Saturday, January 23, 2016

On the Great Eastern Blizzard of 2016

In Dr. Stewart's "Physics of the Atmosphere" class in college (I think that is what it was called--he was an old bull in the physics department who had an interest in weather, and so he called what was essentially a meteorology class "physics") we were all charged with a fifteen page paper, and I chose to write on the subject of "Great Eastern American Snowstorms", one of which included Thomas Jefferson's wedding night blizzard in 1772 (I think was the year).  Apparently, nearly three feet fell in that great storm. Of note, Kurt Schick (funniest dude at UVA at the time) wrote a paper called "A Case of the Winds", a title that still makes me giggle, my potty humor fancy tickled. I wonder whether this storm will come to be included in some future writer's rundown.

All four of us are here, hunkered down on the farm, as it is "post-exams winter break" at school for Kitten #2. We are well prepared for things, what with a full larder, warm clothes, and for the time being, the means to binge watch various things on TV. I cooked the hungry Kittens an 8 pound oven stuffer roaster last night, and that bird was indeed tasty. It's leavings-along with a sacrificial rotisserie bird from Giant--were turned into The Kitten's famous chicken stew last night whilst we watched a movie.  Pretty homey little scene.

As I was saying, we are well prepared. For what, you may ask?  To sit around in a warm house and not interact with the elements in any way, shape or form until they have begun to behave themselves. I truly have no real need to drive my car until Wednesday, at which point the higher temps would have served to melt much of the snow. But--no plan survives contact with the enemy.

You see, just across the farm is the home of The Kitten's mother--and she has three wild Labrabeasts that she pays some dude to watch for her while she is gone--and she is in South Carolina for an extended period. That dude and The Kitten spoke yesterday, and it seems the care and feeding of these animals passed unto her in preparation for the coming storm. I knew this, as she last night assigned each of the Kittens to be her companion on these outings in the AM and PM. And so, after awaking and a bit of coffee, The Kitten began the elaborate ritual of robing for the elements, to include several trips back and forth in front of me as I sat on the couch rattling away at my laptop in PJ's and warm slippers. You know. Executing the plan AS FRAGGED.

Just after they left, a debate began raging on Facebook after a friend asked the logical question of when to shovel--now or when it is all done. Of course I had already made that decision, but was unnerved when friends whose judgment I trust--one of whom used to be a CANADIAN for Chrissake--advocated the little bit at a time method. Added to this discontinuous signalling was of course, the growing sense of guilt that my woman was out braving the elements whilst I farted around on Facebook. And so, killing two birds with one stone, I took to the stoops with my trusty shovel and began to clear one-shovel wide paths. Truth be told, I felt exhilarated by the process--I was bundled up warm and the snow was an easy shovel. I believe the Kitten was so flabbergasted at seeing me so engaged, that she stopped at the end of the driveway to capture the moment on pixels.

I will venture out again before the sun sets to hit the stoops once more. But in the meantime, I shall sit here on the couch in my bedroom and enjoy the toasty warmth of the pound of flesh taken out of me in  renovating this house five years ago. It really is a wonderful place to live--especially when the wind is howling and the snow falls east/west.


JB said...

I have to execute the "little-bit-at-a-time" strategy, as my snow thrower can only tackle a depth of about 11" at a time. I made one pass after dinner last night, another at midnight (there was a bit of a lull in the storm, and I was concerned about accumulation overnight), and again after breakfast this morning. I will most likely make another pass after dinner tonight before the "final" clean-up in the sun (I hope) tomorrow.

It has been very difficult to judge overall depth because of the high winds. The first 2 attempts cleared about 5" each, w/ the one at midnight last night about 8"-9". This morning, it was more like 11"-12", and as I peek out at the driveway now, it's hard to tell I did anything at all this morning! Again, much of that could be drifting, but it is clearly coming down like a big dog out there right now (in N. Va).

Your home looks beautiful/historic from the outside photo. Just curious, what happens when the wind/snow blows N/S?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

What I was trying to convey (poorly) with that language was snow blowing sideways...

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