Archive for Saturday, February 5, 2011

Boomer Girl Diary: Snow much for subtlety

February 5, 2011


It’s all so thrilling, at first. The fevered anticipation, the gung-ho enthusiasm…

“Big snowstorm coming,” you cry, breathlessly. “Weather Channel says it’s going to be a colossal event. ‘Colossal,’ they said. And ‘historic.’ Look! I’ve got goose bumps!”

You love snow. You love emergencies. You are SNOW excited!

A smiley face greets Lawrence residents on a car parked in the street Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. A blizzard hit the city dropping at least 8 inches of snow on Tuesday.

A smiley face greets Lawrence residents on a car parked in the street Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. A blizzard hit the city dropping at least 8 inches of snow on Tuesday.

Off you scamper to the grocery store — with 600 of your breathless, overreacting neighbors — to stock up on ingredients for all your go-to comfort foods: White chili, Mulligatawny soup, fried egg sandwiches, lasagna, Thai-style curried chicken, meatloaf, tuna noodle casserole, beef tortellini, Tollhouse cookies, mac and cheese, stuffed mushrooms with crab, “Death by Chocolate” brownies, oven-roasted sweet potato fries, white chocolate flan with caramel sauce, skim milk.

(Hey. When the Weather Channel says “colossal,” who are you to poo-poo?)

With the kitchen stocked and staged for Snowmaggedon (the first of so many clever monikers to come), you hunker down — laptop on thighs, cell phone in hand — to watch the Blizzard of Oz roll in.

It. Takes. FOREVER!

“Where is it now?” your spouse yells from the garage, where he’s sharpening the blade of his snow shovel with a grinder.

“You mean, Snowpocalypse 2011? Still can’t see it on the radar. But it’s coming!”

Ten to 14 inches expected, according to my Weather Underground app.

After a brief check of your firewood inventory, you grab the remote and surf to a “Special Report” on TV:

Anchor 1: “We’re in all-hands-on-deck mode here at WOMG to bring you up-to-the-minute movement of Snowzilla 2011, the merciless mega-monster storm that threatens to pulverize, then paralyze, the metro and much of the country.”

Anchor 2: “For the very latest, let’s go LIVE to our very own Candy Kain on the Interstate. Hey, Candy.”

Candy: “Hey, guys. Well, as you can see, I’m wearing my puffiest parka and furriest chapeau in anticipation of our WOMG ‘snow-holds-barred coverage.’ (She giggles uncontrollably.) Sorry, guys. Couldn’t resist!”

Anchor 1: “Snow biggie, Candy!”

Anchor 2: “Snow worries!” (She snorts for effect.)

Candy: “Snow — I mean — so, there’s not a whole lot to see right now. But (she steps dangerously close to the highway), by tomorrow morning, these roads will be SNOW-going with unprepared drivers stuck in the SNOW-passing lane. City officials tell me their trucks are ready to go, and there’s SNOW limit to their salt supplies. Sorry, guys! My mind’s in SNOW-man’s land tonight. Must be the hat! This is Candy Kain, W-SNOW-MG, reporting live. Back to you in the studio.”

Anchor 1: (Chortling) “Oh SNOW you didn’t!”

Anchor 2: “Snow way, Candy!”

Disgusted, you click off the TV, check the radar on your laptop for the 300th time, and start cooking.

One cauldron of chili, a pot of soup, two flans and four-dozen Tollhouse cookies later, you’re exhausted. It’s still not snowing, and your husband’s office has canceled work for tomorrow. A sense of dread envelops you like Candy’s puffiest parka. You pop an Ambien — because it is a bona fide emergency, after all — and go to bed.

The next morning, you wake to the sound of a freshly sharpened shovel scraping the front walk. Snowmaggedon is here.

Through the excruciatingly long day, your attention drifts from the snow globe swirling outside your windows to your stubborn spouse, who refuses to stop shoveling ‘lest “the storm get ahead of me,” to poor Candy, who is looking more like Nanook of the North as the Blizzard of Oz bears down:

Anchor 1: “Continuing our exclusive, snow-holds-barred coverage, let’s check in with our very own Candy Kain, still on the Interstate.”

Anchor 2: “Hey, Candy. How’s the furriest chapeau treating you?”

Candy: “Snow p-p-p-roblem, g-g-g-uys. (Her teeth are chattering into the mic.) As you c-c-can see (she gestures like the Tin Man after a hard rain), everyone has h-h- heeded the governor’s warning to stay home d-d-due to Snowgasm 2011.”

You flip off the tube, so as not to suffer another one of Candy’s snowisms. As you reheat the chili for the 10th time in 24 hours, you realize you no longer love snow.

Or emergencies, for that matter. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, it’s all just snowverkill.

Time to hang up the shovel and think spring.

But then, I guess that’s a snow-brainer.

— Cathy Hamilton is a public relations and marketing consultant, author of 16 books and blogger at Contact her at


RoeDapple 7 years, 4 months ago

One of the problems with being "seasoned" (Let's not use the a-g-e-d word) is having been through it too many times. We(?) remember the storm of '62 that required equipment heavier than a grader to bust through the drifts, impassable roadways for 7-8 days and forecasts of "possibly heavy at times" at 6:00 and 10:00. There were no tracking satellites, removal equipment was much harder to operate and not as much of it. Now if we are inconvenienced for a few hours the city phones ring off the wall with angry citizens screaming 'Me, me, me!". I for one would hate to see the storm that would shut us down like in "The good old days".

kernal 7 years, 4 months ago

Now I know where to go if I get hungry in the middle of a blizzard! Ye gods!

Scott Morgan 7 years, 4 months ago

In some of us.

Some place deep in our psyche a Northern Wolf howls waking up some primal instincts triggered by constant warnings. I had this mental picture of a National Guard Helicopter dropping hay near our home while we waved from the roof. Why hay?

As recent empty nesters Blizzard of Oz (we are rural now too) menu

One ham, 2 x dry mix white bean soup (it was good so we made another ), one flat of lasagna,????? assortment of bakery sweets, oatmeal with real butter, cheeses, salsa and chips, bread of all types (for ham sandwiches if the urge hits) on and on. A huge assortment of wine as well.

Of course the helicopter didn't come and we now have enough food to last us until Easter. Now if we have another's back to the store.

Who says baby boomers can't have fun?

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