***STOP THE PRESSES!!***
***IT’S SNOWING IN GEORGIA!! ***
(What’s that? The presses weren’t running? Everyone went home three days ago? Oh. Never mind.)
***IT’S SNOWING IN GEORGIA!! ***
The “11 Alive” newscaster was stone-faced as he looked into the camera.
“Folks, it’s not a matter of IF, but a matter of WHEN. That’s right, we’re going to get snow in Atlanta. I would suggest you stock up on necessities…food, water, flashlights, candles, frozen pizzas and Twinkies. The forecast is calling for snow in three days. All governmental services have been suspended. All schools are canceled for the next six weeks until we can dig out of the mess. The Postal Service will not deliver mail. No outdoor activities will take place. Boil your water. Use duct tape around the door frames to preserve heat. Fuel is in short supply and the sewer systems are expected to back up. Run for the hills!!! The world as we know it is about to end!!!!”
Suddenly the camera dropped, and the channel went to “dead air”.
I knew this would be serious. But where would I start? How would I prepare for this catastrophe? Who would I turn to?
Suddenly, I knew the answer. My wife! She’s CANADIAN!! She’ll know what to do!
“Honey, it’s going to…(gulp)…SNOW in three days! Everything has been canceled and the world as we know it is about to change drastically! What do we do??!”
She just looked at me with that…(gulp)…LOOK that she is famous for.
“You’re KIDDING, right?”
I was starting to get the idea that maybe she wasn’t fully informed. Maybe she just didn’t “get it”.
I logged on to the “11 Alive Severe Weather Disaster Bunker Forecast Online” site and showed her the “forecast projection”. Certainly that would change her mind!
“See??! They’re saying we might get (gulp) TWO to FOUR (gulp) INCHES of snow in three days! We need to, you know, PREPARE!”
She just looked at me the same way.
“You’re KIDDING, right?”
I could tell that she was not going to be any help. I would have to take matters into my own hands.
For the next three days I “prepared”. I mean I really prepared. I stocked up on all the things that the “11 Alive Severe Weather Disaster Bunker” experts said to do. I pre-paid all of my bills. I cashed in all of my investments in case the markets crashed, and stuffed the cash under my mat…uh…hey, uh, I probably shouldn’t be telling you that, should I? Okay I, uh….gave my, uh, cash to….a…FRIEND. Yeah, that’s it. I gave the cash to a, uh, FRIEND, and did NOT stuff it all under the mattress in our guest room. Anyway, I filled all my cars with gas and had this installed in my backyard:
It would provide all the necessary fuel for my vehicles, the snow blower I bought on EBay and the lawn mower (does grass grow in the snow? Probably.) Besides all this, it would provide a fun structure for my kids to play on until school is back in session in a couple months. Man, I’m a GENIUS!
I then went to the grocery store to stock up on essential supplies. Now I have to admit that I don’t normally do the shopping. In fact, I had to ask my wife where to go. She just looked at me with, yep, you guessed it….that look that could burn holes in plate steel from 100 yards away.
“You’re KIDDING, right??”
Well, off to the grocery store I went (after I found one in the yellow pages). I really had no idea what I was doing. I took my son along so he could help. In fact, he took a picture of me:
Next stop was Home Depot, where I stocked up on dozens of sheets of plywood so I could board up all the windows in case of an avalanche (you can’t ever be “too careful”). After fastening the boards over all the windows, I taped over all the door frames to preserve the heat. Lastly, I lit the Presto Log to heat the house, since I just knew that the power would go off any time. Now, I just had to WAIT. I knew that as the provider and protector of my home, I had done everything I could do to prepare.
This morning, it happened. About 11:00 am, a blizzard hit. After hours and hours of hunkering down in the house, I sent my son out to give me a status report on the conditions outside (a lot like when Noah released a dove to see if there was any land after the flood. I didn’t have a bird handy so I told my son to go outside. I really hoped I’d see him again.)
Here’s what he found:
Just as I suspected: A massive snow find. I knew it. We were in trouble.
Then my (Canadian “I know a lot more about snow than YOU do”) wife got involved.
(Canadian “snow expert”) wife: “Matthew, is there THAT much snow out there?”
(Too honest) son: “Not really Mom. I had to get a shovel and drag it all over the yard to get this much”.
(Canadian “snow expert”) wife: “That’s IT?! That’s all the snow you could get in the front yard?!”
(WAY too honest) son: “No. I had to go to the neighbor’s yard, too”.
How could this be? I had heard on the emergency broadcast from the “11 Alive Severe Weather Disaster Bunker” that cars were spinning out on the roadways. People were being urged to stay home, and the President was contemplating declaring our state, er, county a National Emergency.
Not one to give up, I opened a window and kicked down the sheet of plywood (Okay, actually I leaned against the wood and it fell off the house, exposing the window to the arctic outdoors. I guess I should have used something more than hot glue to keep them attached.) Staring out into the backyard, I couldn’t believe my eyes:
Yep, my worst nightmare had come to fruition: it was a….DISASTER out there. My…poor….dog. Just look at her. She was pretty much buried in the snow out back. Granted, being a Bassett Hound, she normally has a 1 inch ground clearance “issue”, but still…she was struggling to survive in the winter blast. How could I have been so FOOLISH as to leave her outside, for even just a short time??!! Thankfully, she had not turned into a popsicle. She did bark a bit funny…perhaps her face was a bit frozen…that happens to me, too.
Anyway, the blizzard had taken it’s toll. It would be days before we would thaw out. Thankfully, I had several packs of Twinkies and lots of Cheese Whiz to get us through this local disaster.
My wife never did admit I was right, and the folks in the local community did not prepare as well as I had. I see cars driving all over the place. People are milling around, and the Post Office truck is driving around too. Obviously THEY are having to get supplies. Obviously THEY didn’t prepare as well as I had. Obviously THEY have a lot to learn. I guess everyone can’t be me.
Meanwhile, we’d make the best of it. I allowed our two children to get dressed appropriately
since Mom didn’t think much of our “blizzard” and go out and play. She just stayed inside and giggled a lot. I’m pretty sure she’s just giddy about having a husband who isn’t afraid to take matters into his own hands and “save the day”. I can understand how that can make a woman feel especially secure.
I can’t help it. It’s a gift.
Once we dig out, I’ll plan to write again. In the meantime, for those readers in the Carolinas and the Northeast, prepare yourselves and be forewarned: this storm is a DOOSEY and it’s headed your way. You’d better read this article carefully and make your preparations!!