Snow in the Carolinas

The weather today in Tucson is gorgeous.  I took my morning walk in jeans and a t-shirt, but I would have done fine in shorts.  The yard is cheeping, twittering, and tweeting with a light background of traffic.  I feel like my restaurant has just made a hit; today there were 12(!) goldfinches at the bird feeder, as well as a Gila woodpecker (who I try to deter), and in addition to the two towhees on the ground below, there were six sparrows.  (I still am having a hard time classifying them – white-crowned? – they’re so fluttery!  It’s hard to imagine the snow storm that is hitting the east coast this weekend.

The biggest snowstorm to sweep across the Mid-Atlantic states since 1922 is creating havoc with travel from North Carolina to New York.

Airlines are cancelling flights to Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore, which were expected to receive the brunt of the storm Friday and Saturday. Up to 30 inches of snow is forecast, the most since the 1922 “Knickerbocker” blizzard named after a theater in Washington, D.C. whose roof collapsed in the storm, killing 98 people.

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend in South Carolina.  She said that last weekend they’d had a few inches of snow, then sleet, and because it had continued to rain (and was 36°), she wished she could be visiting me!

I remember a heavy winter storm in SC last March 2.  I walked out of my apartment to find over 6” of snow.  Previous to this I had broken a credit card scraping ice off my windshield, so I had finally bought a scraper.  I had to scrape off all of the windows before I could start off on the unplowed roads.  I didn’t have a home computer at the time, or even a working television, or I would have seen this report:

Good morning!  Yes folks we actually got some snow, 150 schools and businesses are closed and the stores are out of bread and milk!  Browsing through the news I see we got about 6 inches.  Sure was pretty but I think we have about 70,000 without power. Traffic is at a standstill on I85 for miles and miles.  At 5:45 am it’s about 29 degrees and not going to warm up too much today so it may stick around a day or two.

The freeway was blocked up.  I got out of my car to ask another driver what had happened and he said that a truck had jackknifed on the icy highway.  Luckily I was in the right lane, so I followed a truck up the off ramp and onto side roads.  I had been tutoring a high school student before work twice a week, so I tried to call the school to tell them that I couldn’t make it, but not only did no one answer, there was no recording stating school was closed for a snow day.

I had grown up in Michigan, so I had no trouble driving over snow- and ice-covered roads, but I was half an hour late for work.  Surprise!  Only three other people were at work.  I asked where everyone was; they had all taken a snow day!  (I was attending Michigan State University on January 27, 1967, when it closed – first time ever – for a snow day after a 24-inch snowfall overnight.  What’s a mere six inches?)

What I didn’t know was that power was out in a quarter of the city due to tree limbs downed onto overhead lines by the heavy ice and snow.  A friend called me; the electric company had told her it would be two days until power was back in her neighborhood.  Yes, I would put up her and her animals – a cat, a small dog, and a parrot.  (Unfortunately her aquarium was too large to move and her fish died in the cold.)  My cat wasn’t a good hostess; she would allow no other animal in the master bedroom.  But everything else worked out.

So as I enjoy a clear sky and 66°, my heart goes out to those who cannot spend February in Arizona.

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