We live in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Clearly, I’m biased, but we love it here and we love it for the experience of every season. In the winter it snows, in the summer we have the ocean, in the spring we have rebirth and in the fall we have the splendor of autumn. For those who love nature and scenery, we can’t be beat.
That said, it definitely snows here and sometimes it snows a whole lot. In 1978, when I was a child, we had the Blizzard of ’78 (well named, right?) In 2013 we had Blizzard Nemo, my first really intense snowstorm with a family of my own and one of my kids’ all-time favorite memories so far. Tonight we are expecting a similar type of storm which should last through early Wednesday morning.
It’s very exciting stuff. I love the hype of a good storm and I love seeing all of the various predictions coming in, although I must say this time around they all pretty much match up to each other. They all say it’s going to snow a ton, two to three feet.
Today, I spent most of the day running around getting last minute supplies. I had picked up batteries and water yesterday and some food earlier in the weekend, but that food shopping was done before we’d gotten the newest data for the weather, showing just how bad the storm was going to be.
Last time we were out of power for several days. That meant no heat, but we did have hot water and the ability to use the top of our stove. Thankfully when it’s a blizzard (versus a summer or fall hurricane) it’s cold enough outside you can keep a lot of things out in the snow, so you don’t lose a lot of your perishables.
Knowing that, and having one of my strongest memories from that NEMO week being the moment I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my oldest daughter’s teeth chattering in her sleep (we all slept in the living room), here’s some of the planning I’ve done today, including some meal planning and prep.
Batteries in sizes C and D for flashlights and for the radio (we have several smaller lights that take AA and AAA batteries, and we’re well stocked in those two sizes already.)
Extra blankets brought in from the car, washed and dried
Gas in the car, filled up. Thankfully gas is so cheap now!
Prescription needed for midweek picked up
A case of water, (we already have two gallons of water also)
Two bottles of apple juice plus a case of Vitamin Water for the one who won’t drink apple juice
Extra gallon of milk, plenty of half and half for my coffee or to top off a hot chocolate made with water
Lots of bread (white, wheat, rolls, and cinnamon swirl)
Hamburger and hot dog rolls
Cans of tuna
Cans of soup
Cups of fruit (we do have fresh fruit also.)
Hot dogs and ground turkey for hamburgers
Plenty of packets of oatmeal and hot chocolate
Plenty of flour, sugar and eggs
Muffin mixes (to bake ahead for grab and go. Well really, for grab and stay put.)
A thermos for regular coffee
Hand/body/toe warmers (I got ten sets of each figuring five people times two days.)
For meals we can have:
Breakfasts: French toast , pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, cereal, grilled bagels (anything hot can be done on the stove top on a flat topped griddle, in a tea pot or in a cast iron pan)
Lunches: sandwiches such as tuna, peanut butter, jelly, lunch meat, grilled cheese
Dinners: Pasta with leftover sauce and pork from last night’s dinner and salad, hot dogs/hamburgers with steamed broccoli and cauliflower, leftover chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, which will be left over from tonight’s dinner, and we could even do omelets if we need another stove-top meal, which I’m hoping we won’t.
To me, it’s very exciting preparing for and thinking about an impending storm. I like being in the stores, talking to people in line who are all doing the same thing I am, and chatting about the upcoming weather. It brings people together. In situations such as these, you can either choose to smile and be kind or you can choose to be miserable, and today I found most people have chosen to smile and be kind, even those who are working the cash registers and dealing with long lines of customers.
The most important thing is to be sure everyone is safe, warm and fed. The rest is just waiting it out, and with that comes lots of memories. I’m sure I’ll catch you on the flip side of this storm and let you know how it all played out, so watch your weather news over the next few days, and be thinking of us New Englanders!