Thursday, March 18, 2021

Snowbound and Covidbound all in the same week

We received 31 or 36 inches of snow in our weekend blizzard, depending on who's doing the reporting. Anything more than 30 inches is a lot so I won't quibble. What I can say is that I haven't been out of my house since last Friday when I ran a couple of errands on a cloudy day with all the weatherpeople saying that you bastards are really in for it with this Snowmageddon. Pshaw, said I. But they were right. 

Our governor announced on March 12 that most Covid restrictions will expire on March 16. On that day, residents from Cheyenne to Casper were practicing weather-enforced social distancing. Cheyenne doctors and nurses were shuttled to work on a snowmobile belonging to a 17-year-old high school student. You can still get around our neighborhood on snowmobile.

By the time the snow abated on Monday, I could not open our front door. Snow on the porch was piled at least two feet of hard-packed snow. A winter snow is usually what they call "champagne powder" at Jackson Hole Ski Resort. It's light and airy enough to blow into a ground blizzard when the wind blows. When stacked up, it's great to ski in. You can glide and carve into it, blowing up white clouds as you make your way downhill. 

Snowmageddon snow is like concrete. I say "is" because it's almost a week later and our neighborhood is a snowscape. A plow made its first appearance yesterday afternoon. It made one pass down the street and then was gone. It created a path wide enough for one vehicle flanked by four-foot walls of snow. The mounds block our driveways so we're still stuck. Not sure what comes next. Melting is going to take a long time. Our food is running out. We are going stir crazy. 

In days gone by, I would have been out there with the shovel as I was in so many other storms. After the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982 in Denver, I was outside with my shovel on Christmas Day, shoveling my walks and those of my neighbors in City Park South. Chris and I lived on the top floor of a 100-year-old two-story house. We shared it with a lesbian couple who were our son's first babysitters three years later. We sometimes barbecued together on the tiny front porch. I never knew our neighbors in the basement apartment. 

Our landlord was the one-man Danish counsel for Colorado who owned a tie store downtown. His lavish City Park home had a security gate and was surrounded with cameras just in case the Swedes decided to invade. We sometimes drove over to pay our rent just to see how the other half lived. We wondered how working for Denmark in a remote outpost and selling ties led to such opulence. We imagined that a tie shop on a side street might be a perfect cover for a drug dealer or arms smuggler. We wondered what they made in Denmark that might find a black market in Denver. Cheese danishes? Fjord photos? Reindeer antlers? We didn't know much about Denmark.

So here it is Thursday and maybe I will get out of my driveway and maybe I won't. I haven't shoveled snow since my heart attack in 2013. I rely on a walker (a.k.a. personal mobility device) now. It's possible there exists a walker equipped with a snow blower but I haven't yet looked that up on Amazon. Even if I get in my car and get out of my driveway, I'm not sure about the condition in the rest of my neighborhood. I'm really stuck if I get stuck. 

Our neighbor Mike sent over a couple of teens to clear our walks. They did a good job and we paid them $20. We wanted to make way for the mail delivery person but we haven't got any mail since Saturday. I've been missing those fliers for vinyl windows and life insurance. I might have received a St. Patrick's Day card or two but won't find out for a couple more days. Over the years, I have seen USPS vehicles chained up and struggling through the snow. But chains won't help them get through big drifts of concrete snow.

Daughter Annie has been staying with us during spring break. She has many assignments due next week so we don't see much of her. She ordered a grocery delivery yesterday but didn't tell us. The Instacart person drove up in a massive SUV. She dropped off three 12-packs of Diet Pepsi and packages of toilet paper and paper towels. For edibles, she delivered a family pack of Chips Ahoy cookies, a bag of Cadbury mini-eggs, and a carton of eggs. We quizzed Annie about why she had paid a person to collect Cadbury mini-eggs and Diet Pepsi and drive these crucial, life-giving items through snow clogged streets to our house. We wondered why she hadn't asked us if we needed anything from the store such as bread or peanut butter or soup or spaghetti. You know, necessities for the snowbound.

We're still waiting for an answer.


RobertP said...

Wow, that is a shitload of snow! We made our reservations for the Black Hills a few days ago and Tom at The Roost said they were getting 12-16". Here in the KC area we ended up getting, um, nothing. Just a lot of rain. At the end of February with the cold snap, we did get snows ever other day it seemed; they were each about 1 1/2 to 2" and did not melt with the cold, so accumulated to almost 6 inches over 2 weeks. And yes, it was the very cold, dry snow that is so much easier to take care of. In short, you have made me feel very, very lucky, but hey, you live in Wyoming, right? At least it was not Texas bad.

Good luck with this and maybe make a poster for the house that says all hands must be consulted when ordering food deliveries (maybe like an Uncle Sam Wants YOU to see what your parents want to eat). At least she got TP and paper towels. And eggs. Eggs are healthy.

Take care and be safe,


Michael Shay said...

Our neighbor paid a friend to clear our street. Without that, who knows when I would have been able to get out of the driveway. Now well stocked with food items as well as real eggs and bags of Cadbury Mini-eggs. Glad to hear about your 2021 Black Hills trip. Still remember fondly my rendezvous in the Hills with you, Deb and her parents.