Posted by: Ryan | December 21, 2008

To Build a Fire

Well, the blizzard has come and gone, and we’re still here. The storm was predicted to peak around 1 a.m. yesterday, and we were well asleep by then, but it still didn’t seem like the winds got as strong as forecasters had warned. They were still mighty strong, however.

View from our front door, before the power went out.

View from our front door, before the power went out.

The winds started picking up around sundown, increasing throughout the night, and our power finally went out sometime around 8 p.m. We had our flashlights handy, and excitedly watched the storm from first one window, then across the house to another. From the window in the reading room, we watched the tall evergreens out back waving back and forth like grass in the wind. From here we could also see our backyard, which was scoured nearly free of snow due to the howling winds (there’d been several inches there before). From the front door, we could see eddies of powdered snow whirling and rolling in the light from the streetlamp. From our bedroom window, we pointed our headlamps into the darkness and could only see white particles rushing by in the light beam. Tired, we settled into bed and awaited the morning.

The snow on the back yard was scoured away by the high winds.

The snow in the back yard was scoured away by the high winds...

...and much of it deposited here.

...and much of it deposited here.

In the morning light, the backyard had even less snow than before, and the lawn was visible everywhere, with tree branch debris scattered all around. The wind had picked up the snow and deposited it in curious spots, and in artistic curly patterns. It had been left on our retaining wall in a wave-like pattern, like a frozen sea; a tiny dune had formed in the elbow of the house near the garage; and even more snow was piled on the sides of the house, and out front, more than a foot deep in some places, burying our front yard, the driveway, and the Civic. We found snow stuck to the siding of the house, and under the eaves of the roof, and we even found a half inch of snow inside our shed that had blown in through the holes under the roof. It had blown through all of the screen doors and windows, and stuck against the inner glass. What a crazy night.

We borrowed the neighbors snow shovel to make a path.

We borrowed the neighbor's snow shovel to make a path.

We spent today removing the snow from the car and shoveling the driveway, just to frustratingly see another inch or so fall during the afternoon. We’re planning on taking the bus in to work tomorrow, but are taking extra clothes just in case we have to repeat our Madison Renaissance experience from last week.



  1. Thank you for sharing your snowstorm with me. It sounded like quite an adventure!

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