Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Buried

So after all of the ridiculousness of last week, I would have loved a nice, quiet week.  However, as we were coming out of the haze of the windstorm, already the weather forecast was not looking cooperative.  A winter storm watch had been issued for Monday night through Wednesday night.  The last thing we needed on top of all of the power outages and downed trees and wires was freezing weather, more wind, and a foot and a half of snow.  The freezing temps came in on Saturday, and that was bad enough since so many people in Rochester still didn't have power.

By Monday things felt a little more normal around work as we all compared notes, but admittedly we were all keeping an eye out for snowflakes.  Fortunately they didn't start until later that night, after I had a chance to run to Wegmans to get a few things I thought I'd need for the week.  After missing school last Thursday and Friday, Jacob did have school Monday.  His school was the second to last to get power, later on Sunday evening, but the school that hosts the afterschool program was still without, so Craig picked him up early that day.  As the evening went on and the snow started, suddenly the school closings started rolling in.  They were only forecasting 3-5 inches on Tuesday, so it was a little surprising that everyone was closing, but after a botched snow storm in Buffalo earlier this year where kids got trapped at school, and after being so shell-shocked from last week's storm, I think everyone was in the mood to overreact.  And after a bit, our district closed.

The next morning we only had a few inches outside, but because it was only supposed to get worse as time went on, we got the option to work from home.  I decided to work a half day as I knew that being home with both kids and trying to keep up with snow might get a bit challenging, even with Craig around.  In addition, the night before I noticed that Carter had a problem that necessitated a doctor visit.

I think I forgot to mention that I realized a few weeks ago that Carter had a viral infection called molluscum contagiosum.  Many months ago I noticed Carter getting these little bumps on his shoulders, chest, and neck.  I thought he was just unlucky and getting a bunch of skin tags, but over time some of them got a little larger, almost pimple like, but without the redness or whitehead. I just thought they were unfortunate little growths.  Craig and I each have large-ish ones hidden along our hairlines, so why couldn't he have something similar?  It was unfortunate, but I figured when he had his well visit I could ask if a dermatologist visit might be necessary.  Well...about six weeks ago the Reasons My Son is Crying blogger posted this cryptic post likening their doctor to a wizard or something because the diagnosis of "molluscum contagiosum" sounded so strange and mythical.  I had no idea what it was, so I Googled it, and suddenly I realized that was the cause of Carter's bumps!  It's just a viral infection whose only symptom is the bumps.  They hang out for many months, then just disappear on their own.  Sure enough, I realized that one or two of Carter's were healing, and the doctor confirmed that's what they were.  When they start to look like nasty pimples, that's a sign they're healing and on their way to disappearing.  Well...fast-forward a few weeks and one of the bumps was looking particularly nasty.  I think I noticed it looked a little red over the weekend, but by the time I got Carter changed for bed Monday night, I realized it was super swollen, very red, and scabbed over.  He'd complained about his car seat strap hitting it that evening, and no wonder.  It was huge.  I was convinced it was infected, so on Tuesday morning, despite the rapidly falling snow, I called the doctor.  We got in at 10am and braved the roads.  Sure enough, it was slightly infected, though not enough to drain.  She gave us some antibiotics and recommended warm compresses.  Easy enough! 

Back home we went, and it was time to start shoveling, so we both got on our snow stuff while Craig and Jacob were off doing a work thing.  It was a bear just to get up the first four inches or so, but I did it.  Carter had fun riding in the sled afterward!  Craig and Jacob did another round in the afternoon that cleared another four inches or so, and I finally got in some work.  It started snowing harder as the day went on, and in the evening Craig and I each went out a couple hours apart to clear a couple inches.  It would mean a couple less inches we'd have to clear in the morning...which is a big deal when they're expecting up to a foot overnight.  School was closed again and even daycare called during the evening to tell us they'd be closed, so I went to bed fully expecting to work from home again today. 

When my alarm went off, I eventually got up to look out the window (yep, lots of snow) then half-accidentally fell back to sleep.  The kids slept in so it was only my ringing phone that woke me back up a little before 8am.  It was my boss confirming I saw the texts informing us that we were closed today--which never happens!  That meant I didn't have to torture myself working from home again, and I'd have plenty of time to work on the snow removal.  We had a very lazy morning before the first shoveling of the day, which while significant, seemed to be lessened by a neighbor snowblowing for us--even though by the time we got out there it was tough to tell for sure.  Craig and Jacob did a great job and I helped out at the end.  We also had to dig out our neighbor who got stuck in his driveway.  After that the boys got some playtime in!

Carter is sitting in a sled at the top of the pile near our front door.  The pile was a good four feet high, probably because we had a fresh foot of drifted snow in front of the porch every time we walked out.

Another view of the pile from the driveway.  And no, he did not sled down that way!

Looking down our driveway and across the street.  The piles on the sides were a few feet high and it was still coming down and blowing everywhere.

Looking from the driveway across the front of the house.  Note the snow almost completely covering the giant evergreens by the window.  Also note the giant drift on the roof.

Another large pile looking the other way.  Again, the evergreen is covered.
Eventually I walked through thigh-deep snow into the backyard.  I wanted to clear out the walkout steps so we could open the door if necessary.  But look at the table and chairs!

Looking toward the swing set and out toward trees I was shocked to still see standing last week.

More patio, looking over toward the pool this time.  And yes, that's all blowing snow in the distance. 
I later went back out with a long ruler to check the actual depth and clear off the patio table before we lost another one to heavy snow.  The depths went as low as 17 inches and as high as 22 inches, but the middle of the yard seemed to be around 19 inches.  Drifts were way deeper in places.  Some areas nearby received 26 inches, and other parts of the state were at least that high.  Friends of mine live in the Adirondacks and they got 40 inches!  It was pretty crazy to see after having grass 48 hours earlier and 60 degree temperatures numerous times this winter. 

Jacob did another round of shoveling later this afternoon, which I finished up since the plow had finally come and the pile was heavy.  By the time I finished that, my arms and back were completely spent.  So many rounds of shoveling!  To make matters worse, the wind was blowing again, which threw snow back in my face and made me nervous about the trees around us...again.  By that point the snow had pretty much stopped and was just blowing around.

I came back in the house to make dinner, and I noticed the sunset shaping up to be pretty, so I ran outside to snap a couple pictures.


It made for quite an ending to a couple crazy days and a very tough week.  Things should be back to normal in the morning.  We might get a little more overnight, but roads should be plowed and schools should all finally be open.  I am exhausted, so much so that I can barely keep my eyes open to finish this.  I'm so thankful that things actually closed so we could just stay home and not drive through the snow too much.  It might seem like we're going soft like southerners, but I would much rather not risk my life driving or worry about what I'm missing.  Either way, let's just hope spring comes soon!

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