I’ve been taking careful heed of all the advice they have been dispensing in advance of Snowtorious B.I.G., aka snowpocalypse, aka snowmageddon, aka snOMG2. We all have. We have all stocked up on eighteen days of milk, dry goods, toilet paper and 30 Rock episodes. The discerning amongst us have also been sure to procure some seasonally-appropriate beverages. As an homage to the blizzard we are facing I popped open a bottle of Magic Hat’s “Howl” Black As Night Winter Lager.
As part of our strategy for waiting out this ice age, Melissa got 10 DVDs out of the library including: I ♥ Huckabees, There Will Be Blood, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Synecdoche New York, Shut Up & Sing, Atonement, Manhattan and Season One of the Muppet Show — she likes to be prepared. Early this evening, we were enjoying the first movie on this list and I was sipping my Howl when I remembered one particular bit of advice: shovel early and often. Mark Wahlberg and Jason Schwartzman were beating each other-up with rubber balls in an attempt to recognize the inevitable pain and nothingness in life when I decided I should sooner than later face the pain and nothingness that would be digging out of this mess. It was around ten o’clock.
I hit the pause button, bundled up, and went outside to do round one of shoveling.
I’m no stranger to snow. I’ve been in white-out conditions in Colorado and sub-zero blizzards in Iowa and I can tell you what was waiting for me outside my door was every bit as fierce as any of those.
The accumulation was already pretty impressive — it had fallen to the depth of the rise of my front stairs, so that’s probably between 6-8″. But that wasn’t what got my attention. The wind and the ice pelting my face bitched-slapped me hard. And as I started shoveling I was unprepared for the weight of the snow. Most of what we have gotten this year has been light and fluffy, but this stuff has real mass to it. By the time I had cleared off my front walk, the top of the stairs were already covered again. While I was clearing off our little bit of sidewalk a wind gust came along and for about thirty seconds everything went white with blowing snow and pellets of ice. Mel had been a little afraid for me to go outside at night like this and I had laughed at her, but I have to say, when that wind began to blow and the world went white and I wasn’t sure if it was going to stop, I was a little afraid. But of course, the wind did die down and by the time I got through the front door the sidewalk was already covered again. An hour later, I don’t think you could tell I was out there. This is what I looked like when I came through the door. The picture doesn’t even do it justice since by the time Mel grabbed her camera the ice coating the front of my fleece had already begun to melt. But you can still see the ice and snow on my shoulders and the brim of my hat: