Sunday, December 21, 2008
Follow up to Friday's winter storm...
Around 11 am, without even a snowflake in sight, Human Resources sent out an e-mail notice that the office would be closing at 1:00 pm.
The prediction as to when the snow was going to begin kept changing: Initially mid morning, then noon yet it wasn't till 2:30 that it started. By then C and I were both home walking Bandit.
However before then, on the way home from work I stopped off at Stop & Shop because one thing I forgot to mention in Friday's blog entry was that Saturday afternoon was our Christmas Party (actually C's annual extended-family get together) with over 40 people coming. With a winter snowstorm shoved in the middle, this left less preparation time.
Stop & Shop was a mad house. Every time New Englanders face a blizzard it hits a fear that we'll be locked up in our homes for days on end without food. God forbid we go 24 hours without a full supply of Twinkies, Coke, milk, cookies and ice cream. I don't normally fall prey to this maddening pre-blizzard shopping spree but with a house full of guests arriving the following day and knowing that most of Saturday morning would be spent on snow removal, I didn't have much of a choice.
I whizzed through the aisles getting precisely what I needed and spent about a half-hour standing in the checkout. Actually I thought the wait would have been longer. The swarm of people shopping and the line behind me progressively worsened as I stood there text-messaging friends about office closures and the impending doom. The craziness didn't bother me. What was I to do but stand and wait.
One more stop before getting home: the liquor store, or as we call it here in Boston - the "packie". At this point on my journey home the flakes were just beginning to fall. With forty guests coming and only three bottles of wine back at the house and knowing my and C's penchant for a good Cabernet whilst wrapping presents and sitting by the fire during a storm, I knew at least one of those three bottles, if not two, would be gone by midnight. So at the corner "packie", I loaded up for the party and headed home.
As mentioned earlier, Bandit got a jaunt around the neighborhood during the initial winter blasts. But all were home safe, cozy and warm by mid afternoon.
In total we got about a foot or more of snow.
Saturday morning was a pain in the "back" cleaning it all up. With forty people coming that meant an on slew of cars and while I have a large enough driveway and secondary lot for them to park - all the more snow blowing to do.
Yesterday was the first time I used my snow blower since living alone back in 2005. It had been in storage for a year and then while in the apartment last year I had let my brother-in-law use it for I had no need at an apartment complex.
It's a Yard Machine - not the best snow blower. I got in on sale at Home Depot in August of 2005. I'll never forget it. It was tax-free day. The cashier thought I was crazy buying it when the outside temperature was cresting 100. "You never know with this New England weather," I told her. I think I spent about $500 for it. Most of the good snow blowers go for $1,000 or more and yesterday as I found out it wasn't the best: Wouldn't you know mid way through an incline the reverse function broke. I had to lug the thing backwards all morning. I'm feeling the effects of it today. I shouldn't complain. I guess it still beats the old fashion way.
After clearing away the lots, I then had to go out and pick up the party platters. By this time it was after 11 and the guests were to arrive at 1. By the time I went to BJ's, several other stops and got back to the house, the driveways need to be cleared again. The snow was still coming down yet not nearly as bad as the night before. After a second pass at the lots, stairs, porches and sidewalks the guests began to arrive. I hadn't even showered. Thank God for my sister and brother-in-law; they helped C finish up the last minute stuff (as C spent a majority of the morning helping me shovel as well as cook). While the guests were being greeted and given a tour of the house I was showering. Of course at one point, C wanted to show off the master bathroom amidst my toweling off; I had to hid in the closet while he showed the jacuzzi to his aunt and uncle.
Finally at 9:30 at night with all the guests gone except for C's niece and goddaughter who slept over, I was fast asleep in front of the television watching some crazy movie that the kids ordered On-Demand.
Bandit too was exhausted. With all the commotion of the day he didn't get to have his daily allotment of naps - one downstairs, another up etc. He laid on my lap while we both snored by the fire.
Today will be spent cleaning up though C did most of the downstairs while Bandit and I slept in front of the tv.
What a weekend. I can't wait to go back to work tomorrow for some relaxation. Not! At least it's my last day before Christmas vacation.