Thursday, February 11, 2010

"SNOWPOCALYPTIGEDDON" for ME!

"Sorry, ladies.  The fuse is completely blown and has to be replaced.  Looks like you'll be without power for at least another hour, probably two."  We all sat at our desks listening, trying to put on our best, "Oh, dear!  And I REALLY wanted to sit at my desk and WORK for the next two hours!" faces. 


It was 1993, and Alan and I had been living in Orlando, Florida for only a few short months.  I had just started a temp job to earn money while I was waiting for some upcoming local theme park auditions. I'd gotten a nice gig as a transcriptionist at a doctor's office and had been there only a few days when the power suddenly failed.  Everything; lights, computers, copy machines, and faxes, all went dead.  We were sitting patiently in the semi-dark when our office manager appeared with the above announcement.

So, after secretly high-fiving each other under our desks, celebrating our extended break time, we all stepped outside and sat on a nearby picnic table, basking in the Florida sunshine.


"You know what this feels like, you guys?"  I said to the group, "A SNOW day!  We've just been given our very own, two hour, SNOW DAY!!"  
Five blank faces stared back at me. 
"A what?" one girl asked. 
"A snow day!  You know, the radio announces your school's closed due to inclimate weather, and you get to stay home and build snowmen!"
Wow," another girl said, "That sounds cool!"


My friends, these poor women, natives of the Sunshine State, had not only never EXPERIENCED a snow day, they had no idea of it's very EXISTENCE!  I wanted to hug them all to my chest and pat their heads to comfort their poor, deprived souls.  How can you go through an entire childhood without knowing the euphoric joy of a snow day?


One of my coworkers became a bit defensive and told me that they had their own Florida version of a blizzard -- the hurricane.  Same thing, she told me.  School gets cancelled, you stay inside.  Six of one, half-dozen of the other.  I was intrigued. A few years later, when Alan and I had just purchased our first home in Orlando, we experienced our first hurricane, and I learned how very, very wrong my office friend had been!  


We followed all the pre-hurricane instructions that the newsmen repeated ad nauseum prior to the storm arriving:
  
1.  Stock up on water, non-perishable foods, batteries and flashlights.
2.  Fill your gas tank.
3.  Take out extra cash from your bank account.
4.  Bring in EVERYTHING from your yard that could be a projectile in gusty winds.  This includes flower pots, shepherd's hooks, garden statues, door wreaths, lawn furniture and gas grills.
5.  Board up your windows, tape them if no plywood is available (and it won't be, because everyone rushes to Home Depot and buys every last plank within the first 17 seconds of a tropical storm appearing on the Doppler radar).


Then, once the storm hit, you were given strict instructions to STAY PUT, do NOT leave your house.  If the center of the storm should pass over your home, proceed immediately to a bathroom or closet, any room without windows, and cover yourselves with a mattress.  This was advised in case debris (or walls) may be falling around you. When the storm finally arrived, you'd sit on your couch, hugging your pets, trying not to cringe every time the winds would gust, rattling the windows.  It was TERRIFYING!!  


After the hurricane finally passed and everyone was in agreement that the coast was clear, you'd walk outside and view the devastation of your neighborhood.  Downed trees, broken fence rails and detached roof shingles decorated the landscape.  Just about the time you'd get your yard cleaned up, your power restored, and your flower pots and porch furniture back in place, that bastard weatherman would appear on television once again, punching up his "Super Doppler" equipment and revealing the next "tropical disturbance" forming just south of Cuba.  You'd sigh, have a brief cry, then head back out to grab the flower pots once again.


Now, here I am back up north, and we've just experienced a very snowy week.  Actually, it was a pretty major blizzard, or "Snowpocalypse," as it has so annoyingly been named by the clever, clever media.  Schools have been closed, highways have been shut-down, and a "snow emergency" has been declared.  It's all made me think back to those hurricane days, and I've decided I much prefer Pennsylvania blizzards and "Snowmageddons" (their other "cute" name) over Florida hurricanes ANY DAY!!  


Here's a quick comparison of my experiences, see if you agree:


Hurricane:  Severe rain and winds, gusting up to over 80 mph, pummel your town for hours on end.  Entire trees are uprooted, roofs are blown off of houses.


Blizzard:  A lot of snow falls. Massive snow forts are erected. Snow ball fights ensue.


Hurricane:  As the storm passes over your home, you huddle in your closet and pray nothing comes flying through your windows (or ceiling).


Blizzard:  As the snow falls, you have to stay indoors and drink hot chocolate, watching beautiful white flakes descend from the sky, making your yard look like it's been covered with a white down blanket.  You must then snuggle on the couch with your handsome husband and cute terrier and watch the John Adams HBO miniseries blue ray discs that your brother got you for Christmas.


Hurricane:  After the storm passes, you use a chainsaw (if you can get one.  Home Depot sells out of those real quick, too, during hurricane season) to break-up the downed tree in your yard that is now blocking the street.  You re-plant all the younger trees that have toppled over with their rootball exposed.  Also, you pick up the rails of your broken fence that are now scattered all around the entire neighborhood, and try to reassemble them.  Next, you sweep all debris off of your sidewalk, driveway, and porch and skim the gunk out of the pool.  You replace everything from your porch that was brought inside pre-storm.  Finally, you sweat a lot until the downed power lines are restored (usually within two to three weeks), when you can finally have air conditioning once again.


Blizzard:  After the storm passes, you shovel your driveway.  Then you come back inside. Next, you consume more hot chocolate (after all, you've EARNED it!!).  


So, that's it.  I'll take snow days over hurricane hysteria ANY day of the week, if anyone should ask!  What do YOU think?  Have you been the victim of a hurricane nightmare, or a blizzard "white-out?"  How did you fare?  I'd love to hear your opinion!  Go ahead, let me have it!!  I'll come back and check your comment in a little while. I have a snowman I need to build out front!  But first, a little hot chocolate...


Thanks for Reading!!

34 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

Oh, I agree, there's NOTHING like a snow day! I grew up in Kansas and remembering listening to the radio just holding my breath, waiting for my school district's number. Now I live in CA. No snow days at all. Thanks for bringing back some good memories!

GregoryJ said...

I've never been in a hurricane and never want to be, your description was enough for me.
I'm not crazy about driving in snow, but I'll take that over a hurricane.
I just don't remember many snow days when I was growing up. I lived in a rural area and rode a bus, but we still seemed able to get there most of the time. I remember playing in snow at recess and watching the parking lot being plowed.
Today they call off school at the mere mention of snow. Sure, why not.

blueviolet said...

You're absolutely right! Snowstorms are better! At least we can play in the snow if we want to and we don't have to bring the entire outside in as protection!

Gucci Mama said...

I went to school in Minnesota and Montana, both of which are, like, the snow fall capitals of the world, and school was closed like twice. It was total bullshit. There were several days where learning just didn't feel safe because of all the snow on the ground.

Alan said...

I will happily go through either one as long as you will sit next to me and Trixie on the couch baby!

tattytiara said...

You know who else doesn't get snow days? Canadians! Well, at least not this part of Canada. Never got one in my life. I think up here they just expect you to be able to deal with it no matter how bad it is.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I agree snow vs. hurricane. During this unusual mid-atlantic storm my husband kept telling me we should move to an island and while it sound appealing I told him that snow is better than a hurricane. I have your great post to show him now. THANK YOU!

Seriously, I would prefer the snow. After this past 2 weeks of 60+inches in 2 weeks though I am a bit weary. The 1st snow day was fun, hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps, movies and snuggling on the sofa. The 10th day and no power....not so fun. Dog can't poop, hubby can't work, wife getting cranky. I'm ready for spring.

KathyB said...

Snow rules. Hurricanes drool.

JenJen said...

We had a..wait.KathyB that was way funny!!!

Miss Fanny said...

never been in a true snow storm,but was in Hurricane Celia. Our house was destroyed and we lived in a Hud trailer for a year. As a kid I thought is was fun, I'm pretty sure as an adult I would not have thought is was quite as fun

Fragrant Liar said...

Wait, don't tell me, what year was it that you were in the hurricane? 2004? Or the big one years earlier that razed Homestead?

I lived in Florida in 2004 and most of 2005. It just happened that we got FOUR hurricanes that year (Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan). Frances dumped so much wind and rain in Central Florida -- in the MIDDLE of the state -- that I was wishing for a snow day too.

And I have had snow days when I lived in Seattle, Albuquerque, and Cedar Crest, NM. Hot chocolate, a fire in the fireplace, a cozy blanket, and a good book work for me just fine. Oh, and a naked man under that blanket with me. Yup. Snow day wins.

Fragrant Liar said...

P.S. Your blog is so cute!

Juliana said...

I LOVE snow an apparently now your blog. You have THE best title out there ha ha!

New follower. Come by and follow back if you would like. Happy Valentines Day! oxoxox Juliana from A Blonde Walks Into A Blog

Erin said...

I enjoy both! My favorite hurricane days were when I was in college and I'd go home to my parents house (a 30 minute drive) and my family and my cousins would come over and we'd play poker and have game-a-thons. It was a blast! But, I also think it's a "blast" because being in Central Florida we didn't have many hurricanes that were all that scary.

I ALSO loved being in NYC when we got snowed in because I lived in Queens and they would always tell us at work that if you had to take the train to come in, to stay home because it was too dangerous. And I loved going outside before they could plow the streets and seeing everything covered in a glittery white blanket. The slush and ice that ensued hours later though . . . not so fun. :)

Quixotic said...

That's it! I'm moving to the snow!!! We get hurricanes (only we call them cyclones), bushfires and floods - I think it's time for hot cocoa and snowball fights!!

Helen said...

That first picture is amazing!! We had about 12 inches of snow here in January and it's the most I've ever seen. Nothing compared to yours!!

Cid said...

There is nothing to compare to the calm after the storm of a blizzard when the entire city is so quiet because of the blanket of snow covering buildings, cars and streets. Everyone (you hope) is nestled inside their homes drinking that hot chocolate or they are outside building forts and snowmen or lying on the ground staring up at the flakes falling from the sky. It is a magic that makes all the hustle and bustle of modern life seem ridiculous. Love your blog title too.

eventer79 said...

Hahahah, I think lots of my horsey cohorts in NOVA and MD right now would probably disagree with you. One has had her garage collapse from the weight of the wet snow -- they saved the tractor but not the chainsaws. Another has been desperately trying to keep a snow canyon cleared to the barn so she can feed the horses. Only to find that the sliding barn doors were frozen shut and she had to free them with a mattock to get inside. Another had the roof blow off a barn addition in the blizzard winds. Can't wait till all this snow melts and it turns to acres of mud, which is murder on horse feet, harboring fungus and rot and never quite able to dry out. I'm guessing they'd vote for hurricane -- it's shorter (and yep, I've experienced them, lived in Galveston for a year).

Born with a big mouth! said...

agree! but I am lucky enough to have never been near or in a hurricane. Can NOT be fun. Snow is fun :)

Yankee Girl said...

I have never been in a hurricane but by the way you describe it, snow gets my vote!

Kari said...

thanks for stopping by my blog and becoming a new follower :) your blog is so cute. i've never been in a hurricane but have experienced a tornado and will happily take snow any day.

Kathleen said...

My children anticipate a snowday each time a flake falls. The perform rituals, such as wearing their pajamas backwards and flushing ice cubes. Fortunately, their Mom makes them do their homework - just in case. Or as we say, Better do Justin Case's homework. They have been rewarded once this winter with a snow day - and it was great.

Andi said...

I will take any of those over an earthquake, where you NEVER know when it is coming! But I love the snow so I would take that.

Putz said...

i just had to read a woman, girl , little girl who would name their blog about what a naked man should wear, don't fear me i am harmless, 67 years old and just came off of mama gucci's blag and notice you, and yes i really have noticed mammZA gucci, she is so fun to tease, and i see you have lots and lots of material, are you iommmuned from teasing, or are you an old stick in the mud, i doubt yu are a stick in the mud....weather.>>>>my daughter in north carolina has honestly had 8 snow days this year, yes she is an educator, was told she had to make the days up but says she is going with my wife at spring break whether she has days to make up or not

Putz said...

to disney world in april

Putz said...

without me, yes, would rather put my head in a toilet than go to where there are so many popolplles

Kellyansapansa said...

I've never had a snow day OR a blizzard day. I'm feeling so deprived right now!

The only similar thing we had was a hot weather policy at school where we would finish at 2:00pm if the published forecast was over 38 degrees (celsius - about 100 fahrenheit). Not nearly as cool, because it was too hot to do anything with our extra hours of freedom anyway.

Another great post from one of my favourite bloggers!

rxBambi said...

I'm with ya on the snow day. I like to lay in front of the fire with a glass of pinot noir and a good book... and sure okay the hubs too.

Although, I have to be honest. We like hearing about hurricanes. Hubs' works for an equity group and one of the companies makes chainsaws. Needless to say they get lots of business due to hurricanes... We hope no one dies, just lots of trees need to be chopped up.

rxBambi said...

now you think I'm a horrible person, don't you? Boo.

Kat said...

I so agree with you! I will take the snow any day! I'm your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my site :)

ANGI said...

OK, first of all, you don't get a hurricane every year, and I was in Naples in 2004 when all 4 hurricanes hit in something like a month, and as many Florida friends say, the price of living in paradise, secondly, I REALLY REALLY HATE the cold, anything below 65 is too much for me, so hurricane season where you might get one wins over northern winter where you will get snow....sorry, I love Florida!!

Shan said...

I'm in So Cal, but in the High Desert, so we get snow. I have to say I'll take snow or the who-knew-it-was-coming-today earthquake any day over hurricanes and tornadoes!

Mercy said...

I'll take the snow over a hurricane any day. Having spent the last 7 years in India I miss snow like crazy over the Christmas holidays.

Getting My Words Out said...

The most snow I've experienced was about 12 inches (ironically, the weekend my 2nd husband left)...and I've experienced a hurricane (ironically while working claims in FL as an insurance adjuster--the season they had like 5 in a row!). I'll take snow over any strong wind/storm situation every day of the week!! Thanks for another great post!
:D

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