Last weekend, the East Coast was pounded by winter storm Jonas (Naming winter storms is a thing now?), or as many social media sources nicknamed it, Snowzilla. The Washington DC area was pounded by snow, and it wouldn’t shock me if my house was at the exact center of the storm. One of my neighbors was reporting that we got over 30 inches in our neighborhood.
I’m thankful to report that my family and I were able to survive the experience, although it wasn’t always easy. Here’s a recap of how we managed:
Worse than expected?
Meteorologists were predicting that we could potentially receive a historic amount of snow. I am usually skeptical when I hear talk about massive snowfalls, but when the predictions start topping two feet, I tend to believe that there will be a decent amount.
My work thankfully allowed us to leave early on Friday afternoon, and when I arrived home around 1 PM, I observed the first flakes begin to fall. The reports said that it wasn’t supposed to begin until closer to 5 PM, which meant that the accumulation might actually be greater than expected.
By 2 PM, the snow was coming down at a steady rate. By 4 PM, the ground was already well covered. It looked like the weatherman was right about this one. I don’t know if any records were set, but this was the most snow I can ever recall seeing.
What’s more fun being stranded inside during a snow storm? Being stranded inside with a sick child!
Cujo came down with a fever on Tuesday (Yes, I know it’s shocking to hear that one of my children was sick), and it still hadn’t gone away by Friday morning. He had also become highly irritable and was acting as if he was in pain. With an impending blizzard, we figured it was imperative to get him to the doctor while we still could.
The doctor’s office was packed, and the doctor looked like someone who had already had a busy day, and wasn’t expecting his workload to lighten any time soon. Fortunately for him, Cujo’s ear infection was easy to spot, and after filling a prescription for some antibiotics, we were on out way.
Unfortunately, the antibiotics didn’t provide instant relief. Our only consolation was that he took a long nap, because while he was awake, he was pretty much insufferable. He wanted to constantly be held, but he would get upset if you didn’t hold him in the exact way that he wanted.
Both of the twins have an unfortunate little personality quirk where they like being held, but they don’t like the person holding them to be comfortable. They could be perfectly content in your arms, but as soon as you try to sit down, they’ll begin to scream and squirm.
At one point, I compared him to a horcrux from Harry Potter. He would sap the mental energy of whoever was holding him, and Mrs. Cutter and I had to take turns with him to avoid either one of us becoming too worn down.
Each morning, I hoped that the antibiotics would cause him to wake up feeling much better, but unfortunately, the improvement was gradual. His disposition did get better with time, but it took a few days. The good news is that his sisters were both in good moods, so we didn’t have to worry too much about them. (It’s somewhat tough to remember this now since the Cutlass came down with a sickness of her own a few days later and has been extremely screamy.)
The joys of shoveling
With Cujo at his worst on Friday, I didn’t have an opportunity to get an early start on the inevitable shoveling. By the time he was asleep at night, I was exhausted, and I figured that it was far too early in the storm to wear myself out further.
On Saturday morning, there was already over a foot of snow on the ground, and I realized I couldn’t procrastinate any more. With the entire landscape covered in white powder, it was hard to even know where to start. Mrs. Cutter and I took a couple of shifts each, and while we made decent progress, it was somewhat disheartening to realize that the areas where we had shoveled would likely have another foot of snow on them the next morning.
By Sunday afternoon, the snow has stopped falling and the sun was shining. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I had cleared out the end of the driveway to the point where we could have gotten two of our cars out. That sense of accomplishment was ruined when a snow plow came by and basically pushed another foot of snow onto our driveway.
I’m not sure what the driver was trying to accomplish. The main road was already pretty clear of snow, and all he really seemed to be doing was redistributing some of the snow on the curb into people’s driveways. One of my neighbors actually stood in front of his driveway and wouldn’t let him go by.
On the bright side, I felt okay with not being able to go to the gym, as the shoveling was the best workout I had in some time. And I’m sure the soreness that I still feel all down my right side will go away eventually.
Misery loves company
Realizing that we might be stranded for a while, Mrs. Cutter invited some of the neighbors over for dinner on Saturday night. At one point, it looked like the storm would make it impossible to even walk to our house, but two families were able to make it over.
The Cutlet was thrilled, as she got to play with some other kids for a while. (The kids probably had a little TOO good of a time since they didn’t want to stop and go to bed.) Even Cujo’s mood seemed to brighten by being around other children.
We survived…this time
All in all, the Snowzilla experience wasn’t too horrible. Sure, we were stuck inside for a while, and the Cutlet’s school STILL hasn’t re-opened. (Today will be the sixth consecutive day they’re closed!) But we had food, we had electricity (thank goodness!), and most importantly, we maintained our sanity.
Now let’s just hope that mother nature has used up her quota of snow, so we never have to do it again.