Thursday, February 3, 2011
Groundhog Day Blizzard
Tuesday night, we could see the storm kicking in: it had snowed all evening, and the wind was fierce. When we got up yesterday morning, it had pretty much blown itself out. Dutch had already plowed out our driveway, so the biggest evidence of the storm, for us, were the drifts near our front porch, and in the back. I shoveled a path across the patio for Bonnie, and had a fairly normal work day. Jim had closed his office, and stayed home and puttered.
Schools, and many businesses, were closed. People's staying home helped, no doubt, with the general clean-up, and Jim had no trouble getting to his office today. Yesterday, when Bonnie and I walked at lunch (unfortunately sans camera) the roads were pretty sloppy - we walked, carefully, in the few paths that were left by car tires. Today, we saw that the city had plowed a path across the park, so we were able to take our more typical route through the neighborhood east of here. Roads had been plowed, most folks had cleared their sidewalks, the sun was shining, it wasn't too cold (20 degrees) - so all in all, a nice walk!
I did have to laugh when I went out back to clean up after Bonnie - instead of the normal chaos of dog trails all over the yard, there were just several small excursions beyond the patio boundaries - I guess the depth of the snow was a bit daunting for our girl.
I've been trying to remember other winter storms. When I was at MSU, we had 13 inches of snow one April day (April 4, 1975), and the university was shut down. At the time, I was driving with friends to Utah, for General Conference, and so missed that storm. (I was around for the subsequent flooding, when all that snow melted!)
I remember another storm, in January 1978. I was living in Taylor, Michigan, at the time, and working for Burroughs in Detroit. I remember leaving work early, and trying to figure out the best route to my friend's house (her family was away, so I was keeping her company). I did not choose wisely, and got stuck. Happily, some other travelers helped get my car going again, and I almost made it to my friend's house, but got stuck again, this time in her neighborhood, a block from her house. Apparently, we only got some 8 inches during that storm; I guess getting stuck made it seem like more. (I suppose I shouldn't say "only 8 inches," but in my memory, it seemed like so much more.)
There was another memorable Kalamazoo storm, but I can't find any record of it. It seems to me that it was February 14, but I may be wrong on that, and I can't remember the year at all. It snowed all day, and by the time I left work, the snow was deep and the traffic a mess, and snow was still falling. In fact, the falling snow was so heavy that I mistakenly took an early exit from I-131, and got the added bonus of driving up Drake hill in the storm. Jim faced similar challenges, and when we finally got home, there were many phone messages. The earlier calls asked if youth activities at church were being canceled that night; later callers simply assumed (rightly so!) that would be the case. I'm pretty sure it was February 14, because I remember how nice it was to be snowed in with Jim on the evening of Valentine's Day.
Here are more pictures of our girl, after this latest storm.