Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowpocalypse - Part I

Heading into last weekend I was really annoyed that the pending storm was gonna keep me from a girl’s shopping trip to the Design House in Luckett’s, VA. We’d all been looking forward to it for weeks and I’d even made my wish list. The Design House only opens one weekend a month and I was prepared to spend some money! After all, I had to hunt down that pair of amazing horizontal striped curtains I saw in December.

Like a lot of people in the area I decided to work from home on Friday. Traffic can be a real mess when you’ve got an hour commute back home. The first flakes started to fall a little after 9 am and I took to Facebook to track the storm progress with the rest of NOVA. I watched, I waited and those 4-5” by 6 pm hadn’t materialized. Honestly, I felt let down. Well, shame on me because that’s about when it really started to pile up. Then it was back to business as usual; wrapped up work, made some dinner for me and Dan, walked the dog and headed to bed. Dan took a few trips outside to clear the snow, so we’d have less to do in the morning. At 10 pm the power went out. I wasn’t too worried. The power’s gone out during a storm before but NOVEC usually has the lights on within a couple hours. I tossed and turned all night. I kept waking up to see if the hall light had gone on. Nothing.

At 9 am I rolled out of bed, into a cold house. The storm was kick’n. There was a good 10” or so on the driveway, 15”+ on the lawn, and I started shoveling. Dan joined me a little while later and we talked about what to do without power… and heat… and water. A friend of ours, Russ, had offered for us to stay at his place and we decided to get the driveway cleared, pack up the family and hit the road. These three simple things took what seemed like forever. As I was putting together sleeping bags, pillows, a cooler of perishables and other items, plus talking to my mom on the phone – it happened. Out of my living room window I saw the tree on the side of my house falling. One part of the tree was falling away and onto the power lines. The other part of the tree was falling toward the house and me. I called for my dog to come with me (thank you for listening, Cannon) and we ran to the other side of our small house. Meanwhile, Dan was in the driveway watching the tree fall and calling for me. We were so fortunate to not have the tree come through the roof! But, this was a sign to start moving a little faster and it wasn’t long until we were on the road.

I’m not sure how many people had to venture out into the storm on Saturday but it was treacherous. The snowy, barely plowed roads, in combination with the snow still falling made in incredibly difficult to see. It was an unbelievably bumpy ride to Russ’s but I was grateful that Dan was driving and that we have 4-wheel drive! We saw few vehicles on the road – more off the road than on the road. One or two people were trying to make their way in a minivan or sedan. This didn’t really work out well for either vehicle. Russ’s neighborhood may have seen one pass of the snowplow but his street hadn’t seen any action. Dan barreled through the snow with his truck to make it to the driveway. The three of us - Dan, Cannon and I – were glad to get inside. Almost immediately, I went into guest room and took a nap. I was a million miles away from worrying about missing the girl’s shopping trip.

Worried about the house, Dan headed back to our place to check on things. Nothing new, still no power. The snow had ended and there was even a little blue sky peeking out. Back at Russ’s we had a nice dinner, which I’d brought along from our house and then Dan headed back out to help dig out some friends who didn’t realize there wasn’t a shovel in the house. Yikes! We ended the night watching Gran Torino (great flick!) and then off to bed. We were exhausted and sore from all the shoveling and it was a good thing we were getting our rest because there was more trouble in store for us on Sunday!


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