There’s something about loss that makes you really stop and appreciate everything. This weekend we lost power, heat, control, and a few moments I thought I lost my mind. But in the midst of a blizzard, we hunkered down and found warmth and comfort in each other and our community. There was a sense of pride that overwhelmed me as I snapped pictures of my husband outside in the dark windy night making his first pass with the snow blower. A feeling of community when our neighbor helped us with our driveway and we lent our snow blower to two others. Who would have thought a monster of a snowstorm would bring to light how fortunate we are to have each other to keep warm and spirited in the dark, how lucky we were to only lose power overnight because I would have lost my mind trying to keep a hat on a toddler inside the house all day, and how blessed we are to have so many kind neighbors to count on. We survived our first Nor’easter, and it was actually kinda fun.
Earlier last week, everyone was talking about the ‘big storm’ coming. We were all skeptical. Sometimes these weather people tell us we’ll get a foot of snow, and we’ll just get a dusting. And when you name a storm after a cute orange fish, how can you be intimidated?
But there was no chancing it. Some weather models showed us getting 2 feet of snow, others showed over 3 feet in some areas. We’re on the south shore of Boston, so we were predicted to get hit pretty hard, being close to the ocean and all. Luckily, the state took it’s precautions and we were dismissed from work at 11am Friday, made it home safely with Avery and it was time to hunker down. Vinay stopped at the gym on his way home, knowing it probably would be closed Saturday. The first flakes had been coming down since 10am, but didn’t start sticking until late afternoon.
This is what our back yard looked like before dark on Friday. Snow was just starting to accumulate, but it was still coming down slow. Not until dusk did it really start picking up. So what to do before a big storm hits? No, we didn’t rush to the grocery store to stock up. We had enough provisions to last the weekend and if we lost power we had flashlights and a friend nearby with a generator, so we could stay with them if needed. All our ducks were in a row and we were ready for Nemo… so Avery and I made blizzard cookies!!
And Avery couldn’t wait until they were all done before he stole a cookie and ‘shared’ it with Daddy… I think Daddy might have got one bite. The kid devoured it! I’m not surprised though, because Avery rarely gets sweets. A blizzard is a perfect occasion for treats though. Plus I knew we might be out of power and bringing cookies to the neighbors and to work on Friday would be nice.
As the snow came down, and it started to get dark, we knew we had to take advantage and have Avery experience his first blizzard, so we all bundled up and went out to play in the snow.
Avery was very skeptical. He hates being in his snowsuit because he can’t move, but he did walk around and explore this odd white stuff.
The wind was starting to whip and Avery just stood there, annoyed from snow in his face. It was hard not to laugh.
He did cheer up though, and played a little with us…
After five minutes of these shenanigans we called it quits. We didn’t want Avery exposed for too long, and it was time for dinner. I think Avery was a little mad at us for taking him out…
After dinner, Avery went to bed and Daddy revved up our brand new snow blower that’s been sitting in our basement for the past year and a half, and put it to work!
The snow was coming down pretty hard at this point… around 730pm. The wind had really picked up and the walls were whistling and sounded like they were going to fall down!
Vinay came in and we settled down for the night. At 11pm, the power went out. At first we were panicked, didn’t know what to do. We knew it would get cold without heat and were worried about Avery. I put an extra fleece on Avery and we hunkered down for the night. Avery must have been very snug, because he didn’t wake up until 715 (45 minutes later than usual). The power was still out, so I bundled Avery up to kept him warm… a long sleeve onsie, fleece pants, socks, a sweater, sweatshirt, and a hat. He was a little less than pleased with me.
He kept pulling his hat off and just wanted to run around. I tried snuggling with him for a bit and watched 15 minutes of cartoons.
Luckily, the house didn’t get too cold. It was 55 degrees around 10am when the power came back on. Another hour before the heat really kicked in and we were back in business! However, we still had a problem outside…
The snow was so deep we couldn’t open the door! We were able to open the garage door though, and Vinay went out start clearing a path. This is our back yard that I had taken a picture of the grass the night before.
We had about 2 feet of snow in the back of the house. And the wind had whipped snow everywhere… we couldn’t even see out the windows because the screens were cased in snow. This is the window I took pictures out of the night before.
Thankfully, Avery went down for a late morning nap, so Vinay and I both attached the snow. We cleared a path in the driveway, and my poor car…
There was a good 18 inches of snow ONTOP of my car, and it was shielded by the driveway walls and trees, but still got hit pretty hard. The back of the house was a sheet of snow…all that wind we heard whipping all night had tossed snow along the siding of the house.
We worked our way around and cleared a path to the back door. Avery woke up (we checked on him every couple minutes) and we took a break, ate some warm food, and played. Avery went down again in the afternoon and we finished up the front of the house, and our sidewalks. We’re on a corner lot, so we are SOOO thankful for the snowblower. It was such a big help with all the snow we had to remove.
By this time in the afternoon, our neighbors were all out shoveling themselves out. Our neighbor has a Caterpillar and scooped out the snow in our driveway, so nice of him! The snow from the road plows had piled up where our driveway met the road, so that was a big help!
We were all done our pathways, and Avery was still snoozing, so we lent a hand and snow-blowed to neighbors out. They were very appreciative and it felt great to put our snowblower to work, finally. Plus, that thing is fun to drive!! Much more fun than shoveling.
With our power back on, Avery was happy to take off all his layers.
The power did flicker and turn off a couple times (very annoying) but it did come back on. We kept warm and stayed inside. There was a no driving ban, and we had nowhere to go. Plus our friends stopped by and brought Avery milk (thanks Erin & Andrew!). The snow had stopped midday Saturday, so we were all done with the snow and after Avery went to bed, we were exhausted from keeping him entertained inside all day, and removing all the snow, so we popped a pizza in and watched a movie together (there is no calorie counting during a blizzard!)
Sunday morning I hit the gym and man were the roads bad. Near our house they weren’t, but when I hit the next town, there was snow all over the roads, people walking in the roads, cars spinning out. It was rough! It took me 15 minutes to get to the gym when it usually takes 5 or less! So I took my time and got in a nice workout, and the lights flickered once while I was there. When I got home, Vinay said the power just went out. Luckily Avery was asleep, and it came right back on after I got home. Then we swapped and Vinay went to the gym. As soon as he left, power went off again! And it was out for FOUR HOURS. We had plans to go stock up on the dairy and veggies we lost in the fridge, but when we got to Target, their power was out! They luckily had generators and we stocked up on stuff for Avery, but their cold stuff wasn’t OK to buy.
Since we were craving something warm, we went to Panera Bread and ate a late lunch there. That was enjoyable for about 2 minutes. Now I remember why I don’t eat out with a toddler. Oh my. I almost lost my mind. We’d been cooped up in the house all weekend, so it was nice to get out, but oh man did he throw a fit! He wanted nothing to do with the mac and cheese we got him, or the yogurt. He was throwing his pacifier on the floor, smashing food with his fist and screaming… oh the screaming. I felt like THAT family. What a great end to the weekend.
I was more than relieved when we got home. The power was back on and I headed out for my girls night out with Erin. We went to the Celtics game (which they won in TRIPLE over time!), and Avery and Daddy had some time together. A rough time at that… Avery spiked a low grade fever, most likely from teething and explains his behavior at lunch. Daddy took good care of him though and I didn’t hear a peep from him all night after I got home.
So happy it’s Monday and we’re all back at work and daycare. We needed to get out of the house. I probably would have lost my mind had we stayed inside another day without power! But we survived, and looking back, it really wasn’t that bad. We have a sense of pride for having all our sidewalks and walkways cleared and salt put down (freezing rain coming tonight), an increased feeling of community with our neighbors (who Avery and I delivered cookies to on Sunday to thank them), and so thankful that we got thru it unscathed. There are still people digging out, a woman who gave birth in the middle of the storm at home, a young boy that died in a car from exhaust fumes, and entire towns without power. It could have been much much worse. We are lucky to have each other and still have our sanity after such a tough weekend!
Did you ‘Find Nemo’? How much snow did you get? Technically our town got 28 inches. But because of the snow drifts, we got about 2 feet in the back of the house and 3 feet in the front – so much that it was higher than the snow blower!