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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Take a snow day? Why, yes, thank you, I will!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Take a snow day? Why, yes, thank you, I will!

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winter lamppost
Bobby is a bona fide meteorology nerd as well as a snowboarder, which means that he starts tracking winter storms sometimes a week or more out. I don't remember when he first told me about the developing possibility of a storm today; he updates me more or less daily, and they all run together after a while. Some fritter away, some come to pass (but usually tend toward the more modest accumulations), and the rare one comes to full, spectacular-as-in-major-accumulation fruition.

As the week progressed, this storm looked more and more promising. Bobby watches all of the different models (although, like an meteorologist, he has his favorites), and what was interesting in this case was that all of the models were in agreement, which is uncommon.

Tuesday night, we were eating supper (spectacular fried pork chops, garlic-cheddar mashed potatoes, and sauteed Brussels sprouts) and Bobby said, "If the storm is still looking good by tomorrow afternoon, I think we should hedge our bets in a major way."

We have a tradition several years running of staying up to watch cheesy '80s dance movies the night before we think we are going to get a snow day. Sometimes the school system calls it the night before; other times, we "hedge our bets" and trust that a storm is not only going to come to pass but that the school system will have the good sense to close if it does. If we think we might get a snow day, we'll start asking each other in the afternoon, "Do you think we ought to hedge tonight?" We watch (in this order) Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Flashdance, one per night, so that our progress through the lineup becomes an odd metric of the severity of the season's winter weather. Last year, we ran through our cheesy '80s dance movie collection very quickly and had to come up with alternate plans.

So far this year, we have watched Footloose and Dirty Dancing (the latter was our Sunday-night fare before Monday's closure). I thought Bobby was going to suggest that we watch Flashdance. Instead, he said, "If the storm is still coming by Wednesday afternoon, then I'm thinking about reserving us a room at Liberty so that I can have a powder day on Thursday."

He throws these things out there sometimes, thinking I'm going to talk him out of it, but we are horrible enablers of each other's passions, and I said, "I think that sounds awesome!" It's not far enough away that, if the storm were to utterly fail, we couldn't get up super-early and leave directly from Liberty and still make it to work on time, although we were, of course, hoping to not have to do that.

So, of course, Wednesday I was refreshing the NOAA page every few hours to check on the storm, and at around 1 PM, I got the email from Bobby that I'd been waiting for: that he'd called Liberty and reserved us a room for the night. Getting out here wasn't without drama. It poured rain yesterday, so the drive home took forever. Our friend Dawn, who lives in town, was watching the Goldens for us; she was also watching her daughter's [hyper over-friendly] dog, and when Bobby dropped off the gentlemen, the new dog got into Phil's face and Phil attacked. Bobby hung around to make sure everything would work out. Phil attacked the new dog four times in all (because the dog wouldn't take the hint and kept pressing up in his face, which unless you are his brother, he will not tolerate). Finally, they settled down, but we were now 45 minutes behind schedule. Then the truck wouldn't start, so we had to unpack that and put everything into the Yaris, again in the pouring rain. Finally, we were on our way. We stopped for supper in Westminster, and everything was on the upswing. We pulled into the parking lot at Liberty at around 8 and Bobby's phone buzzed: Baltimore County schools closed for Thursday!

Rain or no, Bobby wasn't going to be about 100 yards from a mountain and not ride it, so he stayed out till the lifts closed and came back dripping wet and happy. We'd brought Flashdance with us, but our room didn't have a DVD player, so we watched it on my laptop and drank complimentary hot drinks from the lobby. Having made it through our entire cheesy '80s dance movie collection, we can officially proclaim this winter as bona fide. It was slow getting started--December was very warm and, during January, every storm we were supposed to get missed us and hit Boston instead (sorry, y'all)--but February was cold and we got precipitation. And one of the truisms about Maryland weather--that you can never count out March because we get some of our biggest snowfalls then--certainly applies this year as well.

When Bobby came in at about 10, the rain was changing to frozen precip, which was exactly as forecast. It was supposed to change to snow at 1 AM, and when Flashdance went off at about 12:30, the rain-snow band was inching toward us on the radar. So the meteorologists--who have had a horrible year and have been lambasted from all sides for their poor job in predicting anything--are finally redeemed on this one. If we get the upper end of what they're calling for, we'll end up with close to a foot (30 cm). We are in a slope-side room, and when I woke up this morning, I looked out at the mountain and thought, "Oh, it's foggy," before realizing that the "fog" was actually snow. A guy was using a Bobcat to clear the circle in front of the lodge. He'd clear one lane and start clearing the next, and the first lane would be snow-covered again by the time he finished the second. He's not out there anymore; I guess he gave up. (Nope, a guy will a larger snowplow apparatus is now swirling around and around in the circle.)

Here is the view from our room about an hour ago. Yes, there is a mountain behind that lodge; you can't see it, though, through the snow.

 photo 2015-03-05 08.45.28_zpscovxwi3v.jpg

Our room came with these adorable little chocolates that read "Take a Snow Day."

 photo 2015-03-05 08.46.26_zpsizcwjyhj.jpg

Why yes, yes, I think I will!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Our snow barely made an appearance, although we're frigid with neg temps and winds (sucks!). A snow day is the perfect thing for both of you. Have a wonderful time sitting with your computer while Bobby has the chance to snowboard in a whiteout. Whenever you return to the road, drive carefully.

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • We're going to stay again tonight. The snow isn't supposed to stop till evening, and there is no way we can make that 40-minute drive through the hills in the Yaris! It was back enough the other week in the truck, during the day! :)

      Every half-hour or so, the Bobcat guy or the guy with the bigger plow takes a turn around the circle in front of the lodge, and then it's covered again in five minutes. There's no way they'll have school lots cleared by tomorrow at this rate.
      • HURRAH! Another night at Liberty will be just the thing for the both of you, and hopefully the truck will be mobile by the time you get back to pick up the Goldens.

        - Erulisse (one L)
  • Aha! So you are there! Either I am clairvoyant or I read it somewhere (Bobby's Facebook) last night.

    Have a great time! It's snowing here too. I should get you my far less lovely or haunting shot of it. Just life in the big city.

    snowing in front of the house
    • I'm sure you saw it on Facebook. I'm sure he's posted multiple things about it by now. I gently tease him about FB (which I can't stand and he uses constantly), and he says, "I have to post it for my fans!" He does get a lot of likes on what he posts, and people do follow him there. I think my coworkers want to talk to me more about what he posts on FB than they want to talk to me!

      The snow on the tree is lovely, but the idea of driving in the city plus snow? Eeeeeek.
  • *mutters*I want a snow day too *mutters*

    This really has been a good winter for Bobby :D So what movie will be up next?
    • You need to move to northern Maryland. It's where it's at for snow days. ;)

      We only have three movies in the rotation, so it's anyone's guess! We still have a few Academy Award nominees we want to see, and we've yet to watch The Winter Soldier. The last would be apt!
  • We have about a foot on the ground. Downtown got 7 inches; Fort Knox got nearly two feet (we're about halfway between them). And the school district was smart about it-- they cancelled school tomorrow as well. As opposed to the last snowstorm we got (which dumped about 10" county-wide on a Monday), they went day by day that week despite the forecast not changing much at all and the lows were at or below the cancel-for-windchill temps without actually factoring in the windchill.

    I hope you two have fun!
    • At about 12:30, the NWS reported 7.5 inches in Manchester. (And 6.5 in Miller, which is a town literally five minutes away! I really am beginning to get a complex that it is colder and snowier in Manchester than anywhere else in central Maryland. Even the chimney sweep, who came last week to inspect the woodstove, was like, "Wow, you guys have more snow than anyplace else I've been.") This was with more than 6 hours left in the storm. All of the meteorologists are revising their predictions upwards. I think we'll end up with at least a foot, and we still had about 8 inches on the ground at home.

      There's no word on schools yet, but I'm sure they'll announce this evening that they're closed. Maryland can barely cope with 3 inches of snow, so more than a foot? Ha.
  • (no subject) -
    • Bobby saw your post about the 8 inches! NWS totals for Manchester at 12:30 said 7.5 inches ... 6.5 inches next door in Miller. :^| Rates sometimes reached 2 inches per hour. I know that guy in the Bobcat has been fighting a losing battle all day!

      I've no doubt that schools will be closed tomorrow. Even if they can get the roads in shape with the snow and the cold--which is itself doubtful--I don't see them getting sidewalks and parking lots cleared between the end of the snowfall tonight and tomorrow morning.
  • Uhhh! Extra holidays! You have to make up for them, don't you? How cold is it? The photo looks great but I can feel the cold temperature :)
    • I know, its just awful. ;) The public schools plan for a certain number of snow days every year (Bobby's district planned for a very forward-looking ten this year) and whatever isn't used, they get as extra days on summer vacation. If they use more than they've scheduled, they have to make those days up. Carroll County Public Schools is now in the hole by quite a bit.

      Since my school goes year-round, there's no way for us to budget for extra days, so we have to make them up. Usually, the students will come to school on professional development days, which is fine by me, since most of the students won't show up, and I'd rather have them all there than participate in the stupid meetings and training they eventually conjure up to waste our time with on those days. If we use a lot (like last year--we used ten), then the students will lose their first few days of their summer break ... but again, we staff have to be there anyway, so I'd rather the kids be there too, honestly.
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