Thursday, March 31, 2016

That time we survived the sprizzard of 2016

A few months back, Colorado was predicted to receive a blizzard.  Well, you can imagine how us former Louisiana folks reacted to that!  I mean, if it snows even a little in Louisiana, the electricity goes out, the water goes out, and the roads become dangerous. Louisiana is not prepared for snow because they just don't need to be.  Snow is a rarity there, not something that happens quite a few times every year like it does here in Colorado. In Louisiana, we get prepared for impending snow.

So when our first Colorado blizzard was slated to occur, and being the Louisiana born & raised people we are, we made sure we had food and plenty of firewood.  Sure, we had been through quite a few snow storms since our move to Colorado, and we had not lost electricity or water yet; but this was a blizzard, y'all!  We made sure we were prepared for the worst.

However, the blizzard came and went, and it was just like any snow storm that we had had up to that point, perhaps with a little more wind than normal.

Then we had a second prediction of a blizzard, and the result of that blizzard was pretty much the same as the first.

So when the weather reports starting saying we were in for a third blizzard, we didn't really prepare.  We had food and water already.  We only had two pieces of wood though.   Our experience so far told us that this wouldn't be much different than what we had already seen.

On the morning of the spring blizzard (sprizzard), Dave and I were up early as he got ready to head out to work.  I was worried because I could tell that this blizzard was different from the others.  I didn't want him to leave, but Colorado rarely shuts anything down for snow, so off to work he went.

The wind was incredibly strong, and it was blowing snow all over the place!  It was blowing so hard that snow was sticking to the sides of the fences and houses. 

And the snow!  Every time I looked outside, the snow was higher and higher on our back porch.  I used the grill as a measuring stick to send pictures to my parents of the accumulations. It just kept getting higher and higher and higher.

I started to get a little worried too.  Dave had left for work that morning, and I wanted him to come home before it got to where he couldn't get home.  His normal morning commute to work is about 30 minutes.  That morning, his commute to work was an hour and a half!  Coloradans drive in the snow, but a morning commute in snow is very, very slow (especially a blizzard).

What was funny was that the dog would not go outside to take care of business.   He stood at the door and would just back away.  I even threw him out on the back stoop, but he high-tailed it right back in. 

So we got the great idea that we could take the dog out the front door where the snow was not as high as it was in the back.  I dressed myself up in everything I had to stay warm, put the dog on a leash and took him out front.  Did he take care of his business?  No way!  He just ran around here and there and everywhere, so I brought him back into the house with both of us wet from the driving snow.

When David got home, he dug a few trails in the backyard for Snowball, and he promptly ran out and finally took care of business!

Around lunchtime, David was allowed to go home as they realized that the blizzard was not going to slack up, and it was possible that people could quite possibly have trouble getting back home.  They had already decided a few people would need hotel rooms since it would be too hard for them to return home.

Since we live about eight miles from David's work, he began the journey home. Surely, he can make the eight mile drive!  Remember when I said the commute takes him about 30 minutes?  Well, the commute home was over two and half hours long!  And to top it off, he couldn't get the van close to our house because all of the inclined roads in the neighborhood kept the van from climbing hills to our house.  He actually parked a few roads over after he and our boys (the boys had walked to where he was in our neighborhood) dug the van out of the banked snow.

But do you know what I witnessed on that day of the sprizzard of 2016?  I saw community.  The people here in Colorado helped each other out.  It's not unusual to have your car go off road, or get stuck in a snow bank, or even stuck in an intersection during heavy snows.  It's also not unusual to have someone jump out of their car to give you a push or for someone to help dig your car out.  Yes, even in the blowing, cold snow, someone will lend a hand to a driver in need.  David and our guys were both on the giving and receiving end of help that day.

And when David and the guys finally got home, they were tired, soaking wet, and cold; but very happy to have witnessed a little community and help that day.  Because you truly start to feel more at home in a place when you connect with the people around you. 

So yes, we have survived our first ever blizzard.  It was a new adventure for us, which is something we've had a lot of since we've moved to Colorado!  But it is also something we will never forget as we experienced a new weather phenomenon and connected with our fellow Coloradans.

All pictures were taken during or after the blizzard.  (Fuzzy looking pictures are the blowing snow.)  We got about 15 or so inches of snow that day ( with snow banks over two feet), and we never lost electricity or water!

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