Referring to my proclamation that this winter will be one without snow for the east coast, I am writing you from a view of a snow-mounded parking lot outside my favorite Starbucks.

This is not about the wider topic of climate change and El Nino, but what a blizzard does to civilization.  I read a very good article last weekend about the relative outcomes of sloth versus ambition in a blizzard.  While it was snowing, and snowing some more, on Saturday, there was little point in doing much, as the snow would undo our efforts.  A plow dutifully plowed the sidewalk across the street from us at 10 AM, by 2 PM you couldn’t tell.  Best just to stay inside  and hope the power holds.

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Here’s a brief list of all the things I am grateful to electricity for:
The blower motor on our heater
Space heaters
Refrigerator
Our computers
The internet
WiFi
The telephone (no more RJ-11)
Credit Card Readers
Lighting
Vent Fans in the Kitchen and Bathroom.

Being inside all day and night did give me a fixation with the outside.  I tried out the SLR I got last year with some closeup shots of birds at our feeder.  I have much to learn to justify that purchase, and its good to have something to take pictures of to get familiar.  The few times I walked out I got winded quickly, lifting my feet up over and out of the snow.  Still, it was a blast to see everything quiet and safe, as long as I could make it back inside.
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The next day, our first mission was to get out and clear the sidewalks and dig out the cars. This was an added burden of living in the suburbs.  Without a car, there was no work, no groceries.  It didn’t take long for our over-engineered shovel to break, pushing us to the doors of neighbors to beg to borrow their shovels.  We met people we never would have otherwise, from three doors down.  All with same mission, to get our cars to the plowed roads.
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We live in a 30-minute suburb of Washington, and have several friends who live in the city.  The most striking difference between them and us was their independence from a car.  No obligation to shovel a path around the car means no hours of labor shoveling.  My back still hurts.  Maybe it will be better by the weekend.

Being trapped inside for me went from cozy to carefree to sore to dreadful.  I lie being out and about, and I am humble to the fact that that is often via traffic where we live.  I had some to-dos, and I did them all, but diffidently.  Stir Crazy.  My mood improved greatly the first time I got to a cafe and could do some writing among people I didn’t know.

Have to get a proper snow shovel in case all this happens again in February.

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