Friday, February 25, 2011

The Chicago Blizzard of 2011--We'll See...

"We haven't had a blizzard since we've been living in this house." My husband said this on Saturday. Out loud. Days before Snowmaggedon was a glimmer in Tommy Skilling's eye. Therefore, I lay the blame for our impending snowstorm squarely on his shoulders.
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Cheryl. Blizzard of '79

He was heading out to the garage to try to get the snowblower started. I'd tried for the first time this winter a couple of weeks ago when we had those few inches of the light fluffy stuff. Yeah. I'm that wimpy. I couldn't get it going no matter how many times I pulled that damn rope. I thought maybe it didn't have any gas, so I found a container of what I thought was the snowblower special cocktail (gasoline mixed with motor oil)(No olive) and dumped it in.

If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck. Right? Well, apparently you're not supposed to put the gas you drain from your motorcycle into your snowblower, because it makes it belch out large puffs of black smoke and honk, not like a duck, but a congested goose. We learned this Saturday when my husband did finally get it started. The day I tried, and failed, I had to fall back on my favorite form of snow removal: Kyle and Ethan.

I told one of my pilot co-workers the story and he showed me a picture of his snowblower. (I know. Most of the guys have pictures of their boats or small planes or girlfriends. Sometimes the wife. But he's also a professional photographer on the side, so we'll forgive him.) Granted he lives on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, but this thing was tricked-out. With a dashboard that rivaled something Boeing manufactures, it had a bunch of speeds and gears and a headlight and I think even XM radio. The only thing missing was the mudflap with that impossibly shaped chrome Barbie chick. You know, if snowblowers needed mudflaps.

As I was doing my blizzard prep at the Jewel yesterday ("Bread! We need fourteen loaves of bread!" I heard one panicked shopper cry as she filled her cart. Not really. But the bread aisle did look frighteningly like the bread aisle of a southern grocery store when the forecast calls for a snowflake. It was picked clean over.) the cashier and bagger got into a squabble about blizzards, each of them trying to get me to side with them on which one was the worst.
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Kim and Tammy the dog. Blizzard of '79

Now I remember, vaguely,the blizzard of '67. I was four. My dad was late getting home and mom was worried. I do remember the blizzard of '79. We went sledding. And it became the gold-standard for me in terms of snow depth measurement. I mean if you can't lean against the garage roof while holding your best friend's dog, then it just shouldn't count as a blizzard. This is why the blizzard of '99, the only one my sons have been through, pales for me in comparison. For my daughter, every winter in Khabarovsk was one constant blizzard, so she is derisive of our impending light dusting of snow.

We'll see how the blizzard of 2011 stacks up. We're fully prepped. Fifteen loaves of bread (can't be too careful), four D-cell batters, a gallon of milk, and a functioning snowblower that has caused all overflying geese to turn their V-formation around and descend upon our garage roof. I only hope I don't someday end up in another argument at the Jewel with a cashier and a bagger about how none of their blizzards could stack up to the blizzard of 2011.

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