it’s time for a burger and a cocktail as I watch Solitary Man.  I’m going out in this mess later on.  Just for the hell of it.

 11:13PM:  I shoveled off my balcony again, and cleared off my grill.  Both are taking a high priority right now because they figure prominently into my plans for tomorrow.  I have two steaks thawing in the fridge right now, and I’m going to grill them tomorrow afternoon.  While I’m at it, I’ll probably smoke a cigar.  Why not?  It’s a snow day!  Get crazy!  Hog wild!

The icicles on the hoods of the light poles are much longer now.  They look sinister, like an opaque handful of claws casting a spell of frigid death.

The blowing snow and ice feel like hundreds of needles stinging your face, at least for the few minutes you can feel them before the arctic blasts numb your flesh.  That’s when you walk into the wind, which I had to do coming back to my condo.  Walking with the wind, down the block, it wasn’t so bad.  The wind buffetted my back, which I hardly noticed.  I trekked a block down the street to check things out.  It was easier to shuffle and slide my feet than it was to actually walk.  I dug a swim mask out of my closet that I could wear to protect my eyes so I could at least see as I walked.  The lenses are tinted, though, so visibility was low.  I walked past an abandoned mini-van that was left in the middle of the street with its blinkers flashing.  By the time I got back, the seal of my mask was crusted with ice.  Snow had somehow been blown into the zipper liner of my coat.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1:57AM:  I shoveled the balcony and cleared the grill again.  I’ve never heard the wind whirl and howl like it is; it sounds like waves crashing on a beach.  Big waves.  I snapped this picture while I was out there–  that’s 8″ of snow on my covered balcony:


 So now it’s off to bed.  I’ll stay up for a little while and work on the story, and then sleep until who knows when.  It’s like a little weekend right in the middle of the week.  I have a big day planned tomorrow…  movies, writing, working in the kitchen, cocktails, cigars, steak, potatoes…


Written by seeker70

February 2, 2011 at 2:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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