Snowpocalypse 2019

The tree swing after Snowfall No. 1

I’ve always considered my time in Utah as my Snow Undergraduate Seminar, and then my time in Pittsburgh was my Master’s in Snow Studies.

Neither of these experiences prepared me for the crazy that is Seattle in a snowstorm.

It isn’t that I’m not prepared to drive and live in snow, or that I’m not prepared for icy, wet cement-snow, or dealing with slippery hills. It’s that apparently nobody else is equipped to deal with it, especially on a city-wide level.

There just aren’t enough snowplows and salt to keep the roads clear, and as a result, the kids are missing school. A lot of school.

The first big storm hit last Sunday (as I wrote in my previous post). School was cancelled on Monday — which would have been fun if we didn’t also have a power outage all day. I brewed lots of hot tea and popcorn, and we bundled up in blankets. The numbers on the thermostat shrank in tandem with my cell phone battery. Eventually we all went upstairs, where the air was a bit warmer. I reheated pizza in the cast iron pan on the stovetop. Brr.

School was also closed on Tuesday. Which was pretty much a redo of Monday, except with power — yay! I baked gingerbread and took the kids sledding. Eleanor spent pretty much all day in her bed, reading and playing solitaire. (Playing solitaire in bed has become one of Eleanor’s chief occupations lately.)

Sledding at Shoreview Park. Jeff asked to go for a solo walk in the woods. He found the winter woods so beautiful and striking that when he came back, he flung open the van door (where I was staying warm) and yelled “MOM TURN OFF YOUR PODCAST I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING” and then spent time trying to describe it. He’s such a cute guy.


The youth temple trip that was scheduled for Tuesday evening was also canceled, as well as the kids’ choir practice.

Wednesday had a 2 hour delayed start — and it was still an Early Release Day, which mean that Jeff came home from high school 2 hours after I dropped off Katie and William at the elementary school. I hauled everyone to their piano lessons, and then I got a phone call from my friend Laura, asking me to take over the Cub Scout Blue & Gold banquet because her son had to go to the ER for a bad infection. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end.

My first time running Blue & Gold . . . and also the last! (There is no bottom to how much I do not care about this program anymore.)

Thursday also had a 2 hour delay. I thought about going to Costco for more milk, but the line of cars just to get into the parking lot stretched for three blocks, so I gave up. (We’ve been fine on milk.) By this time, the weather oracles predicted another storm for Friday afternoon and evening, and between my own piano practice and the trek to my lesson, my friends posted many pictures of long, long lines at grocery stores, and empty milk and bread shelves.

Soon everything else in our lives was canceled — my Girl Scout troop meeting, the boys’ Merit Badge fair, the children’s symphony concert I thought about attending, the Mary Poppins Sing-a-Long fundraiser for the Seattle Children’s Chorus . . .all cancelled.

The kids had a half-day schedule on Friday to buckle down and prepare for Snowpocalypse. I spent the morning grabbing the last loaves of bread from the QFC, and calling my ministering people to check on them.

Color me impressed — the snow arrived right on time, just as the weather oracles predicted. It began snowing around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, and kept going all evening, night, and into the morning. Brian estimates we got ten inches — on top of whatever was there before. (Look at that tree swing now!)

Saturday was spent shoveling, making snow forts, baking and board games. I made bread. Brian made bread. We watched the entirety of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” miniseries. I spent time being thankful that we had a stock of half a dozen freezer meals I’d prepped weeks ago (I was planning to save them for Midwinter Break).

My snow sweetie
We “borrowed” extra shovels from the neighbor’s driveway so we could get the driveway cleared. Pretty sure they don’t mind.
Katie’s snow cave

Now it’s Sunday. Church was canceled. My local newspaper, the Shoreline Area News, printed a headline that said “Just Assume Everything Is Canceled.” Seattle Schools are going to be closed tomorrow, and I’m guessing that Shoreline will be, too.

(Which is bad. The school district has already used up its built-in snow days, and this means they will have to extend the school year . . . but we’ve already scheduled a family reunion/vacation at that time . . . ergh. And I wouldn’t care about the kids scoring absences at the tail-end of the year, except that William’s supposed to have his Sixth Grade Graduation. I hope we don’t miss it.)

We had “church at home,” and now they are playing Edge of the Empire.

If anything, all this madness doesn’t remind me of snow in Salt Lake or in Pittsburgh. It reminds me of snow in Northern Virginia, where there was an infrastructure equally unprepared for snowstorms, accompanied by the same panicky shoppers and school closures.

When I was in 11th grade, we missed a cumulative three weeks of school, enough for the district to cancel midterm exams. (Yay!)

So, if anything, it was my time in Virginia that best prepared me for Snowpocalypse.

Never underestimate the value of a high school education.

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