About the month of March, it is said that if it comes in like a lion, it’ll go out like a lamb. In other words, if it starts out aggressive and harsh, roaring and terrifying, it’ll end up weak-kneed, bleating and small.
I honestly don’t know how to characterize the start of March. The weekend was mostly mild, but then even as it stayed clear Monday, the news guys were issuing a flood warning and promising us temperatures in the 60s F and the full melting of all our remaining snowbanks. In spite of this, Chad and I mused to each other about “in like a lamb, out like a lion” being a real possibility. I took the manchild out in the afternoon and bought him some new pants (and yeah, I bought myself another pair of fat pants too. Just in case). “Oh, look,” I said as we drove down our dead-end road, “The water company’s doing something.” Arriving home, we discovered it was upgrades to the main that serves the four houses out this way, and the water was off for the entire afternoon while they did it. The laundry began to backlog — never good news. So did the dishes.
Tuesday — primary election day — brought rain, and plenty of it. And sure enough, it was flooding in places, nearby rivers crested over their banks, all the culverts and drainage ditches were swamped, and the drive out to vote was entertaining. Per his request, I waited until the lad was home from school to head out and vote — he’s been following this election avidly, researching candidates online, and listening to the news. The roads were fine, but the nearly 3 inches of rain that fell Tuesday definitely showed, even running across the road in some spots. Not that Trucky cared. Let’s hear it for Trucky!
I’ll take a moment here to say that Trucky, a full-size crew cab pickup, is so named thanks to Chad’s defiance of our son’s assertion that you can’t just name things by using the thing they are and sticking “eee” on the end. This argument seems to have abated, but during the course of it we ended up with no shortage of things named Somethingy — even the trash cans, Rolly (which has wheels) and Draggy (which does not).
In any case, Trucky is unfazed by nasty weather.
We arrived home from democracy in action just as Chad was about to start dinner. He turned on the kitchen sink to wash his hands… and nothing.
“I thought that was yesterday,” he said.
“It was,” I replied, grabbing the notice they’d left on our door. “Hey, I have this number handy…” I dialed it up, and told the man who answered I lived out on our road, and — “And you have no water,” he said, glumly. “Yeah, turns out the main blew out right where we were working on it yesterday. I’m gonna give some credit to all this rain we’re getting. We expect it’ll be back about 6, 6:30.”
Chad made pasta using emergency water. We’re so organizized. Those poor water company guys were out working in a muddy ditch in the middle of a massive downpour till about 9 PM, restoring water service to, like I say, about four houses out this way. The laundry backlog grew again. So did the dish backlog; turns out the water went out before the dishwasher was done. Yecch.
Come Wednesday morning, the rain had turned to ice and sleet for a bit, and then it had snowed a very little. School was delayed an hour. By afternoon, you’d never know any of this drama had happened, except for the washed-out ditches and runoff channels and puddles the size of small ponds. Thursday was so unabashedly ordinary, albeit gray and dreary and muddy, that Chad said to me, “Have you seen the weather report? Are they predicting anything?” and we were both vaguely suspicious not to have heard anything. I picked up pizza for dinner, noticing as I drove home that the roads were freshly brined — an act They wouldn’t be taking, my suspicious mind said, unless They knew something I didn’t. When I checked the forecast on the way to bed, it said something about a 100% chance of precipitation and a winter weather warning and possible emergency in effect from Friday morning through Saturday night. The school web site didn’t say squat about closings, so I disregarded this entirely.
Pager duty kept Chad up all night (have I ever mentioned I don’t really miss computer work?) and he woke me before the alarm, coffee in hand and everything. “Guess what,” he said.
“No school,” he told me. “They’re predicting a foot.” That’s about 30 cm for those of you not in the USA.
I sat straight up in bed and looked out the window. Nothing. Seriously, nothing. Muddy ground and that’s it. But sure enough, the news guys are predicting the biggest snow in over 10 years. All the schools are closed, or closing at noon and sending kids home. The stores are sold out of sidewalk salt, bread, and milk. Therefore, I’m taking Trucky and hitting the store as well — because though we’re well stocked for bread and milk and our plow guy just shows up as if by magic, we are low on beer, plus we used some of the emergency water.
That’s right. I’m planning for being snowed in, because a foot in southern Ohio is epic drama, if it materializes, and I’m not willing to risk running out of beer. The very first few flakes are just starting to fall now, so I’d better get my butt in gear and check things out. I’ll take along a trusty photographer to document the frenzy, and he’ll probably help me blog it throughout the day. He’ll need something to do, after all, and the odds of him being much help with the now-epic laundry backlog are on the slim side.
The New Englander in me, and the cynic, scoff at the whole thing. We’ll see how this goes.