Ice, Ice … Maybe

cartoon6825http://www.andertoons.com

“Meteorologists are the only profession where you get paid to guess and be wrong every day!”

I have no idea who is responsible for the above quote, or the many variations of it, but it is SO true!  About 5 days ago, they started talking about a “major storm” that would bring snow, rain, and ice.  This storm was “capable of causing power outages that could last more than 72 hours”!  As we got closer to the storm hitting, the predictions became worse.  There was talk of anywhere from a half inch to an inch of ice or more being possible.

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Meteorologists were all over it.  This storm was to begin moving in Friday night and continuing into Saturday.  We were to get tons of rain (which we did), and there was going to be lots of flooding (which there was), and by late Saturday the winds were going to pick up and turn the water to ice.  That ice on trees and power lines, would cause “massive power outages” and lots of damage.

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Before picking up my sons on Thursday, I stopped for gas.  The place was nuts!  People were lined up, filling gas cans, propane tanks, and their vehicles.  The workers were worried that they were going to run out of gas because so many people were coming to get it.

We stopped at the store to get some groceries.  As you can imagine, everyone was out trying to stock up in case they were “iced” in.  Our stove is electric, so we altered our normal grocery list and got stuff that we knew we could make on the grill outside, or stuff that we could easily throw together without having to cook. We got milk and cereal, bread and lunch meat, and stuff that we could throw in a cooler if we lost power. We also made sure to have flashlights and candles ready.  We also grabbed some water, just in case. We weren’t the only ones….

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Around 11am Saturday, the State Police were all over social media telling people to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency.  The rain was to start changing to sleet and ice around 2pm.  I texted my ex to see if she wanted me to bring the boys home early so that neither of us would have to venture out on Sunday morning.  I hated to cut the time with them short, but at least they wouldn’t be out in a car on icy roads.  They were back home by 3pm.

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Did we get ice – yes.  Was it a lot?  Not really.  Snow ended up covering most of it.  Kudos to the folks who took care of the roads.  Local roads still had some snow on them, but the expressways were clear.  The funniest thing I saw when I woke up for work was this:

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This happens so much that I wonder if the meteorologists are in cahoots with the local grocery stores.  “We really need to get rid of all this bread, milk, and eggs…..can you whip up a nice winter storm to help us move it off the shelves?!” With all the modern technology, you would think that the predictions would be more accurate.  Obviously not.

The last weather man I trusted was Sonny Elliot!  He was a fan favorite here in Michigan. He did weather on radio and TV for 70 years!

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He made up words like “Cloggy” which was a combination of Foggy and Cloudy.  Clousy was Cloudy and Lousy.  Huggy was Humid and Muggy.  His forecasts were full of silliness and jokes.  He’d say things like: “Today will be as pleasant as diaper rash,” “The storm is as suspicious as a dermatologist with acne,” and “Driving will be as hazardous as tap dancing in a canoe!”

I digress.  Let me wrap up by saying that I am glad that we didn’t get as much as they predicted.  I am also glad that we didn’t lose power.  While I enjoy cooking on the grill, I’d much rather do it during the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Storm and Winter Songs

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According to the calendar, it is still officially Autumn.  There are still colored leaves on the trees here in Michigan.  Many people haven’t even started raking them yet.  This, however, may be the shortest Autumn I can remember as we were hit today with quite the winter storm!

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I guess we broke the record today for “most snowfall” on November 11th.  The record (for the Detroit area, anyway) was set back in 1984 – 4.1 inches.  That record was surpassed as early as 1pm today.  The snow continued to fall throughout the evening and made for one hell of a ride (3+ hours) into work!

The snow brings out a lot of anger in people.  People waste no time talking about how much they hate the snow.  “It’s too early,” they say.  It’s not like we haven’t had snow early in November before, we have.  As a matter of fact, it was one year ago I posted about it snowing on Facebook.  We’ve certainly seen snow as early as late October, too!  While I don’t necessarily like having to shovel it, or drive in it, I do like the snow.  I marvel at the beauty of it when it has first fallen on the ground.  Someone posted this on Facebook yesterday, and it is SO true:

“If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”

Sometimes, in life, we need to look for the positives instead of focusing on the negatives.

At any rate, all the snow brought me back to a thought I had while writing a recent blog about Christmas music (Is It Too Early? – on November 2).  Some radio stations (both local and on Sirius XM) have started playing all Christmas music.  On my drive in, I was flipping around and stopped on the local station, because they were playing a song that would be considered a Christmas song, but actually worked because of the weather.

Here I am driving 30mph while the snow is falling, and Dean Martin’s “Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!” is playing.  It was the perfect song for the weather.  Which brings me back to the thought I had in the previous blog – why can’t stations play “winter” songs before Christmas, and after Christmas?  I compiled a list of songs that could certainly be played as just “winter hits”.

Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!

Winter Wonderland

Snowfall

Winter Weather

Snow

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Marshmallow World

Song For A Winter’s Night

Snowbird

Hazy Shade of Winter

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Jingle Bells

There are SO many more.  Jingle Bell Rock could easily be a “winter song”.  Frosty the Snowman is a “winter song”.  Sleigh Ride is also a snowy “winter song”!  It doesn’t have to be Christmas for me to enjoy those songs.  Am I forgetting any?  What can YOU add to the list?

Too Early?

I should mention that my wife listens to Christmas music all year round.  AND she likes to be able to enjoy the decorations, so when we have our first snow, the tree goes up.  Yes, it is up and decorated…and the cats are already enjoying it.

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I guess I should make sure the snow blower starts when I get home ….

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Thank you anti-lock brakes ….

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Winter.  Love it or hate it, it happens every year.  For some, they experience it without snow, however, here in Michigan, snowy winters are a sure thing.  Let me say that I do not mind a little bit of snow, especially around the holidays.  I’ve always wondered what it must be like to live in California or somewhere warm and hear “walking in a winter wonderland” or “let it snow”.  It can’t feel right.

Personally, I enjoy watching the snow fall.  I think looking at a winter scene is beautiful.  Snow covered ground and snow on bare tree branches brings a smile to my face.  Just like painter Bob Ross, God paints these beautiful scenes for us.  There is something calming and peaceful about it.  Driving when it is snowing is an entirely different thing.

Today is a good example of that.  It has been snowing since early morning and the roads are a mess.  On my way to get my boys, I was driving south on I-75.  Naturally, people are driving faster than me, and passing me (They obviously thing that their four wheel drive will allow them to conquer anything).  It happens suddenly – brake lights, swerving cars, the sounds of cars hitting the wall, cars veering off to my right, and my anti-lock brakes clicking.  Amidst all of that, I haven’t been hit and I haven’t hit anything.  As I finally stop, my hands were hurting from gripping the steering wheel so hard.  I remember in the years before anti-lock brakes, you would hit your brakes, and the car would just begin to fishtail and swerve all over the place. Today, thankfully, I coast to a stop…..and so did the car directly behind me. Needless to say, I was not going to venture any further, I followed many others who decided to exit the freeway via the on ramp.

Upon arriving home, I scroll Facebook and see many of my friends warning friends to stay home.  The pictures of piles ups and accidents are as common as pictures of children on the first day of school in my news feed.  Reports of complete expressway closures and declarations of snow emergencies are also things among the feed.

As much as I wanted to see my sons today, I love them too much to attempt to drive with or without them in this weather.  Instead, I called them, told them I loved them, and that we’ll get together tomorrow – after the snow stops and the roads are clear.  Today just seems like a good day to watch the snow fall, curl up in front of the fireplace, and read a good book with a cup of coffee.