We are talking about being snowed-in this week. It only happened a few times to me, mostly because I grew up in suburbia.
I am always ready for any reason that would prevent me from getting out to buy supplies. I think everyone should anticipate problems and have extra everything; it doesn’t have to be a blizzard to keep you housebound. I did a series on my other blog about family emergency prep a few years ago: [https://tonettejoycefoodfriendsfamily.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/emergency-preparedness/ ]
People in snowy part of the country will not understand that Washington, DC shuts down at three inches of snow. Seriously; schools close, daycares aren’t open and ‘non-essential government employees’ need not go into work.
But that doesn’t mean that anyone is actually ‘snowed in’.
Not to say that we didn’t actually have heavy snows or even blizzards, but the roads were generally cleared in a short time.
The Blizzard of Early 1966 was incredible. We were out of school for about a week and had a ball!
We had a blizzard there in also ’79, but we all did well. It seemed horrible, but we were only unable to get around for a couple of days. The streets were clear, but the snow was piled-up on the cars and in the driveways. There are pictures somewhere of my sister and me trying to dig the cars out. They are funny!
We had a blizzard the year I was in rural Idaho, but we were always well-stocked. The neighbor from across the highway, (who had a sheep farm), unexpectedly came over and plowed our circular driveway for us. The highway had been cleared. We didn’t go out, but them we didn’t go out much in Idaho, anyway.
It’s ice storms here in North Central Kentucky that occasionally make us house-bound, and I have discussed them when we talked about power-outages:
There was a blizzard just before I got here. I was in Denver with my sons, packing for the move. I could not reach my husband, who was already here. When he called me, I asked what was going on. He asked if I had not had not watched the news and heard of the major blizzard that had socked the region in? I had been watching the news all day and had not heard of it because it was also the day of the big earthquake in California. CA and CO have big ties and that was all the news we were getting. While we were still talking, , Ted Kopple came on and explained that he was not in his regular Washington studio because of the major blizzard that had hit the area. The national news came on and showed snowplows in Louisville. I had not heard a thing about it all day!
I went looking back through the posts to see if I had told the story of the big blizzard that happened right after I moved to Denver, and was surprised that I had not.
I won’t go into the story of the hows and whys, but I had been in Denver for less than a month, married for only three weeks. The weather, as happens in Colorado, was fair. We had planned on going out on Christmas Eve afternoon to do a little shopping. Joe-the-Husband did grading or something, while I did whatever I was doing around our place. He had rented the downstairs apartment in a house in “Little Italy”, and our senior citizen landlords lived upstairs.
Although we had windows, they were up high and we were, as I said, busy. We knew there was snow falling, but we had no idea how fast it accumulating. The weather forecast had not called for any snow at all.
When we decided we’d start to go out, we could not. Feet of snow blocked our way and more was coming down, quickly. There went plans for Midnight Mass, although the church in which we were married was just a few blocks away. We could not even walk it, as I often would.
Because no one saw the snow coming, the then-mayor sent the city workers home early for Christmas Eve. By the time anyone realized how bad things were, the workers could not get back to the snowplows. People were stranded all over. Hospital workers, (medical and otherwise), and first responders were stranded and worked for days. People with high-profile four-wheel drive vehicles were implored to drive police, fire and medical people to their jobs and take the fatigued ones home.
Any other time, Colorado is ready for snow. They rely on tourism and if the tourists can’t get from the airport to the ski resorts, no one will go. In fact, this debacle lost the mayor his long-time position. He was just trying to give the city workers a few bonus hours off for Christmas, but no one cared because of all the bad press and inconvenience; he was out at the next election for this reason alone.
Joe and I knew family members in (other states) of the woman who lived two-doors down; in fact, she had found the apartment for him. Her husband taught with mine, ( and there was even another male fellow faculty member who live just around the corner).
The woman was just a few weeks short of the due-date for her fourth child. She feared that she would go into labor and not be able to get to the hospital and asked if I could assist her husband if need be. I could have, but I thanked God that I did not have to!
The landlords had not bothered to go grocery shopping. Gifts of food customarily came in before at Christmas and they always had a lavish meal at their son’s house. Their daughter-in-law had always sent them home with plenty of leftovers as well, but they could not get out, nor could their son come to get them.
Fortunately for them, I had never left home before I got married, therefore, I had never cooked for fewer than six people, and usually for more.
(When we were first married we ate a LOT of leftovers. I learned how to freeze foods well. The only time I made just enough was when we each had a steak or a chicken breast, and of course, those would be the times that Joe would spontaneously invite someone to stay for dinner!)
Joe had also spent many years helping his mother with his younger siblings and still bought in large quantities. (He had 25 pounds of onions at the apartment when I moved in, and a fifteen-pound lump of hamburger in the freezer.)
We had bought a turkey and trimmings. I had everything for a full-sized meal with sides and desserts, so we took the dinner upstairs to our landlord and landlady, who provided the linens, china and wine. I left food with them.
Their son and daughter-in-law came with groceries two days later.
We had another unexpected blizzard about nine years later on a Halloween. Halloweens in Colorado are either warm, so that kids can show off their cute costumes when trick-or-treating, or it is cold and wet and they need to bundle up …and all parental effort is basically wasted. I’m sure this has come up in previous posts, but I took my sons out to trick or treat that year and we didn’t get far in our townhouse complex. We turned around and before we could get back to our house, the snow was above our ankles.
The usual 20-minute drive back from Joe’s part-time job took over two hours, due to his taking someone home and going back roads because the hill he had to go up on the main artery to our place was impassible. I was worried sick. We were closed in the next day and he switched to a closer store in the same chain.
There is a very funny story that ties in with this switch involving the company picnic, but I will reserve that for now.
This season we have already been socked-in with an ice storm, months earlier than they usually hit. I am holding my breath for the Winter of Early 2019.