The Truth About: Blizzard 2015

The Truth About Blizzards

When I lived in the UK, each winter we would wish for snow. Snow meant it was Christmas time. It meant chocolate box scenes of snow covered trees. It meant snowmen and sledging, red noses and hot chocolate by the fire.

In New England, snow can mean all of that. But, a winter storm? That’s something else altogether. And, when they give it a name you know it’s going to be bad; say hello to Blizzard 2015: Juno!

I am currently sitting in a house where I can’t open any of the doors at the back. The snow reaches the window sills in one corner. At the front door, the porch has provided some protection, and I can open the door, but if we want to leave the house, I am going to have to dig a path down the steps through almost two feet of snow.

I’m only five feet tall, that’s a lot of snow!

And it’s still snowing; and still being defined as a blizzard…

My biggest worry is the power going out. Currently the kids are happily snuggled up on the sofa watching movies; but if we lose power and heat… well, that would be bad!

My husband is in the UK this week, so I am relying on neighbours. One of whom has already been out with our snow blower doing a first pass at clearing the driveway (they share our driveway). I still wouldn’t be able to get my car out without a serious amount of digging though.

If I could get to it in the first place :)

We are under a State wide travel ban, no indication yet as to when that might be lifted. The ploughs are out clearing the main roads, I can hear them! But, driving anywhere will be impossible for a while yet.

Yesterday I went to the supermarket, along with the rest of the town… bare shelves greeted me. Thankfully I only needed milk!

I know where the torches are, and the shovels. Although thanks to the kids playing with one of the small spades yesterday afternoon, it is currently buried under a couple of feet of snow in the back garden, not a lot of use to me…

It is difficult to convey how deep the snow is in photos, it’s just a blanket of white, but here are a few to try and give some context.

A series of photos of our driveway and car from about 7.30pm last night through to about 8.00am this morning…
Progress of Blizzard

This is the view through the French doors in the living room…
The Snow is this deep 2

TL: the kitchen door. TR: the back door from the laundry room, bottom of window is 2.5ft up…
BL: retaining wall on Saturday. BR: retaining wall this morning (seen through back door!).

The Snow is this deep 1

Snow is fun; it is exciting, it opens up the possibility of all sorts of winter play. The kids love it. They’re fans of school closing for a snow day!

It does look beautiful; white and pristine and sparkling.

But storms like this are also dangerous; downed power lines, coastal flooding, treacherous driving conditions, potential evacuation in badly hit areas (this has happened along the coast to the south of us).

I’m dreading the big dig to get us out the front door, which I will have to start soon to clear what’s there before the other foot that is still predicted to fall, falls! I am dreading the first school run, and hoping that it won’t be tomorrow…

I know lots of people would love to have some snow, but, be careful what you wish for :)

And wish me luck!


And then the fun began...  

 

[Update 12 February 2015: Since I wrote this post two weeks ago we have had four more storms and now have a cumulative total of over six feet of snow in the Boston area. It is very difficult to really convey just how much snow that is, but essentially Boston is running out of places to put it! Snow banks along roads make visibility appalling, roads are narrowed to one-way in many cases, we have so far had six snow days… on the plus side, we have made snowmen, gone sledging, dug snow caves and made snow ice cream!]

Seychelles Mama


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66 thoughts on “The Truth About: Blizzard 2015”

  1. Good luck! We have been there many times, both in PA and OH–and I hate to say it, but I do miss it. I always liked one good snow, one (or two) no-school days, hunkered down on the sofa by the fire with movies, pancakes for breakfast… But I don’t miss the month-upon-month type of snow we used to get in Ohio. Cold, wet and gray in England is just not the same!

    Hope your power stays on!

    1. To be honest, I no longer hate it. The first year we were here Nemo dumped almost 3 feet of snow on us in 24h and I almost cried when we had to try and get out and about after it. Two years later and I know what to expect, and I love that winter means proper snow here, the kids love it and I love that they get so excited. And, a day snuggled on the sofa with movies suits me :) Would prefer if my husband was here this time though!

  2. We’re in the same boat! My biggest fear was that the power would go (it didn’t/hasn’t so far). I wasn’t worried about the lights per se, but if our power goes, we don’t have heat… with four babies at home that just doesn’t work for me.
    Stay safe! Enjoy the dig out (my kids can’t wait to get out there and start shoveling…. me on the other hand…. not so much)

    1. I was so relieved that the power stayed on, that would have been awful – it was the no heat that worried me! Getting ready to do more shovelling this morning :)

  3. Crikey!
    We’ve had a bit here in Blighty but nothing on this scale. We’d never cope! We only need a couple of inches to bring everything to a standstill. :/
    Keep warm & stay safe. x

    1. I know, it does make me smile now when 2 inches brings the UK to a standstill and 2 feet here is dealt with in 24 hours :)

  4. Oh my goodness, I have been watching this develop on the news. I’m sure this must be pretty scary actually and not so much fun at all. Good luck Sara & stay safe! xx

    1. It’s quite incredible to watch how quickly the snow builds, and when the visibility drops it gets quite eerie. With a travel ban, it’s so silent. It’s strange :)

  5. Good good luck! We have a paltry amount of snow compared to that! Some friends of ours lived in Boston for a while, and they were telling me about the ice storms – sounds petrifying!

    1. When you’re in the midst of the blizzard, it can be quite scary. The real fear is losing power and being stranded!

  6. Megan - Truly Madly Kids

    Im glad you have power and food. Hope that it doesn’t continue and that things get back to normal soon – I’ll be checking up on you!

  7. Oh my goodness! Good luck Sara! That sounds like such a nightmare. Ever since having children I have hated the snow coming – being stuck in with a four month old colicky baby was the worst, but it’s scary to drive in and worrying when you can’t get out to get food etc. The US really does like to do things BIG doesn’t it? :-) I remember the tropical storms in Texas when I lived there – so much more dramatic than any weather events you get over here. I really hope it eases up for you all soon and the power stays on! XX #thetruthabout

    1. I’m not looking forward to the school run tomorrow… The main roads will be clear, in fact most already are, but the side roads will still be tricky and my driveway is quite steep… I have visions of sliding down it into the road :) The weather is definitely bigger here, but I do love that we have proper seasons :)

  8. I’d hate to be in your shoes. Even a tiny amount of snow is a nightmare over here as you know, and being in the sticks we have no gritting. 3 years ago we had about a foot at home, but then on the roads near us the snow drifts halfway across the road were a nightmare, blocking us off in one direction.

    Maybe if you get the door open, you could sled down to the car!

    Hope it doesn’t last too long and you get a melt.

    1. LOL, tempting :) The kids are desperate to get out in it, so now that it’s stopped snowing we can… although I still can’t open the back doors! At least here they expect the snow, so the infrastructure is great and the ploughs and gritters are out in force as soon as it starts!

  9. Stock up on wine and hot chocolate! I remember having to deal on my own the aftermath of one blizzard in the Hamptons – nightmare digging the car out especially after snowplows in the road had made additional 4 to 6 feet compacted snowdrift which completely blocked the driveway. I did though love the day or two afterwards when everywhere was so quiet and pristine – except for the noise of my kids playing in the deep snow.

    1. I remember you telling me about that snow drift! That’s the biggest problem here really, you can’t walk anywhere because the ploughs leave a wall between the sidewalk and the road, so you can’t cross anywhere :) I don’t mind the snow days, and we will definitely be out playing in it later :)

    1. Thankfully, power stayed on throughout! It certainly wasn’t the best timed trip, I tried not to worry about it all, and it has been fine, but I did panic a little as it started :)

    1. Thanks Ellen, power stayed on and now the snow has stopped, the big dig out continues… until the snow starts again tomorrow night…!

  10. Wow Sara that is some serious snow! I have seen a couple of your pics on FB and yes it looks pretty but I can imagine how difficult it can make life too! I would love a little snow so Monkey can have fun and build a snowman but I think this would definitely be a bit much for me! Hope you all stay safe and the power and heat stays on! xx

  11. Wow it is beautiful but definitely scary too!! Having a travel ban is serious stuff!!

    Everyone wishes for snow but you’re right until you have something like what you’ve got you forget just how dangerous it can be!!

    Stay safe (and warm!) xxx

  12. It looks like the kind of snow every child dreams of waking up to but I can understand how worrying it must be for you as a Mum. What a week for your husband to be away too! Stay safe and I hope the snow stops soon.

    1. It does look magical, and it’s a lot of fun for the kids, but it definitely makes things a little tricky when it’s this deep :)

  13. Thinking of you today! I hope you and your family are doing well despite the mounds of snow that crossed your path. I do hope you (and the rest of New England) are fairing safe!

  14. Wow good luck, its not at all nice when its like that is ir. We live in the north of England and do get quite a bit of snow. Its a novelty at first but that soon wears off and starts to be annoying x

  15. Oh my goodness! That is scary! I’m sat here wishing for snow because we haven’t had any, but I would hate that. Really hope your power stays on and things start to get back to normal for you soon. x

  16. While beautiful to all of us that’s not in it its hard to get things done and live in that day in and day out. I know because we get snow like that back home. I remember growing up when we shoveled our sidewalk that it would come up to my head on both sides. I am short but that’s a hell of a lot of snow still. The kids think its’ wonderland though. bless you. Thank you so much for linking up to Share WIth Me. I hope it melts for you soon. #sharewithme

  17. Pingback: The Truth About: Blizzard 2015 | LAB

  18. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    Oh hon – this made me chuckle slightly because we got a 30-second flurry on Thursday night, which resulted in total chaos on the roads as people panic-bailed from work at the same time. Ridiculous.

    But what you’re experiencing is pretty darn scary! I hope it doesn’t get any worse and you can get back to normal. Take care and keep warm and safe xx

    #TheTruthAbout

  19. I keep seeing pictures a friend of mine in Boston is posting on FB about the storms and she keeps saying that there just isn’t more room for more snow. It’s totally mindblowing and I can see how scary it must be especially as your husband was (is?) away. I hope he’s back as being alone with 3 kids must be tough too. I hope you’ve got plentiful supplies of tinned food if the power goes off. Do you have a fire to burn to keep warm ifthe power goes off? I’m cold just thinking about all this. Good luck! Thinking of you all over the pond! #MyExpatFamily

    1. He was away, then back, then away again… It’s been an interesting few weeks! I have very well stocked cupboards :) There really isn’t anywhere to put the stuff anymore!

  20. Wow… and I’ve been trying to get my American fiance to take me to Maine for Christmas this year! I might have to give it a miss. A white Christmas sounded so romantic and old fashioned, but apparently there’s snow and then there’s SNOW!! Hope you are doing okay and keeping warm

  21. It is horrid to have to deal with this type of thing in places that are not cut out for it. In Kazakhstan this type of blizzard and snow was par for the course. The roads were hardly ever blocked and the city disposed of all snow easily (Astana is in the middle of nowhere so it is not difficult there). One winter I drove the kids to school along a road with drifts 2.5 meters high on each side. I would hate to be dealing with that in a place where it is not a normal experience. Hope your power stays on and keep warm!

    1. To be fair, for ‘normal’ amounts of snow, they cope really well. But seven feet in three weeks is just insane, and in city/town situations there is a limit to where the snow can go (and the quarries etc. that get used to dump it normally are full!). It’s been an experience… and another foot this morning hasn’t helped matters :)

  22. Good luck!! That takes me back to my childhood. I remember blizzards like that. We once spent Christmas in Canada when I was young and it snowed so much we couldn’t open the back door! Probably very similar to what you have! And when I was at University, we had a snow/ice blizzard and everything froze and no one was allowed outside for 3 days. And that was in Virginia. I must say, apart from all the rain, I love the mild weather conditions here in the UK. It’s very comforting and we don’t have to worry about blizzards or hurricanes!! Have fun making snow angels and snow candy (cover a shallow tray with clean white snow and poor hot syrup over it in strips. Makes chewy candy)

    1. I haven’t been able to open any doors at the back of the house since Juno, and we’ve had another four feet of snow since then…! Ooo, I’m going to try snow candy next :)

  23. Pingback: Five Blogs writing about Life as an Expat. | Tots 100

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