Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

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In Between Time

Sleet covered twig

The calm before a storm is eerie. You can feel it in the air, the thickening that tells you weather is coming, and at this time of the year, that means snow, sleet and freezing rain in various combinations. People scurry around running errands but also stocking up on food and supplies just in case. The weather forecasters are in their element, showing pinpoint doppler images every 15 minutes and rolling up their sleeves to show you that they’re hard at work on our behalf.

We’re in this in between state today. Thursday was the first big winter storm here, dumping up to 14 inches in parts of the state and roads into either parking lots or bumper car lots, with people stuck or spinning out all over the place. Yesterday it warmed up enough to melt some of the mess but then sidewalks froze over again and today treacherous black ice was the problem.

Another storm comes tonight and tomorrow, this time mostly sleet and freezing rain rather than snow. It’s not as pretty and it’s wicked dangerous to be out in, so I plan to stay put inside with Tessie. Debbi wrote about her storm preparations down in West Virginia and I’m impressed with her matter-of-fact inclusion of clean clothes and dishes on the list. If power goes out, it’s a big plus to not have to worry about those things with so many other things to deal with, such as keeping warm.

My preparations haven’t been that complete, but I did make sure that the last Christmas presents were mailed, groceries fetched, Diet Pepsi lime stockpiled, and a pedicure so my feet are happier stuck in boots. I know, that’s really a stretch, but it was worth it.

I ate breakfast out today and ate far more than I should have, which messed up my eating the rest of the day. Another reason to be happy I’ll be home where food isn’t as much of a lure as when I’m out with piles of chocolates and holiday treats call to me as I walk by. There are parties next week and food will be more difficult, so I want to relax with what I know tomorrow.

And watch the sleet from the inside comfort of my cozy recliner.


Please Let it Snow, Not Sleet

Winter DrivingWinter Storm Alexander is upon us. I know, I never heard of naming a winter storm before either, but apparently one of the local stations thinks it’s a good idea, being the winter equivalent of hurricanes and all. I think it’s kind of dopey. What matters, though, isn’t the name but the fact that the weather is awful and so is the driving.

I’ve lived in three New England states over the last 21 years and know what it’s like to put up with snow, sleet, and freezing rain in various combinations. Maine manages it the best, probably because they have more of it so have enough equipment and smart drivers. Universities aren’t known for shutting down or giving early dismissals but we are encouraged to use our own time if we think we have travel issues.

Well, duh. After venturing out at lunchtime for 20 minutes, I returned to close up shop and head for home whether the U decided it was a good idea or not – and I had lots of company. It took me 30 minutes to get to the parking garage; even with only a few inches of snow, the ice underneath was problematic. It took me another hour to get home from the garage, a trip that normally takes me 15 minutes. Roads were clogged and single-lane traffic going about 8 mph on poorly plowed and treated surfaces.

My biggest challenge was the final big hill before my complex. I ended up behind a car that careened into the side of the road and was in danger of spinning out and getting hit myself, but managed to straighten out and get to our road and down to my little carport. I admit I really don’t want to go back outside to shovel out behind my car to the hopefully plowed main road.

Snow is pretty and artful and fun to play in. Ice and sleet are not and that’s what’s pelting down now. All I want to do is stay inside and play with the kitty and maybe start a pot of soup. I’d best get used to this because the first Nor’easter is due on Saturday night/Sunday. I think its name will be Brianna. Who knew?