The weather forecasters are up in arms today, predicting a major blizzard for our piece of the country. Heavy snowfall, sleet, and ice—even thundersnow that will cause the snowfall to increase to 3” per hour. Kansas City and its surrounding communities are rallying the snowplows and salt trucks and preparing to absorb some major overtime among their drivers and operators. Grocery stores are being denuded of basic food supplies (and some not-so-basic). Liquor stores are doing a brisk business. Those who haven’t already got snow shovels, de-icer, etc., are besieging the hardware stores.
Schools are planning to close, many already publicizing closures. Colleges are debating closing—most of them will make that decision, not being stupid entities. UMKC where my husband works (and I used to for many years) probably won’t since it’s ruled from afar and the system offices are south and east of here and not nearly so threatened by this winter storm. Over the years, we’ve seen UMKC stay open when even the mayor’s office and police were asking businesses to close. *sigh* Ben will probably leave the car at home and take the bus to and from work if the streets are really awful. Even though our public transit system leaves so very much to be desired.
Children are ecstatic! Parents are frantic, trying to arrange for childcare or to take some leave time to take care of them while they’re home for a snow day. Weather nuts come to verbal fisticuffs on weather blogs over whether the snowfall will be 10” or 12” or whether KC falls on the southern or northern side of the line which will divide snow and sleet from sleet and ice. People with driveways on a steep slope decide to park the car on the street in hopes of not having it snowed in for a week or so.
People with mobility issues begin the countdown to dread. Steps that are normally not a problem with a walker or cane—or just grabbing the railing and stepping carefully—are about to become ice-covered, snow-packed mini-ski slopes, no matter how much de-icer is used. I’m trying to make it out of a bad flare triggered by cutting and dragging tree limbs from a big, old elm a previous windstorm downed in our yard and the street in front of it. (In Kansas City, just stick around and you’ll see every kind of weather possible.) So I’m really not looking forward to the weather conditions every single professional forecaster is predicting for us. (Here in KC, the weathermen seldom agree on anything!)
I predict that I’ll be stuck in the house until my front steps and walk can be cleared to the non-icy concrete, which may not happen for a week or so. Fortunately, I have many warm handknit shawls and blankets and many toasty handmade quilts in the house to keep us warm if we lose power, which is almost assured if we have bad ice. I also have lots of handspun yarn to knit with and plenty of fiber to spin—not to mention a book to write—so I should be fine.
This massive winter storm is predicted to affect a 500-mile area, so I’m sure many of you reading this are facing similar tomorrows. Here’s hoping you all stay safe and warm. I can’t send material items through the internet, but here are virtual wool and alpaca and cashmere shawls and fingerless gloves (all the better to type at the computer) sent out to all of you!