Friday, January 22, 2016

Be Prepared. Or Not. Whatever.

We're hunkering down, people. Blizzard of the century and all that, but what was really epic was the fact that folks around here have been mobbing stores and gas stations since Wednesday. Actually, earlier, because I tried to buy a snow shovel at Home Depot on Wednesday, and the salesguy just laughed at me when I asked where they were. "GONE," he said. "They're all gone."

The Holy Grail, in these parts
Oh, well, I thought. The grocery stores have them. So the girls and I went back to the car and drove to Harris Teeter. Where we couldn't park, because there were so many people prepping for the blizzard. We drove to Target. The shovel aisle was empty. We drove to KMart, which had a sign on the front door saying, "We Have No Snow Shovels."

This was Wednesday. I gave up on prepping for the blizzard and went home. Maybe tomorrow, I thought, as I scrolled through a Facebook newsfeed replete with photos of empty shelves at Trader Joe's and Safeway. Everyone else is shopping today, so I'll try tomorrow.

I still couldn't park at Harris Teeter on Thursday. There were long lines at all the gas stations. So I did what any responsible person would do in the face of an impending storm of cataclysmic proportions: I spent the evening at my friend's house, catching up on Downton Abbey.

Friday morning (or D-Day, meteorologically speaking) dawned, and I realized time was running short. Brian still needed snowboots, for heaven's sake. I looked online - LLBean had not one pair of size 10 waterproof boots left. NOT ONE. REI had a pair, however, so I grabbed Brian and sped to the store, which was being mobbed by irresponsible people like myself. Salespeople were dashing around as if they were on speed, but I managed to collar one and shouted, "I need the Keens size 10 waterproof boots!" He tossed a box at me, which I handed to Brian, warning him, "That's the last pair in this entire area, buddy. People are desperate. DON'T LET GO."

We headed to Harris Teeter again, where the third time was the charm, at least so far as finding a parking space was concerned. I was still hoping to find a decent shovel. No such luck, but I scored some Sudafed and 3 $5 subs. Who says I don't know how to prep for a blizzard, hey?

Larry came home from work early and sealed his status as Most Favored Husband by driving all over town looking for a gas station where he could fill up my car's tank without waiting in line for an hour. He also brought home propane for the camping stove, so I guess he would definitely outlast me on a Survivor episode. But that's okay, because I have no desire to go on existing after the demise of civilization as I know it. Life without hot water just isn't worth it to me.

So here I am, in the middle of a storm that seems not nearly as dramatic as its build-up, popping decongestants, goofing off on the Internet, and thanking the powers that be that I actually remembered to sign the neighborhood snowplowing contract this week. If our battered old shovels hold up, we just might make it through this thing.

[Snow shovel image: Southern States]
[Sub image: Yelp]


  1. Reminds me of the old El NiƱo in '98. Five trees down and not a chainsaw in stock.

  2. Perhaps it will happen overnight? If not, you can laugh about how much money you saved.

  3. Wait... didn't you have a snow shovel for the winter of 2009-2010? How did you survive Snomageddon and Snowpocalypse?
    (Yes, I did waste several hours today looking at old photos on my computer!)

    1. Yes, and these are the same ones. The yellow one with a crack in the middle, the blue one whose handle gives me splinters, and the black one that works okay, but who knows how long that will hold up? They don't build 'em like they used to.

  4. I have to show this to Rick. He got annoyed with Hannah when she borrowed one of our two snow shovels on Friday. He said why didn't she buy her own? He's worried about our long driveway and the fact that the snow blower has proven very unreliable in the past. She said every place was sold out, I told him. He didn't believe it. Now I have proof!

  5. We thought we were prepared....but then we ran out of a major staple (wine). And we can't get out of the neighborhood. It's gonna be a long weekend!

  6. We have 3 shovels, a 4th one the handle fell of last year and the blade is missing and 2 shovels made for a car trunk with collapsible handles. One shovel was left in the yard yesterday and will be visible again next month? Fools keep getting stuck on my street, thinking that since it is relatively flat that they can drive through snow up to their bumpers. We aren't going anywhere today, as we haven't seen a plow since yesterday. My van has mud and snow tires. My oldest son is supposed to work 8 am to 5 tomorrow, I hope he gets the van shovelled out by then.

  7. Funny how pending disaster makes us go into overdrive on the prep. Good luck shoveling out!

  8. We've spent the week laughing at Marylanders, and we still are. This snow? We got this about three times a week all last winter. And yet. They don't plow here (and when they finally do, it's badly done, and they can't figure out how to plow around corners I guess). People just accept they can't go anywhere for two days after a foot or so of snow. We never did get blizzard conditions here yet they insist on calling it one. All government (county and city) is closed tomorrow, even though the snow stopped yesterday. Honestly, if northern states acted like this they'd be shut down for five months a year. Disdain is fairly oozing out of me.

  9. We were OK for food and snow shovels. There are two dog poop bag dispensers in the park across the street from us and I became almost obsessed with worry that the city would be unable to replenish the supply because of the storm. I spent the last few days before the storm creating a tidy horde of dog poop bags. Priorities!

  10. A couple of friends of mine ran into this issue a few years ago- they ordered shovels on Amazon! (They had lead time before the storm, obviously.)