Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow My Goodness!

     For days the news channels and weather guys have been speculating. They have been warning us over and over and over again, getting us ready for an "extreme snow event". Everyone was psyched and hyped.. buying extra cans of tuna, checking their candle and lamp oil supplies, and preparing for the worst.
Snow falling on studio earlier this week
        We proceeded with our plans to have a midwinter dinner party, in spite of the warnings about freezing roads and possible blizzard conditions. Daughter # 2 sent a text mid-day to make sure her aging parents were safe and sound, and ready for the monster storm. I shared our dinner plans with her, to an immediate response of "does  anyone have 4 wheel drive"? and "don't let them drive if they drink alcohol"! I assured her that my friends are responsible adults, with many years of snow driving experience, and that just in case the storm moved in earlier than expected, I was prepared for overnight guests. My daughter is charming and has a big heart, so I accepted her concern with love and appreciation, but couldn't help but laugh when her final message to me, after receiving satisfactory answers to her queries, was "Okay.. I guess you are cleared for your party- have fun"!
     Although the roads were wet, the temperature was still at 34 degrees when our guests departed about 9:30, both due to the coming onslaught of nasty weather, and because we old folks just can't party as late as we used to!

     I have to admit, I take a rather cynical view of the hype the news channels use to warn us of impending possible disasters. My sense is that we are so bombarded by stimuli about everything, they don't think we are listening when they just say "get ready, there is a big storm coming". If the weather guys don't tell you how bad it MIGHT be.. they could be liable for lawsuits if it is really awful. If they tell you it will be terrible, and it isn't... oh well, no harm done, but if they don't warn you and you get into trouble, then you might blame them. When did we hand over the responsibility for our own well being and safety to the TV stations and the weather service?  And furthermore, how on earth did we all survive storms before we had weather satellites and the internet and news media to tell us a storm was coming? It might be that if you got up in the morning and there was a foot of snow on the ground, you might know there had been a storm, and then you might have to figure out what to do about it.
     Also of note here, is the fact that places in this country that live with real winter weather for months on end are scratching their heads and laughing at us about skidding off the road in a little dusting. We are all over the national news, as if snow is a major event, and of utmost importance in the big scheme of things.   It does give us a little comic relief from the focus on presidential candidate debates and the sorry state of the economy.

View from my office window (complete with reflection)

8 inches of snow this morning January 18, 2012
     Imagine my relief, when climbing out of bed this morning, I looked out to see a significant amount of snow had fallen overnight, and continued to do so until about noon. I was relieved for the weather folk because their prediction came through, relieved that the storm waited until my friends were safely home, and relieved that I have a good excuse to spend another day at home just reading, writing, splitting my time between my chair next to the fireplace and my computer.
 The beauty of winter
     In my imagination I spend long wintry days sorting photographs, catching up on correspondence, knitting slippers, planning the coming gardening season. The reality is much different. Hours are spent daydreaming, of things to come and far flung places to visit, and catching up with old friends on the phone. This week my daydreams are of France in the Springtime. The Loire, the Dordonge, Bordeaux and Giverney. The hours have flown by whilst hunting the cheapest airfares and the best priced and most nicely appointed gites... but more about that another time. 

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