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** Snow ** [Episode II]

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The aftermath of the storm. Care for an ice cold soft drink?

Liza pointed out to me yesterday that in the summer I always complain that storms happen wherever we aren’t. I’ve noticed that in the summer, when we’re in Minneapolis, the storms always go around us, while back in our old home, Aberdeen, S.D. they’re getting them every day. Then when we come back to Aberdeen, Minneapolis gets hammered and we miss it.

Apparently this whole concept of missing the storm does not apply in winter.

As described in a previous entry on this blog, Minneapolis got a substantial storm and I personally moved a lot of snow by hand (and shovel). When this happened, Aberdeen barely had any snow at all, and certainly not a storm. A couple days ago, however, that changed.

We came back to South Dakota for the holidays with the in-laws, with plans to go to North Dakota after New Year’s to have a Christmas celebration with my family. Christmas went off without a hitch. We went to Hendicks, Minn. to see the extended in-laws, and the roads on the way back were challenging, due to freezing fog, but my father-in-law Mark navigated like a champ and spared everyone from even being nervous about the conditions.

The Johnsons are winter-outdoors people. In the following few days, much time was spent outside, doing dog chores, running dog teams, and packing down the trail on snowmobiles. They love to play in the snow, and when we come to visit, we play along. Apparently, Mother Nature likes to play, too. Because she threw a big ol’ snowball at us to close out the year. We got close to twelve inches.

The storm started on December 30. Stores and businesses were closing early and the sheriff advised no travel. People were saying once you got to where you going, you’d be there for a couple days. They weren’t kidding. It wasn’t so much the snowfall itself (that was a huge factor, obviously) but it was the drifts created by the 45 mph winds. Some roads were completely blown over, and the snow in the ditches was level with the rural roads. Visibility was nearly zero. At the Johnson house, we couldn’t even really see across the street. This, of course, made my mother-in-law Diane as giddy as a schoolgirl. She loves winter and snow accumulation and cold temperatures. In fact, she has a little snowman toy that when you press the button it says “Get out the shovel! It looks like snow!” and plays an instrumental first phrase of “Let it Snow.” Earlier that morning, we woke up to the sound of her excitedly pressing the button in anticipation of the day’s weather event.

The blizzard died down overnight, but we were told by the news not to waste time digging out just yet because there was another wave coming the next afternoon — New Year’s Eve. We had had plans to go to our friends’ house to ring in the new year, but again, mother nature had other plans. She decided to shut down civilization. Around 3:00, the walloping continued. Bars closed, parties were cancelled, and people were stranded again/still. Mark tried to leave around 6:00 p.m. to go check on his casino business to determine whether or not to close early. After all, it was New Year’s Eve and that’s normally a good night at the casino. But, the suburban didn’t make it out of the driveway. That kind of solidified that fact that we weren’t going anywhere. After trying to rock it back and forth, it became so solidly stuck in the snow that it wouldn’t move. He turned it off, and trudged back to the house.

So we had a our New Year’s celebration at home with the Johnsons. We watched an amazing sci-fi flick from 1974 called Zardoz (perhaps Sean Connery’s best work?), we had some tasty beverages (non-alcoholic for my pregnant wife), and I played “Angry Birds” on my iPod. We rang in the New Year with Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest on Eastern time and then with Carson Daly on Central time. The new year entered with a winter fury.

The next day, January 1, the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. As if mother nature was saying, “What? Me? Iiii didn’t do anything…”

We certainly didn’t miss this storm.

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Categories: Family, Life, Weather