26 January 2015

Blizzard Prep

(Since I won't be going anywhere for a couple of days, I'll have plenty of time and Car Stuff will appear tomorrow.)

So the minor snowstorm we got on Saturday was kind of a distraction. We were all focused on it because the conditions made it unpredictable (snow changed to rain as temperatures increased, then back to snow after dark), and we ended up canceling plans to go to Rhode Island but I think travel would have been fine. Meanwhile, a monster storm was in the process of forming, and is now steaming our way.

The first flakes started falling around 1 pm, and three hours later nothing has accumulated. If we didn't know what was coming we'd probably be inclined to dismiss the reports. We've had a relatively snow-free winter so far; before Saturday's snow we'd had just a few dustings and I was able to clear the sidewalk and driveway with only a push broom. Also, our storms don't typically come this close together.

This one is making people nervous because there's the potential for two feet of snow, or maybe more. Those of us over a certain age have vivid memories of the Blizzard of '78, the one against which all subsequent storms are inevitably measured. We remember being stuck inside for days, waiting for plows to finally clear the streets. That storm caught people by surprise, and some part of us thinks it might happen again, so we have a tendency to get a little nutty before big storms.

Stuff starts to shut down. Stores already have signs that they won't be open Tuesday, which is just common sense. The T won't be running, and citizens are urged to stay home and off the roads, which again is common sense. You can't get stranded if you don't go out in the first place.(Update: the governor has issued a travel ban effective at midnight tonight.)

We'd been food shopping fairly recently so we didn't need much, but a quick trip to the nearby Super Stop & Shop was in order yesterday. We are not foolish enough to venture within a quarter-mile of a Market Basket when a storm is approaching, but the Stop & Shop was still as busy as I had ever seen it in nine years. I managed to find an express line with a relatively short wait. Today it's probably even busier.

I also happened to be in need of beer, which is almost as important during a blizzard as food. This afternoon I made a quick run down to the nearby Big Liquor Store, because the combination of proximity and reasonable prices made the most sense under the circumstances. They were also busy, but not like the supermarket. Beer math once again came into play, with the 18-pack costing only $1 more than the 12-pack (technically $1.30 more with the deposits). I wondered who buys the 12-packs, and the answer is probably "you should have, dummy" because I still had to carry my 18-pack and realized, too late, that it weighs 50% more than a 12-pack.

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