The Storm That Ate Christmas

Still playing at a theater near you, dispensing with marking myself safe from the snowstorm in Buffalo, and opting for annoyed. Can you mark yourself annoyed? I’m going to set precedent.

The multi-day, multi-foot deep snow storm that ate Christmas (most of which is still in my driveway) is a study in wisdom and foolishness and tragedy. Anything with a body count immediately loses access to terms like beauty and clinches like Winter Wonderland. When more than 20 people have died, aphorisms don’t cut it.

I questioned my own wisdom on the first night of the storm. A loss in power put a premature end of the work day and I was offered safe haven a block away where there was heat and light. With a vision line of about 20 feet at best, it was the longest short walk I’ve ever taken, like a chapter from a Jack London story. It was quite surreal to hear nothing but the wind and see little but snow bent on bodily assault. That assault would continue for the next 30 hours and upwards of 4 feet of new fallen snow, Despite that less than informed choice, I made it and had a good warm seat to watch the storm pummel the area from a fourth floor vista.

Watching the wind and snow blow about had the same effect of gazing at a campfire. What are you watching? Who knows, but you don’t want to miss it when it reveals itself. Buildings would fade from view like they never existed and then suddenly reappearing like the silhouetted monoliths they are, coming in and out of focus only being 50 to 60 feet away from the window I was gazing on them from.

When all was calm, the return trip was a little less Call of the Wild and a little more obstacle laden, better stretch before you pull something odyssey. The intense varying winds carved some interesting temporary snow architecture and the result was a random pattern of cars and SUVS in a variety of abstract positions as if a child tossed their matchbox cars in the air and the snowbound pattern was result.

I don’t know who built Hoak’s restaurant south of the city, but he or she did good work

But that all worked out, despite been not one of my better initial choices upon leaving my darkened house. It was heartwarming to read of the rescue of the theater worker in North Buffalo as that is how we should be looking out for another. I’m glad he was found and getting the necessary care toward recovery. It is also great that the bus of Korean tourists found safety in something they have never experienced before. It’s heartbreaking how many others didn’t fare was well.

I don’t really get the folks who want to compare “what storm was worse” as that doesn’t matter or the people going to facebook to get the best streets to get to a destination. I’d call the destination than try to cruise in lousy conditions with anecdotal testimony, but that is just me. I would however listen to the driving ban.

My actual driveway underscored that I have no choice in the matter. See below.

The peak there is about five feet high.

My personal hero so far is the guy whose job is to clear the sidewalks of the nursing home next to mine. He has set down the way to do it through sheer consistent pluck. He’ has been out there each day of the storm and as a result, there is pavement around the property. Unlike some leaders he didn’t blame residents, he focused on the task. If only that example would inspire say, building owners like, well, mine.

As I write this the landlord did send two guys with a snowblower to carve out the sidewalks at least, I applaud the attempt, but 12 year old me running Dad’s snowblower for the first time in winter 1976 got better results. Maybe they needed my dad to stare them into straight lines as it worked when I did that stuff.


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