Tag Archives: snow

Winter Wonderland Memories: The Blizzard Of 96

It’s the middle of winter. Unless you’re living in a tropical or semi-tropical climate, it be depressing. Outside, it’s cold, it’s barren, and the simple act of going out to get the mail requires too many layers of clothing.

It’s not my favorite time of year, to say the least. After Christmas, I’m pretty much ready for winter to be over. In a perfect world, there’s one single snowstorm from Christmas Eve until the day after Christmas. After that, we go right into summer.

Sadly, we don’t live in that world. I live in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This is an area that doesn’t see the kind of snow you’d get in places like Buffalo, Boston, or Chicago. We’ll get a few flurries and snow showers here and there, but it’s nothing that you need to shovel.

In fact, a major snowstorm is fairly rare in my area. When it does it, people get a little anxious. I have friends and relatives from up north who think it’s hilarious that we freak out over a mere six inches of snow. Having spent some time in places like Buffalo, I see why they feel that way.

However, every once in a while, my area gets hit with a storm that even people from Buffalo and Boston think is serious. They don’t happen every year. We can sometimes go several years without a storm that will dump more than ten inches. Even among those storms, there are some that were so bad that we remember them for years to come.

Well, in the spirit of winter, I’d like to share one of those memories. I imagine anyone living in my area around this time has similar memories. That’s because I’m going to talk about one of the worst blizzards my area ever got. It doesn’t have a name. We just call it the Blizzard of 96.

Admittedly, it’s not a very original name, but make no mistake. This was a storm that left a hell of an impression from New York to Washington, DC.

I remember this storm for many reasons. Most notably, I remember it as one of those rare storms that earned us an entire week off school. As kids in grade school, that was our primary way of measuring how severe a snowstorm was. In hindsight, though, that did not do justice to just how big this storm was.

Again, I live in an area that does not get storms like this regularly. We can handle a few snow showers here and there. This storm dumped over two feet on us in the span of three days. Even by Canada standards, that’s a lot of snow.

My memories of that storm still stand out, more so than most. One of the most vivid was just the night before the storm rolled in. I’ll never forget it. I was sitting on the couch with my dad. We were both watching the weather forecast like it was the World Series. My dad, who had seen his share of snowstorms, just looked at me and said, “Here it comes.”

I went to bed that night with just some light flurries coming down. It was barley enough to coat the tops of my parents’ cars. I then woke up the next morning and it was a total white out.

Every inch of grass and every inch of road was completely covered.

Every tree and bush was covered.

It was a hell of a scene. As a kid, I was just excited because it meant school was definitely cancelled. It also meant my friends and I were going to have some winter fun. However, that’s where I once again underestimated this storm.

The snow was so heavy and got so deep that normal winter activities like sledding and snowball fights were impossible. We couldn’t run around in it. The snow came all the way up to our waist. We couldn’t sled in it because it was so fresh you just couldn’t get any traction. It was really unlike any storm we had ever been through.

At one point, and this is another memory that stands out, we just decided to climb into the back of my dad’s truck and sit in the snow-filled back like it was a hot tub. I don’t remember who’s idea it was. I just remember it was snowing so hard that we just couldn’t come up with another way to enjoy it.

That blizzard ultimately became the storm by which I measured every future snowstorm. In the years that followed, I lived through more major snowstorms, some of which were larger than the Blizzard of 96. However, none of those storms have left the same impression. I don’t know if I’ll ever encounter a winter storm that will have that kind of impact. Hopefully, before it ever hits this area, I’ll have long since retired to a tropical climate.

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Snowy, Cooped Up, And Nudity

What happens when you’re snowed in, cooped up, and have a tendency to go a little nuts when you’re left alone for too long? That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way. I ask because that’s exactly the situation I find myself in today.

See that picture above? That’s the weather forecast for the northeast United States. You see that dark purple area in the center, indicating the heaviest snowfall? That’s where I am. That’s what I have to deal with for today and possibly the next several days.

Now this can be a good thing in some respects. When I get snowed in, I generally have more time to work on my writing. I do have some upcoming blog posts, as well as some other projects I’ve been working on. However, those only go so far for a guy like me. I’m not the kind of person who functions well being cooped up for too long.

By that, I mean I have a tendency to go a little nuts when I’m alone. By go a little nuts, I mean I often turn up the heat, get naked, open a bottle of whiskey, and generally wing it from there. Sometimes that involves playing music no on has liked since 1999. Sometimes that involves binge-watching every X-men movie ever made. I’m not saying it’s healthy. I’m just saying it’s how I cope.

I’ve made my fondness for nudity fairly clear. I sleep naked. If I can do something naked, I generally jump at the chance. I know it seems counter-intuitive in the winter during a snowstorm, but it works for me. It’ll get me through this storm and the inevitable mental strain that comes with being cooped up. It always has.

For everyone else effected by this storm, I won’t recommend my methods. I won’t discourage them either. If whisky and nudity isn’t enough, then try reading some of my novels to help warm you up. There’s “The Escort and the Gigolo,” which takes place in sunny Las Vegas. There’s “The Secrets of Sadfur Island,” which takes place on a tropical island. Then, there’s “The Final Communion,” which involves a lot of hot group sex.

If these don’t warm you up, then nothing will. So for now, wish me luck in staying sane and/or fully clothed for the duration of this storm. To everyone else on the east coast, hunker down and stay warm. If you’re lucky enough to have a lover with you, use this as a chance to keep each other warm. It’ll make being snowed in that much more bearable.

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