What all the news and weather folk have been yammering about; “Snowmageddon,” is here. Call it a blizzard or just another nor’easter, it’s here, complete with all the *sturm and drang you could possibly wish for. But it’s January, and that’s pretty much what happens in January, or February, or even sometimes in March or April. The media always hypes it up; so don’t panic. It’s winter, so it’s gonna snow. A lot. And be very cold. That’s pretty much what happens in this neck of the woods–Old Man Winter knows that his time is limited, so he throws a few of these New England blizzards at us now and then to keep us on our toes.
We who live here understand that these storms can and do happen. Sometimes we lose power, sometimes we can’t get out, sometimes we have to do without some of our comforts; that’s winter for you.
Just be prepared as best you can. Pay attention to the sensible things when a snowstorm is imminent, i.e.; have plenty of batteries, flashlights, water, suitable clothing and footwear, candles and food. There are a gozillion web sites you can check to make sure you have everything you need, so check them out.
But here’s the thing about snowstorms–it gives us a little island of solitude in a busy world. With all the distractions and goings-on of everyday life, we often forget about simple pleasures. No TV? No problem. Read a book by candlelight or by the light of your handy-dandy headlamp (this is standard gear for us snow birds). No computer? Get out the Scrabble board. No social networking? Write a letter, or, if your phone is still working, call someone. As for meals, it’s always good to have a little propane grill. You bundle up, take the grill outside (this bit is critical–DO NOT use the propane grill in the house or in a closed-in porch–EVER!), and grill up some hot dogs or burgers or chicken or vegetables or, one of my favorites, a **hobo pack.
For me, the gift a blizzard gives us is the knowledge that we are not in control; we never were. But even as it’s humbling to be in the grip of something so powerful, it’s a reminder that we are only visitors on this earth and we’d better make the most of our time. No matter what pressing issues are on our plates or where we should be, nothing is as important as living our lives well.
Of course I won’t like it if we lose power and we can’t make coffee. Of course our one indoor/outdoor cat, Plumpy-Nut, will walk from door to door, hoping that one of them will open up to sunshine and flowers. Of course it’s inconvenient (and a little scary) to be without power. But these are transitory things, and as long as we’re prepared, we’re good to go.
Right now, our knights of the snow; all the snowplow drivers, police force, EMTs, firemen, and all those folks who make our towns safe for us–all are doing their best to keep things running smoothly until “Snowmageddon” tires himself out and goes on vacation to Bermuda. These are regular people with families who, unlike the rest of us, have to be at work in all this snow and wind. Bless them all!
Until all this has past, I wish you all safe harbor. For myself, I’m going to go get another cup of coffee before our power poops out.
*German, literally, storm and stress, from Sturm und Drang (1776), drama by Friedrich von Klinger †1831 German novelist and dramatist
**A hobo pack consists of a goodish size square of aluminum foil, filled with some vegetables and chicken or fish (or whatever you like). Toss in some soy sauce or Thai peanut sauce, or barbeque sauce or whatever, and seal up the aluminum foil in a neat pouch. Toss it on the grill for 20-30 minutes, depending on how fast your protein will cook. Unwrap and enjoy!