A Trip to the Ice Age

When Jim Cantore is at the same location for three weeks, that is a bad sign. When that location happens to be your city, it might be time to move.

The month of February in the Boston area has been nothing short of historic, for all the wrong reasons. It is hard to believe that three weeks ago there was no snow on the ground whatsoever. I remember thinking at the time how this was a relatively easy winter, and that I hoped our good fortune would continue. Did I jinx our weather? Clearly. Did I expect 90 inches in 21 days? You can’t blame me for that.

As a result of the historically awful weather outside, I have split my time between my apartment and the BC campus exclusively, except for two occasions which were related to food and beer. Even then it was snowing both times.

For me, this hermetic pattern isn’t anything new. While hearing everyone else complain about cabin fever, I came to the (unsettling?) realization that I am immune to its effects. Unfortunately, I spend a lot more time in my apartment than I’d like, but the upside is that when the storms hit, it doesn’t throw off my normal routine all that much. I have learned to subsist on reading, writing, and doing homework as my way of staying busy when I can’t stay active. That said, I would love the chance to go outside and breathe in some fresh air. I got outside briefly yesterday which was nice, although that window has since closed, literally and figuratively. If I tried to do that right now, I’d be breathing in frostbite, perhaps even some thundersnow:

I’ve watched this video maybe 20 times, and each time I laugh. “That’s a twofer baby!” Jim Cantore is insane, but you have to appreciate his enthusiasm, even if part of me expected him to get struck by lightning if he celebrated hard enough.

All joking aside, this has been quite the test of our collective resolve. Right when you think things can’t get worse, they find a way to. Six feet of snow on the ground? Here’s another sixteen inches. Wind chill approaching zero? How about some all-time record cold.

Snow drifts.

Roof collapses.

Car accidents.

I could go on and on. As I type this, a loosened power line is dangling perilously near a window on the other side of my building.

This weather has brought the city to a standstill. The MBTA has failed the ultimate stress test, not that it took much to accomplish this ignominious feat in the first place. Two-way streets have become one-way out of necessity. People are generally losing their minds. It is only a matter of time before the news is dominated by people brawling over space savers.

It is a grim time to be in Boston – fortunately for myself I am from New England. Although this weather is extreme, it is at least something I can relate to. I’ve seen snow before, and I’ve seen blizzards. I can’t imagine being from a warm climate, or from halfway around the world, experiencing your first winter in Boston. In fact, I wonder about the Boston College campus tours. When is the last time they were able to show the entire campus? Weeks? Are the prospective students from this area? I sure hope so.

Welcome to BC, we just happen to be in the middle of the Ice Age. This snow will be gone by the time you start in the fall, promise!

It seems like forever ago that I was complaining about how unbearable it was in my apartment, when the AC wasn’t working and the nights were unforgivingly warm and humid. It seems like this winter will never end, however, it is worth remembering that this shall pass. The sun still comes up in the morning, the world still turns, and in the Earth’s path around the sun the weather will warm up again in the Northern Hemisphere. Each day is one day closer to March, one day closer to spring. It is tough sometimes to think about the light at the end of the tunnel when snow banks have morphed into Himalayan peaks. But the light is there.

During this time I think back to one of my favorite quotes, from Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  We are stuck in this storm pattern for the forseeable future, but I like to think that we Bostonians are tougher than any other group of people. If this happened in Atlanta, or Charlotte, or even Washington, D.C., there would be pandemonium. Here, despite the increasing brutality of each passing day, we shovel, we plow, and we take selfies next to snow banks. In short, we continue on with our lives.

Of course, as I type this, the seven-day forecast just went up on my TV. Two more storms in the next seven days, including the potential for one on the day I am supposed to be speaking at the Massachusetts State House.

You can have your thundersnow Jim. I’ll take the Powerball.

photo 1
The view before the storm
photo 2
The very next day, mid-blizzard

 

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