Blizzard of Oz-Round Deux

Heavy, wet snow clings to trees, causing power outages all around. Not a fun way to spend a blizzard,

UPDATE: Heavy, wet snow clings to trees, causing power outages all around. Not a fun way to spend a blizzard,

You know, you really haven’t lived until you have been witness to the pre-blizzard shopping habits of Midwesterners. Since this current blizzard gave even more advance notice than the one last week, people had all weekend to contemplate the couple of days they are going to spend sheltering in place when it drops another foot or so of snow down on the bone-dry streets.

Another foot of snow beginning to fall. Note the bird in the dogwood tree. Bird block party going on at the feeders all week. Downy woodpeckers, cardinals, black cat chickadees, tufted tit mice, phoebes, bluejays, flickers, robins, mourning doves...you name it, it was chowing down on suet and seed.

Another foot of snow begins to fall. Note bird in dogwood tree. Bird block party going on at the feeders all week: downy woodpeckers, cardinals, black cat chickadees, tufted tit mice, phoebes, bluejays, flickers, robins, mourning doves…you name it, it was chowing down on suet & seed.

I ventured out to Costco late yesterday morning, a Sunday, only to find it a veritable mob scene. Normally, it’s pretty quiet at that moment during the weekend since most people would be at church, possibly praying for an alternate weather pattern.

On this day, however, the parking lot was packed with more than a few cars parked cattywampus–yeah, you heard me right—abutting giant snow mountains deposited by snowplows about its perimeter.

The critical driving issue in most lots is the blindspot created by these snowpiles, which conceal the frantic shoppers lurching from behind them and make competition-level space-spotting in the narrow plowed paths fairly treacherous.

So, when I surveyed the Costco lot, I knew the local media had whipped everyone into a frenzy with their European Computer Models and snowfall calculations in the double digits and shrieks of keywords, like “Bread!”, “Milk!”, “Eggs!”.  Then when the national press descended to scoop existing snow with their mittened hands on camera before the first new flake had fallen, well, that’s never a good sign.

Throughout the rest of that day and into today, stores were packed with panicked shoppers and carts careening down aisles at Daytona speeds. Predictably, shelves were bereft of bread and freezers devoid of milk and eggs.  Hardware stores reported near rumble conditions among the men circling the few remaining snowblowers.

We’ve taken all precautions: snow implements are cleaned and at the ready for use during the post-blizzard dig-out. Vast quantities of bread, milk, and eggs are stored and the pantry is bulging with all manner of food for any potential blizzard condition with or without power.

I’m guessing no one will need to grocery shop again for at least another month.

Snow falling again after we just moved 1 foot of it off the upper deck!

Snow falling again after we just moved 1 foot of it off the upper deck: argh.

Shoveling ahead...when the snow stops. We'll clear this first, then rake snow from the roof. That will dump a couple of feet here and then we'll shovel it off the deck again.

Shoveling ahead…when the snow stops. We’ll clear this first, then rake snow from the roof. That will dump several feet and then we’ll shovel it off the deck again.

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Blizzard of Oz Redux

Flat Rock Creek snowfall

Today brings a well-publicized winter storm, already living up to its hype. This serene view from Flat Rock Creek belies the vehicular chaos reigning on area highways, many of which are now closed down and littered with abandoned cars. Schools, malls, bus routes, and even the airports have closed as the snowfall per hour ramps up.

This has been named Winter Storm “Q” by the Weather Channel because they couldn’t think of an actual name beginning with the letter “Q.” I suggest they root around the archives of early Sesame Street episodes during the next break between storms.

I guess I’m OK with a storm that sounds like the name of a James Bond villain. I am not so enamored of one inspired by the name of the transit line a national weather celebrity back east took to get to work.

Thanks anyway, Weather Channel. I am going to stick with a moniker that resonates in these parts and recycle the one we used two years ago, the last time this kind of storm dropped more than a foot of snow and brought the entire region to a halt: Blizzard of Oz.

It fits and offers just a bit more metaphoric bang for the buck.

Stay safe and warm throughout this storm, my fellow Midwesterners!

(See my daughter wield a mean snow rake below. Oh, yes, there are such things and they really work by pulling snow off your roof to prevent dreaded ice dams.)

Snow Rake 2013