For days, weather forecasters in the DC area have been predicting snow on an apocalyptic order, tossing around terms like "epic" and "historic." When you live near the Nation's Capital, hyperbole becomes familiar and easy to ignore. And yet ... inventorying the pantry and refrigerator seemed like a good idea. For the past three days, grocery stores resembled the third ring of Hell. Shelves were quickly emptied of milk, eggs and bread. The urge to stockpile toilet paper seemed primal. Ditto with chocolate. And yet ... there have been so many false alarms in the past. I publicly mocked the forecasters but dreamed of snow piled to the sky.
I awoke this morning to a scene that the Donner Party would have recognized. Where I know I parked my car there is a mound of white. Two feet of snow and it's still coming down. A tree branch in my front year is bent at an impossible angle, hanging on under the weight of the snow. Looking down my residential street, there is no way to distinguish between road or sidewalk or front yard. An unending landscape of white under a white sky. Snowcapolyptic! And the quiet is unnerving. Perhaps like me, my neighbors can't push their front doors open to survey the scene. So there is no scraping of shovels, no airplanes flying overhead, no snowplows attempting to give us some hope.
Yesterday the forecasters were on TV round the clock, pre-empting Judge Judy and Dr. Phil and Kitchen Nightmares. "Snow" they said over and over. You could turn off the sound and know that they were saying, "snow snow snow." This morning they are still nattering on, "snow continuing, record amounts ... " The excited facial expressions of a few days ago have been replaced by weary resignation. I'm sure they feel that their meteorological skills have been validated, and yet how long can they talk about this "snow event"? Perhaps they are already nostalgic for the days when they could discuss fronts and humidity and dew points?
But once you've spent five minutes watching the forecasters talking about snow, the realization dawns that there is no other news being related. Surely stuff is still happening in the rest of the world? Is the war in Afghanistan continuing? How is our panda Tai Shan faring in China? Are they still planning to hold the Super Bowl despite the drama unfolding in DC? Are telethons taking shape in Hollywood to rescue us from our snowy fate? Is George Clooney teaming with Lady Gaga to raise money for more snowplows and ergonomic snow shovels to air drop on the DC suburbs?
Well I guess I'll spend the day figuring out how many things I can cook with a combination of eggs, milk and bread. Maybe I'll turn off the TV and listen to Pandora. I am so grateful that we at least have elec