Sunday, December 12, 2010

White, Windy and Wonderful

As much as we like to think we are in control of our lives, some days it is really the weather that is in control. This weekend Minnesota got a huge amount of snow accompanied by strong winds. The total snowfall at my house was around 18-20 inches, which all fell between Friday and Saturday evening. This storm was momentous. The city buses and the snow plows were called back to the garages, the mail carriers were called back in from their routes, the roof of the metrodome collapsed and the Mall of America closed. When this sort of stuff is happening, you know it would be best to stay put where you are.

Fortunately, I was at home. I had plenty of food and many, many ways to keep myself entertained. I spent most of Saturday admiring the storm from inside while drinking a hot mug of tea. I did venture out for a little while. Even though there was fierce wind blowing the snow around, I wanted to get a little shoveling done to clear the door. I am glad I did because the doors that I didn't shovel out yesterday had drifts up to the door knobs this morning!

It was great to be forced to stay home. No need for shopping or running errands. No social engagements or family obligations. Everything in the city slowed down and became quiet and calm. I loved it. The forced hibernation at a normally stressful and bustling time of the year was a bit magical.

Then, the storm stopped and a bitter cold and sunny Sunday arrived. Everyone emerged from their houses to begin the task of digging out. Sidewalks, walkways, and driveways needed shoveling, cars needed to be brushed clean and garbage cans and recycling bins needed to be carved new spaces in the alleys.

Paul has been trying to recover from a back injury, so the task of snow removal was mine alone. Amazingly a handful of neighbors with shovels and a snowblower were out helping people clear the snow. I was so grateful when they helped me with the two most daunting parts of our property. It was the first time in the year and a half that I have lived here that I have witnessed the residents of this block come together. We helped each other shovel, we pushed people's cars out when they got stuck in the alley, we chatted and we actually learned each other's names. I was so grateful for their help and enjoyed breaking down some of the barriers between us urban-dwellers. I gave them jars of raspberry preserves to show my appreciation. They would have preferred beer, but we hadn't bought any of that before the storm came through.

Inevitably, when a whole weekend's worth of tasks are forced aside, there will be things that won't end up getting done. But, I'm not going to stress about that because this weekend was an unexpected gift.


  1. Beautiful photo and beautiful post! I couldn't agree more with your sentiments!

  2. what a wintry wonderland! i'm sure you're not so happy about the snow removal, but it is so beautiful and we have not had any snow so far in boston. i'm jealous...


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