February 3, 2011
It's official: Kansas had a real, honest-to-goodness blizzard; Tuesday's evening weather report confirmed that all the criteria had been met.
|Mid-day Tuesday, from the kitchen window|
|Through the dining room window|
Now, we're in an arctic deep-freeze, but it's very pretty outside. Finally, the wind is calm, the sun is bright, and I'm almost tempted to bundle up and go out—almost. In lieu of that, I did shoot pictures from inside through the windows and a barely open door.
Our wild birds have been in a frenzy. Charlie filled one of the feeders TWICE during the height of the storm, and it quickly emptied again. The ground beneath the feeders (we have 4 altogether) was writhing with little birds. I saw one yesterday I could not identify. And, they seemed grateful for the not-frozen water in the heated bird bath, lining the rim and dipping their tiny beaks. Cardinals, juncos, finches, flicker and downey woodpeckers, Harris sparrows, nuthatch, black-capped chickadees.
Our lab Sadie doesn't want to go outside unless Charlie goes with her or unless she's reached that point of Nature's urging that she has no choice. Yesterday Charlie spent several hours shoveling walks and driveway and making paths for her throughout the yard. Before that, with the wind howling around her and the ground covered with cold white stuff, she had a rough time.
|No, that isn't a lampshade on her head. A week ago Sadie had 10 stitches in her thigh and has chewed out 9 of them. The cone is to keep her from reaching them. She's trudging through the snow as fast as her legs allow her.|
I was quite worried about my son and his family, but breathed a sigh of relief early yesterday morning when I received an e-mail saying "we survived." Did I mention they live just south of Chicago? It was hard not to see at least a few film clips of the situation there. Lake Shore Drive was unbelievable. Glad I no longer live there!
Todd and Kelly have an all-electric house, so my biggest worry was they'd lose power. And they're out in the country, so they have a well and a pump—dependent on electricity. Same with their heating. Todd bought a generator the other day, but they didn't have to use it. Kelly, who has a two-hour commute (each way) on a normal good day, left work at noon Tuesday. I was so glad. But my little granddaughter did go to school in the morning (half-day kindergarten), which really surprised me. She rides the bus.
As we exchanged emails throughout Tuesday and Wednesday, Todd reminded me of the lessons I had tried to instill, but often lapse from myself. Based on Wayne Dyer's philosophy of You'll See It When You Believe It, Todd maintained a positive attitude as they watched the snow pile up and listened to the monster wind wreaking havoc outside. He chastised me for even worrying and putting out negative thoughts.
I rescheduled three appointments I really needed to keep, made a crockpot of chili and batch of peanut butter cookies. Those comforting smells and added heat kept the chill away, as did the drier when I did several loads of laundry. It also seemed a good time to do the computer and software upgrades I'd been putting off.
Someday we (and our grandchildren) will look back on this week as one of those history-making weather events. It's already been touted as Chicago's third worst winter storm, but only by one and two inches in those criteria; the worst in terms of the wind.