Family: February 2011 Archives


| | TrackBacks (0)

Thanks be to God: We are all cozy and home. Power, cable, phone, and internet all work. Plenty of food in the fridge and pantry. I made my last trips to the store and the gas station at about 10 Monday night, just as sharp ice pellets began to fall from the sky. Reasor's had almost everything we needed, but they didn't have sweet potatoes.

So I tried the Walmart Neighborhood Market, which seemed more picked-over than Reasor's, with twice as many customers packed into a smaller space, made even more cramped by the pallets of groceries in all the aisles. Apparently they won't deviate from policy, not even for a massive snow storm: Self-checkout was closed, as it normally is at that hour, although under the circumstances it could have helped a great deal. The main entrance into the produce section was blocked off, as usual at that time of day, so incoming customers had to work their way past customers in the checkout line and carts filled with items to go back on the shelves or, presumably, into the trash (including one cart with prepackaged meat, yogurt, milk, and a sickly, suspicious drip onto the floor). The customers in line had to choose between moving out of the way of incoming customers or out of the way of shopping carts trying to maneuver around the restocking pallets. (Those sweet potatoes had better be the best ever.)

As I returned from getting gasoline, I saw a jogger out in the mixed sleet and snow. Not someone who was caught in the storm and hurrying home, but someone dressed to run and jogging at a steady pace down one of our main neighborhood streets. No doubt he was out running in it just to be able to say he was.

On Tuesday I finished a project -- a Kodak photo/memory book for my dad -- the kids played Wii, we all watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (none of us had seen it before -- great movie, although the ending is improbable), and we all played Apples to Apples Jr. and Sorry. We spent some time outside in the late afternoon, when the sun came out, but we couldn't take the cold for long. Drifts were over two feet high next to our house, and the snow seemed to average about 14" around the yard. The loose powdery snow wouldn't pack into snowballs or snowmen.

This storm poses very different problems than the December 2007 ice storm. In '07, power outages were widespread and lengthy, with weatherheads and meters pulled off the sides of houses by the ice. On the other hand, the roads cleared quickly as the ground had been warm. We were cold and in the dark, but we were mobile. I sent my family to relatives in Arkansas; I toughed it out with the help of a gas-log fire and gas water heater and spending as much time as possible away from the house. Power came back Thursday afternoon after three and a half days without.

It's much nicer that we have power this go around. The powdery snow and sleet didn't stick to wires and tree branches. On the other hand, that same powdery, drifting snow has made it impossible to drive without getting stuck. It doesn't pack down, and if you push it out of the way, it doesn't stay put. It's like an ocean of tiny packing peanuts.

As a consequence, not only have all schools cancelled classes, but City of Tulsa trash service has been cancelled for Wednesday as well. Bus service was cancelled for most of the day, and may be cancelled tomorrow as well:

For Wednesday February 2, 2011, Tulsa Transit management will assess the condition of the streets in the early morning. An announcement will then be made as to the service to be run on Wednesday. The current plan for the paratransit Lift Program service for Wednesday is to run trips already scheduled for dialysis passengers only. No additional Lift Program trips will be run on Wednesday.

All Tuesday flights departing Tulsa International Airport were cancelled. As for Wednesday, Southwest Airlines has cancelled all of its departures from Tulsa before 4 pm (as far as I can tell; the website makes it difficult). A special page on the snowpocalypse states:

We have cancelled a majority of our Tuesday flights to/from TUL; and some of our Wednesday morning flights to/from TUL. Our resumption of service is contingent upon the conditions of the runways, taxiways, other airport services, and city's infrastructure to/from the airport.

Note that even if the airport is up and running, Southwest may not fly if people can't make it to the airport.

The last time I was around this much snow was during a two-week business trip in early January 2004 to East Aurora, New York, near Buffalo. The nice thing about East Aurora is that it's a compact place. I had three taverns and a movie theater within walking distance of the hotel. My first night in town, with two feet of snow on the ground, I put on my L. L. Bean Maine hunting shoes, walked a block to a tavern, and had a prime rib sandwich and a Guinness. The people who owned and operated those eateries could walk to work. (In some cases, they had only to walk downstairs.)

My parents had plenty of amusement. The birdseed they scattered on the patio brought juncos, cardinals, sparrows, finches, blue jays, mourning doves, and red wing blackbirds, and those birds attracted...

But the biggest visitor, a red-tailed hawk that came swooping in with the anticipation of a fat little junco for supper, but not expecting an icy landing, he crashed into the patio doors with lots of noise and fluttering of wings. Supper was gone and the embarrassed hawk retreated quickly to a nearby tree, then he was gone from there before I could grab the camera.

Any interesting sightings from your picture window? Has anyone been out on the roads? Leave a comment!

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family category from February 2011.

Family: January 2011 is the previous archive.

Family: March 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]