Let It Snow
Posted by wendiwendy
Dave’s liver biopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 2. On Sunday, we started getting weather alerts…first they were Winter Weather Advisory and Snow Advisory alerts, and then they started getting increasingly frantic. Blizzard Watch! Blizzard Warning! Worst storm the Chicago area has ever seen!!!!
The original advisories made it sound like the main storm would be Tuesday morning/afternoon. I mentioned to Dave that he might need to reschedule his biopsy, depending on how much snow we got. Usually we get snow and the plows are ready for it – we might get 3-5 inches one evening and you’d never know by the condition of the streets the next morning. So if the worst of the storm was over by 8 or 9 pm Tuesday, the streets would probably be fine by Wednesday morning.
He was pretty casual about it … “We’ll see – usually these storms pass us by.” So we just kept watching the weather, not really sure what to do. It’s a long drive if the traffic is heavy – anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes, depending. If the roads are bad, a 40 minute drive can easily become a 2 hour drive. We needed to be at the VA hospital by 8 am for his blood work, then up for an ultrasound at 8:30 (for them to mark the biopsy site) and the actual biopsy at 9:00.
By the time Monday afternoon rolled around we had a Blizzard Watch, and it really seemed like there was no way the storm would miss us. The timing also shifted so that we were now looking at a huge snow storm starting around 3 pm Tuesday, the worst being overnight Tuesday, and continuing into late Wednesday morning/early afternoon. People were being warned not to even think of getting on the roads early Wednesday. Dave called to cancel his appointment.
Then he began fretting. “What if it’s not that bad? I’m really going to look stupid for canceling my appointment.” I kept reassuring him that he’d done the right thing, but we’ve had so many big storm predictions that turn out to be hardly anything and I could understand his ambivalence.
It started snowing a bit on Monday night, and we thought maybe that was going to be the snow storm. We weren’t sure if it would get heavier overnight or if Paige might get the day off from high school. I woke early on Tuesday to see if we had a message waiting, letting us know school was canceled. Nope – no message, no snow, and the roads had been cleared pretty well.
On Tuesday, the Blizzard Watch changed to a Blizzard Warning. The VA hospital called Dave to cancel his appointment for the next day, which was weird – it was a computerized message, saying they would call us to reschedule. But either way, that helped reassure him that he did the right thing by canceling the day before (even though apparently the computer system didn’t realize that). Now he was able to breathe easier, knowing the VA didn’t want him there the next day no matter what!
We watched the news, kept an eye out the window, and waited. And waited. We were beginning to wonder if the snow would ever start, when suddenly it was like someone flipped a “Blizzard” switch. Around 2:15 it started to snow. Paige usually gets off the bus around 2:50 and walks in around 3:00. By the time she got in, it was really looking like a blizzard…the wind was picking up and the snow was much, much heavier. Dave had gone out for some last minute provisions that morning and picked up some powdered donuts. He felt bad about her walking in that crappy weather, so he made hot chocolate for her and had it waiting when she walked in the door, along with some donuts. 🙂
And the rest is history. It really was a blizzard, in every sense of the word. Although I lived in Illinois during the big blizzard of 1967, I was only 3 years old so I really don’t remember it. This was the worst storm I’ve ever seen – the wind was so strong, and lasted for so many hours (it started at 3 pm and was still howling and going strong at 11 pm when I went to bed).
I can’t believe we didn’t lose power, although I’m forever grateful that we didn’t! We were very worried about Paige’s hedgehog because he really needs warmth – he has a warming light in his cage that we keep on all the time during the colder months. I was worried about my cochlear implant batteries and keeping them recharged. I have eight of them – four in the smaller size and four large. However, they are 2-1/2 years old and don’t hold a charge as long as they did in the early days. I’d be fine for a short power outage, but if the power went out for a couple of days I would have to plug my charger into the car to recharge my batteries. I’m not sure how long it would take to recharge the batteries so we were speculating how it would actually work…would we have to go drive around for a few hours while the batteries charged? (Which, of course, wouldn’t have been possible because the roads were impassable.) Do you just turn the key in the ignition and not actually turn the car on? It’s kind of embarrassing that I don’t know this stuff, but really, I never charge things in the car so this is all completely new to me. I usually just switch batteries out with fully charged ones that are already on the charger, and I don’t even know how long it takes my batteries to charge up…an hour? Four hours?
Once it was all over, we got about 20” of snow, with drifts up to 5 feet in our back yard. The driveway had 3 to 4 feet of snow, which was a joy to shovel. Between the 3 of us, going out in shifts (it wasn’t possible to do it all at once without keeling over from heart failure), it was 3 pm before it was finally done. Even now, two days later, Dave still has to constantly re-shovel the end of the driveway where the snow plows keep depositing a wall of snow. (How they manage this I’m not sure, since the roads are clear of snow…why are plows still driving around, and where are they getting the snow they are dumping at the end of everyone’s driveway?!)
Although I love snow, this definitely satisfied my craving for a good storm and I’ll be happy to wait for spring now, thank you very much. 🙂