I want to interview the people who rush to the grocery store the moment a weather event is forecasted. I have questions. I want to know things. Like- do you normally eat a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs in a 48-hour period? Because I’ve lived in Connecticut all my life, and only once was travel nearly impossible for two days. Two days. Actually, when I think about when they finally let us leave work, it was more like 36 hours.And it was an ICE storm. What is it about a pending storm that makes you need 18 rolls of toilet paper? The media hype must scare the shit out of you. Storm of the Century! Of the Millennium,even! (I guess they get to say that for a few decades into the millennium.) Of Potentially Historic Proportions! Deadly Hoarfrost- the End is Near! Abandon all hope- but buy lots of toilet paper.
Perhaps it’s a desperate, brave act of optimism.
This one was the Blizzard of 2015. Until it was downgraded. A blizzard for those of you along 395, but for everybody else, well, it snowed. In Connecticut. In January. What a surprise. (Not that I blame our mayors and governor for being prepared. The same people who complain it was overblown are the first to complain if they were unprepared. You kinda can’t win.) The National Weather Service named it “Juno”. They’ve taken to naming storms after Greek mythological characters, yet my first thought was- wasn’t that a movie about a single teenage mother? Not to be trumped, WFSB Channel 3 in Hartford named the storm “Colbie”. Seriously? You give a huge snowstorm a prep school kid’s name? Really, a blizzard with the added local flair of a New England nor’easter should have a much tougher name. Yukon Cornelius, perhaps?
By the time the snow begins and people are tucking in at home, the store shelves are bare. You’d think we’d stocked up our bomb shelters. Back when I was a kid and a nuclear wipeout was imminent (Yes, I hid under a school desk with my hands over my head, confident that my amazing hands and bomb-proof desk could ward off nukes) a lot of people built backyard bomb shelters. My parents went as far as having a salesman to the house with a terrifying slide show that graphically highlighted the End of Days- unless you had a safe place to wait out the years before it was safe to emerge and be reunited with other bomb shelterers. And zombies. I remember that in the pictures, the shelters were stocked with non-perishable canned goods. If there were any eggs or milk, they were powdered. Absolutely no bread. I’m fuzzy on the toilet details. I do remembering thinking it might be better to go in the first blast.
So if your power goes and you have an electric pump, unless you have a generator, the first things to go are the milk and eggs. Now it’s good that you have bread, at least until it goes stale. And there’s no real use for toilet paper, unless you had the foresight to fill up your tub with water for flushing. You quickly become one of the unwashed pariahs desperately seeking family and friends with power. (And the first thing you’ll do is charge your cell phone.) Your husband may think it’s a good idea to use a camping lantern for reading in bed. You know the kind with the little bag that just might blow up in your face? After a week of this, you get real whiny and unpleasant. And you just might hug the guy from Kansas City Light and Power who finally gives you your power back! I’m so glad we weren’t like this, but what a great coincidence that our kids bought us a generator the Christmas after Hurricane (Not. Technically, a Really Bad Storm) Sandy!
We check in on our loved ones. Everybody safe? My son confessed to running out at the last minute to buy- ketchup. Huh? Apparently they are planning to make meat loaf to pass the endless hours stuck at home. My husband bought the fixings for homemade bread. Movies, board games, popcorn, puzzles! Whatever your preference for surviving this extensive hibernation, be safe, and stay off the roads. Oh, wait. They roads are open and we’re free! Just in the nick of time. I only have 17-and-a-half rolls of paper left.