Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cookie, post Snotorious B.I.G.

Let us say that Cookie and Husband have weathered the storm, our sanity intact.

For the most part.

We knew it was coming well over a week ago when the Husband returned home from his job at National Amalgamatics and Stove Works (NASW, for short) and the NASW one staff meteorologist, Mort, evidently made an appearance in the Hamster Wheel division and in a coy way hinted that "come the weekend a ruler won't do you any good - you'll need a yard stick."  Then he took a donut from the coffee counter and left.

Husband texted me this, and I hit the grocery store, laying in staples, snacks and chocolate.

On Thursday, old Morty breezed in and announced that the snow would start at three PM the next day, and that when it was done, minus the drift, that we could expect 21-27 inches in our area, but that the official total at the airport would be 30".

This meteorologist is never wrong.

So I hit the store again.

By this time panic in Baltimore had set in.  People were buying things just to buy them.  Baltimore grocery stores emptied out of Campbell's Tomato Soup, Capers and soda crackers.  Wine stores also reported brisk sales.  Bread? Not on your lifetime for the next six days.

The look on these mothers faces, while they stood in line at the Giant food, was clearly panic.  It wasn't the snow, or lack of power that scared them. Nor were they even pondering the loss of heat.

No. These were women terrified of two things.  The first was running out of wine.  The second was being trapped in their too small house with their children.   I guess the wine numbs the senses, making children more tolerable.  But how do you keep kids today entertained for days?

My big fear was losing power.

However, the new house performed well enough.  No leaks in the roof during the storm, so far, no weeping basement.  And the power stayed on.

The only mishap happened on Saturday during a lull in the storm.

The husband, brave, strong and handy decided that even though the wind was blowing, that we needed to clear off the front stoop, and shovel six inches off the forty foot walk that connects us to the street.  So, out he went, dressed for the Iditarod and shovel shovel shovelled away.

I went into the kitchen to figure out how to cook a pork roast that was supposed to be a pork loin when the house began to shake and a very loud train sound enveloped the atmosphere.  I should point out that there are no trains anywhere around us.  As I looked through the kitchen to dining room windows there was nothing but WHITE for a brief moment.

Then silence.

Our house has a steep pitched slate roof.  And slate roofs when they are wet are slippery.  So they install these things called "snow stops" on the roof to keep the snow pack from releasing and hurting someone on the ground.  When the snow pack becomes too heavy, no snow stop is going to halt a "release".

And release is what the roof did.  So imagine a few hundred square feet of snow, two feet thick falls on a considerably smaller footprint.  When the powder settles you have four feet of compacted snow in a small area running in a mound the length of the house.

And you have my husband, luckily out of the avalanche's way, standing thirty feet out from the house that he just dug through.  Now to get back to the house, he has ten times the work ahead of him moving hundreds of pounds of snow to get back in.

My husband was agog.  He had not gone outside planning to become Sisyphus, but Susyphus he was, for that moment.

The next day and the next, we dug out - hours of time spent driving a shovel into the warming snow and then hauling it to a place where it was safe to drop it.

The condition of the city on the other hand is not to be believed.   You see, Baltimore is notorious for panicking when it snows, yet it's city government, normally clueless when it comes to dealing with snow as an impotent as Noel Coward in a room full of writhing, nubile, Spanish Fly hopped up 18 year old female virgins demanding to be serviced.

How driven to hysterics are the good people of Baltimore when even the mere mention of the word snow creeps into the forecast?  They close the close schools on speculation of snowfall.  Thats right.  It doesn't have to snow, but they'll close the schools just in case it does snow.

As of tomorrow, we will be at one week since SnOMG hit and they are still operating out of a command center.  And the roads are at one lane, and the intersections are at pure right angles.  That lane your driving in?  It could disappear at any moment into a pile of snow that got dumped in the middle of the street.

Come Wednesday, February 3rd when the temperature climbs to a January Thaw-like 64 degrees, trust me, the elected officials and bureaucrats will be slapping each other on the back, congratulating one and another for making those snow clogged streets their bitch.

How clueless are the people about how to deal with this?  The local paper has a city columnist who opines about problems in his column.  He lives around the corner.  He's been through these storms before.  So what was his column the other day, bitching about the city that is never prepared for these types of events when they know it happens.  He wraps up his column about his neighbor who lived through the dual storms that dropped a whopping 36+" on the city in 2010 and being a smart man, went out and bought a monster snowblower, saying at least this guy was a smart man, why couldn't the city have learned its lessons?

So Sunday, I see this same Columnist grumbling - why?  Because he can hear snow blowers around him, but none of his neighbors have offered to help him out.  And of course, he doesn't have a snow blower because "it wouldn't get much of a workout, so why spend the money?"

See the irony.

See the mentality.

They are not questions.  They are a point to be made.

It isn't the snow that these folks need to fear.

It's their own selves.


  1. I have driven from BWI in an ice storm. The area doesn't do well with liquid water let alone frozen. And I've flown into BWI and attempted to drive to York, PA after such a snow storm. Save to say dental surgery seemed more fun.

  2. We got 36" over here in Virginia. The worst of it was that a neighbor lady passed away while the emergency team was trying to wade through waist high snow with their equipment to get to her.

    We cleared our own driveway and front walk on Sunday, and noticed, with a heavy heart, that the snow had broken our Japanese maple in a way that it won't survive.

    All of the bread and milk were off the shelves here, too. Luckily for me they still had plenty of good steaks and chocolate.

  3. shit honey, that roof story was SCARY!

    1. I know. He could have been really hurt physically. Psychologically, he took a hit in having to dig into the house. We've learned our lesson not to dwaddle near the house the next time something like this happens.

  4. The Mister took the brunt of our shopping horrors, although I stopped at the local supermarket while walking to the train station on Friday morning for one or two last things and was agog to see it actually crowded at 6:30 a.m.

    At least now, nearly a week later, there is enough bare ground showing that the poor dogs - born to warmer climes as the are - aren't completely traumatized when out for a walk.

    1. I know - the poor things can't get their "scents" that they use to find tat certain perfect spot. On the other hand, the lumbering old Yellow Lab across the street has taken to dropping her road apples on our yard. I'm cutting her owner some slack because she's a lawyer with a big high profile case coming. The last thing she needs to deal with is dog shit.