Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Snowpocalypse


Wonderland
London, ON, December 2010

This was my BlackBerry camera's view out the kitchen window yesterday morning. I went back to the window this morning to shoot an update, but it hadn't changed a whole lot. Okay, the snow was higher, but it seemed like more of the same. Which it is.

Today's our second consecutive snow day, thanks to a storm that dumped an all-time, single-day record 80 cm on us yesterday and continues unabated today. When lake effect storms set up off of Lake Huron to our north, they often create thin systems, known as streamers, that pump intense snow squalls from the lake right through our region. What's amazing is how localized the storms are: head 30 miles east or west of us and there's barely a wisp of white to be found. Yet here, white dominates all. It's a pretty spectacular landscape.

The kids are thrilled with their surprise vacation, and I have to admit I don't much mind as my typical work-at-home commute involves putting on slippers, grabbing a mug of something hot and heading downstairs to my home office. As long as I have a working phone and Internet connection, I'm good. I like the sound of having them around, too.

The dog loves bouncing his little self through the snow, often getting lost in the drifts as he uses his head like a plow. No, I can't explain it, but it's really cute to watch. Less cute is the impact on others. Transit service ended at 8 p.m. yesterday, and is scheduled to stop at 3 p.m. today. They've scrapped it outright for tomorrow because the busses kept getting stuck. Businesses and institutions across the region are shut down. Folks who get into trouble are having great difficulty getting help.

I remember monumental storms when I was a kid. They were great opportunities to take a time out from life and just enjoy an extraordinary day. I remember drifts up to the roof and getting lost in snowbanks. I remember the wind and I remember the feeling of battening down the hatches with my family. I remember knowing my parents would somehow figure it all out. I remember that curious mixture of comfort, safety and giddy excitement. I can't help but think that this entire experience is creating similar memories in our kids, which makes me almost wish this storm would go on for a little longer yet.

Your turn: Finding the positive in severe weather. Please discuss.

13 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Well, we don't get any snow days..lol, We do get days if we have a severe fire in the area and they closed the schools due to the air quality... I guess the plus side is bonding w/your kids more, i.e. if they stay long enough in the room to talk to!. My son found it the opportunity to hit the pc and play his games...I love that photo u took- using the frame of the window to frame that photo!. Pretty inventive.

kcinnova said...

What a gorgeous sight! We had a storm like this last year, same name. ;)

I loved it. I loved everyone being forcibly hunkered down together. We played, we read, we watched movies and cartoons. We all shoveled snow (well, not the 10yo) and I took a load of photographs.
I'd welcome it again this year, as long as it doesn't keep my oldest son from coming home for Christmas or returning to college in January.

Also, I don't want to lose power (heat! electricity!) or internet. For some reason those are more important than going to the store for supplies. (Bananas are as popular as toilet paper.)

Nancy said...

Spent my early childhood in Newfoundland -- it snows alot there. Didn't matter how cold or how much snow, we went out every day in it -- skating, sledding, the works. Enjoy your snow days! :)

SC said...

Excellent post and spot on with my thoughts on the storm. Sometimes it's worth just to sit back and take things as they come without a schedule.

Lynne H. said...

No snow for us folks in Florida, but in the summer we are on constant alert for Hurricanes. When the last big one (Katrina) rolled though (I live on the Gulf side of the state), there is that sense of anticipation, excitement and togetherness with the family. Granted, it normally ends with a bad result, the feeling is the same. Unity...
I grew up in Virginia and have some of my best childhood memories were on snow days. My 3 brothers and I trooped around and ended the days laying in front of our fireplace..

You enjoy these days with your kids and continue making memories...

dennisthemennis.co.uk said...

sounds lovely, I too enjoyed my kids company last week during our snow days :)

Chibi Janine said...

We have had snow in the UK takes a lot less to grind the contry to a stand still but we don't often get it that bad so when we do, we are under prepared.

My dog loved the snow fall also I think it calls to his Huskey side and the joy of the deep snow was that for once it was safe to for my little boy to play in the street.

What sort of dog do you have?

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, I agree: being snowed in is lovely when you have working power and heat and no place you have to go. Enjoy it!

Max said...

I love the holiday break from school, especially when we get a big snow storm or two. Sitting in my toasty warm house watching the snow pile up, with nowhere to go, makes winter enjoyable.
Being right on the Great Salt Lake, we get that lake effect snow, and I know what you mean about being localized. West Valley City (10 miles west of me) can get a foot and a half and I get nothing. Or if the winds are just a little more westerly, I get dumped on and they get a trace. As much as I complain about weather forecasters and how often they are way off, sometimes it's amazing they can predict at all.

Pat Tillett said...

If that happened where I live (southern california), the carnage and chaos that would ensue on our roads would be incredible. I remember as a kid being envious of people getting snow days in other parts of the country. Of course as a kid, we don't have to deal with the serious side of it...

srp said...

As long as you've got milk and bread and lunch meat and plenty of cereal... it should be fine. My dad would always get extra bread and milk. And a little camping cook stove in case the electricity went out. It does look cold though. Here we have had record cold temps for this time of year, down tonight into the low twenties, cold even for our Christmases. Hope you get a picture of the little dog.. he is so cute. Daisy hates snow.. almost as much as rain.

Karen S. said...

Oh yes Lake Huron....it can be a deadly lake....I remember crying very hard hoping and praying we'd make it back to shore on a some bad weather outings when I was little.... Doesn't the snow always look so much more beautiful when you are tucked safely inside looking out! Oh yes!...I rather hate those drives getting back home in those big dumps of white bliss!

daisy said...

Wow. I thought you'd never get snow days in Canada...you were just used to dealing with it. I can't imagine that much snow.