Just when I thought the Farmer’s Almanac was going to be right, after all, predicting less than normal snowfall this year, along comes Winter Storm Juno. As I write on Monday night, we are about to get clobbered by what all the hyped-up TV meteorologists are predicting may be a historic blizzard for the Northeast—rivaling the Blizzard of ‘78.
The wind-up to this storm has been more nerve-wracking than the actual snow, at least so far. Driving around today, I listened to the new Governor of Massachusetts give his first Big Storm news conference, and all the state officials who reassured us, over and over, that everyone knows what they’re doing and are well-prepared to handle Juno.
N-Star is bringing in electrical crews from as far away as Tennessee to deal with power outages. I received an email from our tree service that customers will get first preference dealing with any downed trees. We managed to get an oil delivery this afternoon before the storm hit, which I insisted on trying to schedule this morning, because it will be incredibly hard to reach the oil spigot under a few feet of snow in frigid temperatures the rest of this week. Around 10:30 this evening, we received a phone message from our city about the state of emergency and travel ban beginning at midnight.
All of this is certainly good. I appreciate having foreknowledge about when the storm will start (it’s been snowing since late afternoon), how long it will last (through Wednesday morning) and how much snow we can expect (anywhere from 18 to 30 inches, according to various reports). At least we can plan a little. Good friends up the street with a generator have offered us a place to stay if the power goes out, a great comfort.
But the reality is, there is no way to know exactly what the storm will bring and how to deal with it until we’re in the heart of it. Which got me to thinking of the parallels between really bad weather and really bad diseases. Too much information about what might happen can only make you incredibly anxious. There’s no way to know how you’ll respond until you’re in the thick of things. And there’s a limit to how much you really want to know about all the scary alternatives, because it doesn’t help you to deal with what actually happens, anyway.
So, I’m trying to keep this in mind as I ride out Juno. I felt a lot better this evening once I knew that both of my very capable adult daughters were safe and sound in their respective homes, at either end of the state, and I heard Al walk in the door. Then I found out he has to go to work Tuesday, as the only social worker covering his hospital, since his colleagues live farther away. But he doesn’t have to rush in the morning, and he may just get there by snowshoe, a much better alternative to driving if the roads get really bad.
Ginger has the best attitude of all of us. She may be 16-and-a-half, but she still loves snow. She must have gone outside at least a half-dozen times this evening, each time returning with more snow on her coat. As far as she’s concerned, it’s just another cold, refreshing night outside.
According to Roman mythology, Juno was the chief goddess, female counterpart of Jupiter and mother of Mars. She was a goddess of childbirth and worshipped as the guardian angel of women.
If this storm is anything like its namesake, maybe all the warning and hype will be a blessing in disguise, keeping us well-prepared and safe from worse fates. As long as the power stays on, we have heat and Al makes it back and forth to work safely, I will try to sit back, get some writing done and appreciate the wilder side of Mother Nature.
And if things don’t work out so well, I’ll deal with that, too. As I keep reminding myself, I’ve had plenty of practice.
Image Credit: Satellite view of developing Nor’easter off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, January 26, 2015, NASA/NOAA GOES Project.
Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.
Pat Bizzell says
It’s now mid-morning on Tuesday, 27 January, and here in Worcester we have at least two feet of snow. The temperature is very cold—11 degrees, last I looked–and that means the snow is powdery. Now the wind is blowing it into drifts, and completely filling in the driveway and front walk that my husband spent an hour clearing around 5 a.m., trying to get ahead of the removal task. We’re not going to try to clear any more until it lets up, but the good news might be that with powdery, icy snow, clean-up will be easier, and the threat of power outages will be reduced. I can’t help but be awed by the power of the storm, even though I fear I won’t be much help in the clean-up process, with my arthritic hands and shoulder. So happens that in a big storm like this, the wind always creates huge drifts right against our front and back doors. As if I needed another message to stay inside! But those drifts have always been my particular clean-up responsibility, since the snow-blower can’t be used on our rear deck or stone front steps. I will give it my best shot! Good luck to all who are coping or will cope with blizzard conditions this winter.
Evelyn Herwitz says
Seems to be easing up a bit, now. I’m guessing 30 inches. It was officially 25 when Al left this morning. Ginger got stuck outside the back door, not sure how to come inside! I had to wrap a towel around her and lift her into the house.
I, too, always feel at a great disadvantage with storms, unable to shovel. Safety first, Pat. Stay warm.
Kathy Pulda says
Just came inside. The street is deserted except for the oldest boy of 5 children across the street who is snow blowing their driveway. Rob walked to his brother’s around the corner for breakfast at 8:00. The offer of homemade waffles with real maple syrup was too tempting for him not to venture out during a very windy and snowy part of the storm. And Rob is not a sissy. He traversed up the side of Mt Wachusett on Sunday on cross country skiis. He called when he got to Arnold’s to let me know he got there safely. Don’t tell him but I wasn’t worried. I was invited too but you can guess where I was. I took call till 1:00 for the subacute floor I work on. Yesterday we rescheduled all the labs and appts for today. Most of the nurses came in prepared to stay overnight yesterday. An incredibly dedicated bunch, all with smiles. They slept on mattresses in the rehab room. One nurse paid $25 out of pocket to come back to help out with the 4 admissions for umass we got last night. The only complaint I heard about was that the patients didn’t have tv bc the cable was down. As I sit in my den watching the snow out the back window, all I can think of is a snow globe. And as Julie said when she lived in Africa, TIA (this is Africa). TINE (this is New England)
Evelyn Herwitz says
Quite a day here. Nurses are the best! Hope you get some rest, Kathy.
Lynn Kall Horn says
What a wonderful article, Evelyn. You are a great writer!
Today I reminisced about snow days when my kids were school aged & living at home. I was a school nurse in their district which enabled me to be home as well. The anticipation of a snow day was very exciting in our neighborhood. All the kids wore their pj’s inside out for good luck (hoping school would be cancelled). The hot chocolate, grilled cheese and homemade soup ran freely as the children took breaks from the cold to eat and have their clothes dried in my dryer 🙂
Today I made soup and Ovaltine (for me) while feeling the absence of my adult children and their
friends; but feeling grateful they are healthy and safe living productive lives with their significant others. Where did the time go?
Evelyn Herwitz says
I know the feeling, Lynn. Nice to hear from you!