Of Blizzards and Breakfast

This morning when I woke up, the first thing I did was to look outside to see if the blizzard that the weather forcasters had been warning us about all day Friday had materialized.  It had, and I was thrilled. I love snow and had been hoping, (not so secretly, much to the annoyance of my family and friends) that we’d get a “ten-incher” while I’m in Minnesota this winter.

The second thing I did was to call a couple of friends I was planning to meet for breakfast to discuss whether or not to really go through with it. It will always remain a mystery as to why, but we decided that yes, meeting for breakfast at MacDonalds (!!) in the middle of a blizzard seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

It reminded me of the first blizzard my family experienced when we moved here in 1973.  We were definitely NOT natives, having recently transplanted ourselves from Karachi, Pakistan, where the temps dipped to 75 on a cold winter day. Learning how to handle snow was a big dealbut a blizzard was a downright adventure.  My main memory of that blizzard, in January 1974, was that for some reason, my dad, sister, and I decided we needed to walk two blocks to the Burger King for a burger and fries. My mother of course thought that we were certifiably insane, a judgement from which she has never wavered.

Unfortunately, she was once again proven correct today.

Having decided that our breakfast was on, I bundled up and set out.  Upon opening the garage door and staring out at a white ocean of snow, a sane person would have lowered the garage door and gone back inside.  I didn’t do that.

I backed out into the unplowed street and headed down the small hill that is my mom’s street. When I saw two cars spinning away at the intersection with the road at the bottom of the hill, I was jolted back to my senses and realized that I shouldn’t be going anywhere.  I stopped, somehow got turned around, and tried to drive back up the hill to my mom’s place.  That was a silly thought.  The snow was just too deep for me to get anywhere, so I backed down a bit and off to the side in order to get out of the middle of the road. I trudged back up the hill to my mom’s place, and called my friends to tell them that I was stuck and needed them to come and help rescue my mom’s car.

In the meantime, a neighbor who was coming home after working the night shift made it up the hill and almost to her driveway, but almost wasn’t good enough, so I joined her son in helping dig her car  out and push it up the hill to her garage.  While I was doing that, a police truck  came up the hill, around the circle in the cul-de-sac, and sat for 5 minutes. Given that it said Roseville Police Department Community Service on the side, I was quite annoyed that he just sat there while we were shoveling and never came to offer assistance.  Then he flew off in a blaze of 4WD glory down the hill.

By the time we got my neighbor’s car into her garage, my friends had showed up and were at the at the bottom of the hill surveying my mom’s car.  I grabbed three shovels and the keys and headed down there to begin the excavation of the car.  Unfortunately, when I got to the car and saw the bright pink POLICE TOW flyer tucked under the windshield wiper, I realized what the cop had been doing –WRITING ME A TICKET!!!   I was not amused.

We got to work on the car, and after 30 minutes of shoveling and pushing and shoveling and pushing, we finally got my mom’s car safely back into her garage.

Now what?  Insanity descended once again, and we decided that since we were out, and the main roads were passable, we’d press ahead towards breakfast at MacDonalds.  It was quite the adventure because the wipers on my friend’s car were barely functional, so we had the windows rolled down and were all hanging our heads out like dogs just to see where we were going. This also made it easier to see all the cars in the ditch or spinning out at intersections.  “Stupid people,” we muttered as the snow smacked us in the face. “What are they doing driving around in this kind of weather?’

When we got to MacDonalds and sat down with our pancakes and coffee and suasage biscuits, we just looked at each other and said “we risked life and limb for this?” Fortunately we all made it home safe and sound (well, that’s debatable).

I guess I’ve just got a thing for blizzards and breakfasts.


Hey!  Let’s go for a drive!!