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Archive for February 9th, 2010

Cross-country skiing on Toll House Road

R’member the Blizzard of 2010?  Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  It was a record-setting snowfall – 30 inches.  The living experience of the depth was more like 3 – 4 feet with drifting and piles of plowed/shoveled white stuff.  We were snowed in for about a day and a half.  We had opened the doors to John’s father, Howard (or Ace) and Miss Sharon to stay with us on Friday, the day it started.  Today is Tuesday, and you better believe it has snowed mucho since Friday.  Meanwhile, because our street is a Metrobus route and route for local school buses, the plows has come through several times.  By Sunday,  J.T. and Brad, Jane and Rebecca, and John and Maria, had cleared the driveway, as well as our two main cars; even the sidewalk down to the Cassells was wide open.  Also, we had enjoyed several activities with the Cassells, Rebecca, Chris, and David – other youths from POP, on Friday evening and Saturday.  Let some photos tell the story a little better.

Rebecca (being dramatic with Jane early in the snowfall)

Rebecca and Jane (freezing their ___ off for the photo shoot)

So cute!

Grandpa takes refuge by snowy window

Brad (pre-sniffles) faithfully clearing the walk

Maintaining the driveway during the snowfall

Saturday evening playing Apples to Apples

Finally, Saturday night, the snow quit and we went to bed under clearing skies.  Sunday dawned perfectly clear, sunny, and cold.  The media was saying stay off the roads and let VDOT continue clearing and treating them.  “You don’t want to become part of the problem.”   John believed that the main roads would be better than our side road, albeit not perfect.   I agreed, because that had been our general experience in Virginia where road crews work quickly to restore functionality to the main arteries.  Also, most of the time, the depth of snow and moderate temps combine to allow for the melting process.  Our driveway and two vehicles were clear and readly.  Unfortunately, we had underestimated this particular snowfall.

The street and the nearby cross street were packed with white snow.  Despite the dazzling sun in the blue sky, it seemed the 36-hour blizzard had turned our area into a veritable winter-wonderland that more northern states are used to when the snowfall is heavy.  We were not used to that.  So even though the Bishop of Arlington Diocese had dispensed Catholics from attending Mass if the prevailing conditions did not permit safe and normal driving, we set out for church with a snow shovel in the back and boots on our feet.

Elliott Igloo (I mean home), Sunday 2/7/10

Our neighbor, Elvis - the Beagledachshund, surveying the snow

Simmons' place

Jane climbing into the "Priusleigh"

The neighborhood streets were empty except for a few intrepid sledders and dog-walkers.  We passed one other car on the road which was good because although plowed, there was not sufficient room for two cars to pass each other along the stretch of one block much less the entire road.  The real surprise came at the main road, Little River Turnpike.  As we approached the road, we found the left of two lanes blocked by a pile-up of snow.  So we turned right onto another packed, white and snowy avenue which had only a few vehicles on it.  It was no better than our road had been.

Love that block of snow poised to fall!

By the time we arrived at the closest church, not our regular parish, we had seen a few interesting sights, but mostly six-feet high walls of snow and very little vehicular traffic.  The Mass was a blessing for us.  The organist had made it with a cantor and of course, the priest who was applauding the 50 souls who had come.

St. Ambrose Church

Icicles hanging from church roof

After church we came home and this time saw just a little pavement on the other secondary road near us, Wakefield Chapel Drive.  I believe we were fortunate that not many other people had tried to brave the roads.  We were mostly healthy (Brad had/has a bit of a cold.)  I was able to take a few more beautiful sno-phos (great shots of it all).

Oh, what fun it is to slide on our Toll House Road to-day!

Our neighborhoos sign, name barely visible

Later that day, we all enjoyed Super Bowl  XLIV, even Grandpa.  If you have to be snowed in, Super Bowl Sunday is a good day to endure it!

See John on the porch?

Maria next to the three-foot drift by the front walk

From left - right, Jane's car (under snow), basket ball hoop, Sharon's car (under snow), dumpster

There has been no school since last Thursday, roads are not completely plowed out yet (some like the Runyon’s are untouched!), and now they are calling for another 10 – 20 inches starting this evening and continuing through tomorrow night.   It may be pretty, but enough is enough.  Today, it isn’t nearly as beautiful as it was for these photos, and cars are getting stuck.  Pray for our area to be spared the second major storm.  Also, Blessed Lord, send forth Your breath and melt it!  Amen!

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