Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Memories of Blizzards Past #blizzardof2015 #Snowmageddon2015

So far, here on Cape Cod, at my house anyway, we've been spared any major damage from Juno, also known as Stormageddon 2015.  We haven't lost power, just days of school and work. My husband is outside snowblowing, so I can't really say how he feels about the storm at the moment, but I've been happily typing away in my writing cave all day.  Coffee's hot, fire's burning, and my kids are entertained because we got friends over here to keep them company before we were snowed in.  So, yes, there are a few extra people in the house, but they're having fun.

Our tree took down
the entire neighborhood's
power and started a fire.
Since I started this blog in 2012, shortly after my first novel, SILVER LAKE, came out, I've written about a number of memorable storms and blizzards.  There was a Nor'Easter that hit us right after Hurricane Sandy did so much destruction further south.  This particular storm hit our area worse than Sandy had and also started a fire in our tree.  It also happened to be the day of my very first book discussion and signing at a local library--you can imagine how that turned out.

In December of 2013 there was the storm that hit while we were on a ski trip, contributing to a series of events which led to one of the most disastrous "vacations" we've ever had.  While I can laugh at most of the things that happened now (see: faceplant off the ski lift) and I've recovered the feeling in my finger (it took a year), that weekend did convince me to hang up my skis forever.  Seriously, I'm done.  No great loss for the skiing community--I was never very good.  So, actually, the mountains are a safer place with me inside the hotel room, writing novels or catching up on my own reading list.

Me shortly before I gave
myself a frostbitten finger
After this momentous decision, we chose to head south for February break in 2014.  But of course a huge blizzard rolled in the night before we were supposed to leave for Disney, adding an enormous amount of stress to the usual drama of going away for a week.  Would we be able to get to the airport?  Would our flight even still be scheduled?  Was it safe to leave the house with no power or heat in the middle of a blizzard? Would the poor kitty be okay in the cold?  And, if we didn't make it to Orlando, would any of the parks refund our money for the tickets and events we'd scheduled and paid for already?

But the one blizzard that sticks in my memory the most happened well before this blog existed--right after Christmas, in December of 2004.  My kids were 2 and 5.  We lost power for days, and with it heat and hot water.  Neither my husband or I had anything resembling a Smartphone, if they were even around then.  Since we have so many pets and the kids were so young, a hotel didn't seem like a good solution...not that any rooms would have been available anyway.  One night, we managed to drive to the YMCA, which had power, and we stayed there almost all evening--took the kids swimming, and finally took hot showers.  On the way home, we found an open store that actually had a few battery-powered lanterns left, so that was a big night.  Being thrown into total darkness at 4 pm each afternoon makes for very gloomy days.

But when our power finally returned, we learned the horrible news that had stunned the world: the Indian Ocean tsunami had decimated coastal areas across South Asia, killing 227,898 people.  It was the single worst tsunami in history, and the destruction was devastating.  The news coverage quickly put my perspective in order: we had been cold, smelly, and frustrated, but we were alive and well and safe in our home.  I felt terrible for every complaint I'd uttered during our storm.

So my hope is that no tragic consequences result from this historic blizzard of 2015.  Right now, the communities closer to the water are getting pummeled, and the news is reporting that Nantucket is "off the grid".  I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound good.  My thoughts are with everyone affected by Juno--stay warm and safe!

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