Blizzard of 2013: The Incredible Moment When You Just Stop and Surrender


I am not one to love winter. When I was a teacher, I longed for the snow days just as much, if not more than my students. As a full time mother, snow means little more than cancelled playdates and another obstacle in in my endless quest for order and ease during my week.  For the most part, however, Winter signifies an endless parade of grey and desolate days strung together by the common theme of merciless cold and indiscriminate wind. Let’s not mention the obnoxiously frequent and none-too-helpful spurts of 3-4 inches of snow. Just enough to make your drive uneasy, but just too little to close down school or work. In a word, Winter here in the The North is insufferable.

For the eight years that we have lived here, we’ve been waiting for “the big storm.” The one the the hearty and hardened little old ladies at the grocery store can “feel in [their] bones” at the beginning of every Winter season. The one the shuts down everything. The one that we’ve been “overdue” for. There had been such a storm, The Blizzard of ’78, which is always marked every year by local media. It is a storm that still looms large in the minds of the real and true locals. I wasn’t around in ’78. Not here, not anywhere. I’m an 80’s baby and a 90’s kid. The biggest storm that I can remember is the Blizzard of ’96, which had me out of elementary school for a whole entire week. A whole entire week. It was, legen-waitforit-dary.

So when talk of this storm started up, the child in me got excited and the mother in me got worried. I had some concerns:

  1. Will Peapod deliver my groceries on Friday?
  2. Will The Husband have to go to work?
  3. Will we keep power?

As we got closer to the storm and the totals started inching higher (pun intended), I started to become more nervous. The Husband vowed to go to work, albeit for a half a day. But what of Peapod? What of the power? I called Peapod on Thursday to ensure that they wouldn’t cancel my delivery. They were apologetic but not reassuring. I watched the news coverage and my favorite meteorologist told me that there was a “good chance” I was going to lose power. Eventually, my mom called and asked if she was going to have to “peel [me] off the ceiling.” To which I told her a breathy “yes.”

And then Friday came.

Peapod came and my order had a few substitutions, but no out-of-stock items. Score!

The Husband went to work and came home early, well before the subway closed and the travel ban began. Score!

And we kept power throughout the storm. TRIPLE SCORE!

So today, I got to reap the benefits. A romp in the snow. A Mama romp in the snow. 20 minutes. No children. No husband. No anybody, really. Just me and the beautiful snow. And I was, for once, good friends with Winter, and grateful for her icy presence. Who says that a mom can’t have it all?

I can only describe the blizzard as incredible. I’ve witnessed many a hurricane, and they are certainly awesome and frightful things. A Blizzard is a hurricane with snow. It is awesome times twenty. The physical difference of that wind and the seemingly hard and sharp objects of those tiny and beautiful snowflakes makes for something fearsome and gorgeous. You want to go out there and dance with it, but it hurts in a way that other weather doesn’t. In the end, the world is physically transformed, made untraversible, uninhabitable, and yet, utterly irresistible. You must put on every layer of clothing you can muster to venture out into the world. You must touch it, mold it, eat it, smell it, feel it, swim in it, mark it. It is wondrous in a way that a hurricane can never be.

I am so grateful for the reminder that the world is still beautiful and powerful. I love to be reminded that Nature can be all consuming, that we as human beings can actually be brought to a full stop in order to witness her greatness. It is especially lovely, as a mother who is constantly with her children, to witness great power, chaos and beautiful order all in one sitting. It has been a wonderful 24 hours.










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