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Monday, 13 February 2017

The St. Bernard Gets A Day Off

As usual, I am writing this on Sunday evening to post in the wee hours of Monday.

Earlier this evening I called my mother, who lives near us, to chat. We had both spent the day preparing for the day-long blizzard that Mother Nature is scheduled to hold here on Monday into Tuesday.

Now we wait.

When I was a kid, the guy on the radio told us that we could expect snow, and that was about it. Now we get so many details it's hard to keep them straight. We get the minimum and maximum wind speeds, the range of snowfall amounts, the daytime temperature, the nighttime temperature, the temperature with wind chill factored in, the height of storm surges for those living near water, the barometer readings ...

Knowing all of that in advance has both good and bad points.

We can choose not to travel, and avoid getting caught in whiteout conditions on the highway. We can make sure we have bread and milk (and chocolate!) so we aren't inconvenienced by a shortage. We have time to check the batteries in our flashlights, top up our gas tanks in our vehicles, and write blog posts that will publish themselves at the time of our bidding.

On the other hand, the waiting is nerve-wracking. Will we lose power? If so, for how long? How cold are we going to be by the time it comes back on? How much snow will we need to move before we can free our cars from their snowy prisons, and how long will it take the town to make our street passable? When will we be able to get to our places of work and how far behind will we be when we get there? For those who get cabin fever easily (Hi, Mom!), the question is usually, when will we be able to get out and see other human beings again?

Of course, it's much worse for first responders and those who work in critical services such as hospital services, nursing homes, and power companies. They must find a way to get to work and be prepared to stay there if they can't safely travel home at the end of their shift. Police and paramedics will be bracing for accidents and emergencies, because some people will insist on driving and some of those will go off the road and need rescued, or get stuck in heavy snow and need rescued (so they don't either freeze to death or die of carbon monoxide poisoning when they run their vehicles to keep from freezing to death). Women may need to birth a baby, people may have heart attacks or strokes or otherwise become critically ill without regard for the weather, and need transported to the hospital. Snow plow drivers and salt truck operators and tow truck owners will be working long shifts in low-vision conditions.

I'll be glad when this storm is over.

According to the forecast, we're going to have one whole day to dig out before the next one hits.

P. S.  Our most recent snowstorm was last Friday (three days ago).
P. P. S.  If I'm not online to publish or reply to comments, you'll know why.
P. P. P. S.  I don't need a St. Bernard dog this time around; I made sure to buy my storm chocolate when I got groceries!


One storm ago


Two storms ago

Three storms ago

Four storms ago

You get the idea :)

Update: It is now 2 p.m. Monday, the storm has just reached us and is moving more slowly than predicted, which means higher accumulations of snow ... YAY!


43 comments:

e said...

I would be reading by Kindle light. Best of luck to you!

Red said...

Keep warm. Be safe. You have the right idea to stay in.

Joanne Noragon said...

In complete defiance of the weather forecast, I'm wearing a lighter jacket. I'll probably be sorry. But, the anemones are up, for crying out loud.

jenny_o said...

One more reason for me to consider getting a Kindle! Thanks, e.

jenny_o said...

You know about storms, Red, and you're right. Those are the important things.

jenny_o said...

You might want to knit some little coats for the anemones, Joanne :)

Jono said...

My luck would be that the Kindle needed to be recharged.

Jono said...

I have actually shoveled three feet of "partly cloudy" from my front steps.

LL Cool Joe said...

So if you have a power cut how do you keep warm? Here in the UK we do get snow but rarely have a power cut with it. But unlike the States as soon as we get a light covering on the roads no one can get anywhere. Our snow plough drivers are almost nonexistent.

jenny_o said...

There IS that ...

jenny_o said...

HAHAHA! (Sorry ... It's not funny when you're the one with the shovel.)

jenny_o said...

Many folks have either a wood stove or a generator. There are also emergency centres set up for those who have neither. We have a wood stove, which is only used for power outages because of my bronchial sensitivity. We are fortunate to live in a densely populated area so our power is restored earliest. Some people "out in the country" (where I grew up) have lost power for a week or more as they are the last to be restored. Now I'm wondering how the emergency centres are heated - I think they usually have generators as well. They're usually set up by community groups such as the firefighters in their fire hall.

You're right - even a little bit of snow can be hazardous if you don't have the equipment to cope with it. Everybody here has snow tires for the winter. It's a twice annual rite - change from summer tires to winter tires in the fall, and vice versa in the spring. Allowance has to be made in our municipal budget for snow clearing equipment and wages to run them, plus huge amounts of salt to keep the roads safe. It's easier to cope when this is our norm and the preparations are all routine.

dinthebeast said...

Are you sure you don't need a St. Bernard dog? Because a huge black (I didn't even know they came in black) one wandered up here and we're keeping it in the back yard until we can either find it's owner or get it to a shelter. Meanwhile the cat is not liking it one bit.

-Doug in Oakland

jenny_o said...

Good luck, Doug. It's always a worry to find a pet wandering around. Do you have a shelter nearby?

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Remember when all we cared about when hearing a storm warning was whether or not the schools were going to close?
Thinking of you in all your snowy finery this afternoon, Jenny! We're having spring here in Edmonton. Weird, right?!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Could it be a Newfoundland, Doug? They look very much like St. Bernards, but are black or white or a combination of the two. Sweet and gentle and totally lovable. I love dogs!

jenny_o said...

Good point, Diane. I hadn't thought of that suggestion.

jenny_o said...

Ah, yes - anything for a snow day!

Enjoy your spring - my favourite season! It's night here now and we're stormin' good :)

Chickens Consigliere said...

Oh, what a find Doug. I hope you find his family.

Chickens Consigliere said...

Hi Jenny, I hear you. We had a storm Thursday, another one yesterday, and now I'm hearing more is on the way. We are enough South that we don't usually see that much but every once in awhile we get hit good. Stay warm and dry and hope you don't run out of chocolate!

jenny_o said...

We had a very good January but February has been snowy here. It sounds like you've been getting hit, too! Make sure to keep your storm treats topped up!

only slightly confused said...

WE haven't had a really bad storm in years. Thank goodness. Our East Coast on the other hand, is being hammered.

Martha said...

We had a big dump of snow yesterday but it seems wimpy compared to others in the past. Today it's mild and a lot of it started to melt. I do love to cozy up indoors when there's a snowstorm going on. I'm an introvert, so it takes some time before cabin fever kicks in. Anyhow, stay warm and safe. You've got it really bad out there!

jenny_o said...

That's ME, Delores! ME!! Although as you can tell, we still have power! I'm clinging to the keyboard until the lights go out ...

jenny_o said...

It's pretty wild. I don't mind as long as the power stays on, but the cold worries me. And I don't get cabin fever either - I could cheerfully stay in until spring :)

dinthebeast said...

I do too. I was against catching him, as he made it here, so likely could have made it home, but John's girlfriend was afraid that he would cross the street to the off ramp from I-80 and sort of suckered Briana into catching him and putting him in the back yard.
Now every time the cat hears him outside the window, she puffs up and scampers for higher ground. She has been sleeping on the ironing board a lot, and in the storage loft in the garage. When we came home from the store just now she was higher up in the Juniper tree than I've ever seen her.
The shelter isn't far, and they are apparently the place where everyone looks for their missing pets around here, and more importantly for us, they will pick him up. No way is that much dog gonna fit in either of the cars we drive.

Hope you make it through the storm OK.

-Doug in Oakland

baili said...

oh it sounds horrible dear Jenny!
yet you can turn it into some pleasant cozy moments inside for little more blogging or reading.
these photos tell lot about your heavy snow .
when i run into my memory streets it happened sometimes when weather acted against the forecast .
wishing you and you dear mom a happy warm day !

MunirGhiasuddin said...

We just finished cleaning up after Sunday's storm and now they are saying that tomorrow we will get some more snow.

jenny_o said...

That's good that the shelter will do pickups. And at least you know the dog is safe when he's in your yard. If he's not used to being off leash he could get into trouble.

The wind has died down here but it's snowing again!

jenny_o said...

Thank you for your kind wishes, baili! The weather is not so bad if you are equipped for it. We didn't lose power and as you said, I had extra time to read, so it turned out okay!

jenny_o said...

Welcome, Munir! It gets monotonous after awhile with the snow, doesn't it?

Steve Reed said...

Oh good grief! I hope it's not too intense. I must say I do not miss our New Jersey snowstorms.

You asked about the cream cleaner I use. It's called CIF. It is a very mild abrasive, so I wouldn't use it a lot on something like a cabinet, but it's fine for rare use -- and let me tell you, it takes that greasy film right off!

jenny_o said...

Thanks for the info on the cleaner. We have melamine surfaces with wood trim so if I can find CIF here it would probably be fine.

It's still snowing here and we have another storm system coming tomorrow evening. I took some pictures today. Stay tuned :)

Geo. said...

Your post has impelled me to resolve: I shall never complain about California weather again --except those rare times when there is any weather. All my best wishes for a safe passage into springtime.

jenny_o said...

That is an excellent resolution, and one I think I will make as well :)

You folks have been having more than "rare" weather lately. Nature can send us some wild rides. Let's all be as safe as possible.

Diane Henders said...

I hope you're not getting too buried! Our 24" of snow from last week is almost gone now - a big warm(ish) front finally moved in a few days ago and we got a couple of inches of rain last night. I feel for you, though - been there, done that... :-)

jenny_o said...

Thanks for coming over, Diane!

When you moved to BC you probably didn't think you'd be seeing that much snow at once ever again :) I hope you have a nice calm spring.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Jenny O! Jenny O! Where are you? Munching chocolate in a house-shaped cave in the middle of a giant snowdrift? Are you repeatedly singing "Let It Go" from "Frozen" to keep your spirits up?
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don't care
what they're going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

jenny_o said...

Pretty accurate, really!

The Happy Whisk said...

Storm chocolate. Ha! Ha! Excellent work. Funny post too.

jenny_o said...

We have a thing here in the Maritimes - storm chips. I borrowed it :)

Thanks, Ivy. I'm always glad to make someone smile.

The Happy Whisk said...

I'm super glad that I found your blog.

jenny_o said...

Thank you, Ivy - back at ya!