Thursday, December 20, 2012


We were warned for days.  Gary (my favorite weatherman) showed us all the fancy Doppler thingies, the streaks and lines and curves.  The charts and maps.  He showed us where it was coming from, how long it would stay, what would happen.  He said it might be 6" - 8" of snow.

Then he showed us the same stuff (or so it looked to me) and said we might get 8" - 12" of snow.  There were updates through the day which I caught on the teevee or FaceBook or MSN page.  The final analysis?  Looked like we might get around 18" of snow.   All the newscasters met this news with expressions of amazement, awe, astonishment.

Uhm....people, it's December.  And it's Wisconsin.  Look at a map of the United States - they call this part the "Upper Midwest", and we're really close to Canada.  We get winter here.  In the winter we get snow. 

But there is a distinct advantage to all this advance warning.  Our Noble Governor declared it a Snow Emergency or Frozen Disaster or Snowmageddon or whatever.  Schools were closed (it was only two days and then comes Christmas holiday anyhow so I doubt if any Highly Significant Lessons were going to be presented).  The Government closed.  (!)  The University actually cancelled finals, although I think what they really did is make kids take them on their own computers from whatever is "home" this semester.

The main message was this:  Don't.  Go.  Out.  Don't drive.  Stay home.

Two reasons for this, both sound:  1.  That way no one is in the way of the plows, who are out chugging along scraping and clearing fit to be tied (bless their hearts).  2.  This is the first major snow, and on the occasion of the first major snow every driver in Wisconsin becomes a natural-born-and-raised HAWAIIAN who has never seen the white stuff falling from the sky and has no concept of "icy streets".  Furthermore, none of us has ever driven a horseless carriage before.  Dangerous combination.  Luckily after a couple of days the first plowing has cleared the major thoroughfares and the Brain Cheese has been reactivated and everyone becomes Wisconsin drivers again.

 Now, I don't know about other parts of the country, but we in Wisconsin know exactly how to prepare for this kind of Snow Emergency (and the advance warning was helpful).  We make sure to lay in enough food.  (Two-day snow emergency?  Get enough beer and brats and cheese and stuff for at least a month.  Watching it snow is a powerful appetitezer.)  Sort out the yarn and prepare 32 knitting projects;  put each in a bag with the appropriate needles and directions.  (Snow emergencies might wind up lasting longer than forecast.) 

Pile up the books.  You want at least three or four that you haven't read - and perhaps a dozen that you have, but might as well read again.  After all, the Gummint has said we're not to go out.  Sure, they're saying it's going to last two days but it wouldn't be the first time what they say and what actually happens don't match up.

Blankets!!  Pile several near the couch and some extras on the bed.  The Power is notorious for disappearing.  Line up several kinds of tea and put a full kettle on the stove and a full teapot in the microwave.  (The latter may not work if the power goes out.  Long live the gas stove.)

Make sure all electronics capable of such things are battery-charged within an inch of their lives.  In my case that means my laptop, my netbook and my cell phone.  Our cell phones are a half-step down from the Jitterbug, but they do function as phones.

The most ideal, of course, is for the power lines to stay intact (they have, hereabouts).  So today I've read, knitted some while watching the teevee, napped with the cat, drunk five cups of tea, looked up some stuff on Google, fooled around on Face Book and played a few minutes  moments -- oh hell, hours of Jewel Quest.  The newsman tells me we do, in fact, have a solid 19" of fresh snow, and I'm here to tell you, it looks beautiful, falling softly as seen over the rim of a steaming mug of Earl Grey.

Sure sign of the season:  the Husband's mountain bike is safely tucked into the basement - and the skis and poles are at the ready near the back door.  That sound you're hearing?  The skis are absolutely thrumming with anticipation.

I love winter.


kmkat said...

You got way more of the white stuff than we did. I have not been out this morning, but late yesterday our total was <1/4" and it had stopped snowing. But the wind! and the cold! Flannel-lined jeans for me today.

Marjorie said...

Makes me cold just looking at it! Glad you guys weren't going out.

Jamwes said...

Beer, brats, and cheese is the only way to weather a Wisconsin winter.