11 February 2013

Snow Survival

The blizzard that hit the Northeast this weekend was certainly a big one, and I for one loved it. It's true, many people experienced a lot of damage from it, and our thoughts are with them. But for my family and I, it was mostly an adventure. No power loss, plenty of food in the fridge, despite my refusal to raid the grocery store for gallons of milk and loaves of bread, and for the kids, a magical snow fall. Mrs. G got a few days off and the kids loved that too.

I was at work Friday night, as usual, selling the neighborhood the requisite beverages for a snowbound weekend. People sure do drink a lot of fancy stuff when there's nothing else to do. After an early dismissal at 7:00 pm, I treated myself to a warming glass on Calvados, an apple cider brandy from Normandy, just the thing to sit back and enjoy the snow.
For dinner, a heaping bowl of beef stew with Guinness I had cooked up for six hours starting at 8:00 am. Guinness Foreign Extra, the stronger, drier, hoppier version of Guinness Stout, is an old treat thankfully now available in the US. 
Saturday morning saw my front stairs hidden in snow. The top of the retaining wall just visible to the right is five feet tall. 
I may be notorious for the fun I like to poke at what I call the "Urban Lumberjack" look, but in that much snow LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoes and a vintage 1950s pair of thick wool buffalo plaid hunting pants, held up by braces, are really just the thing. Perfect for my hike to work. (Yes, I worked Saturday at one of only two stores open in the neighborhood.)
Scenes from the walk to work. Plenty of people out on skis and snow shoes. Everyone having a good time. It was nice to see, actually.

Around 4:00 pm one of my best food customers, a British lady, had made the trip in for some cheese. I saw that she had a bag from the nearby convenience store, the only other place open. With the coffee house closed and the work pot out of commission, I asked her whether she knew if they had coffee by the cup for sale. She was pretty sure they didn't. She also returned twenty minutes later with a French press full of fresh, good coffee and three mugs for me and the boys. That act of kindness will remain one of the most memorable things about this storm for me.
Sunday I got to spend some time with the snow bunnies in the back yard, getting wet and cold and digging snow forts. People complain about this kind of weather a lot, but not me. The kids love it, and so do I.
Later that evening, Mrs. and I ventured down to the local Square, which had mostly awaken from its Wintry slumber of the day before. Walking was an adventure, but a fun one. I've always the loved the way a lot of snow can transform the most familiar places into a new land.
A dinner of braised duck leg and locally brewed cask conditioned beer, in this case Jack's Abby Private Rye Biere de Garde of Framingham, Masachusetts,  finishes things nicely.

Happy Blizzard everybody!


Zach said...

Spend the blizzard in a Bean Norwegian with beef stew too, except I had single malt overaged in sherry casks, which I picked up at the only liquor store I could find open. Felt like vacation.

Danny said...

As a relatively new but committed resident of Somerville, I just want to say how much this post warmed my heart.

Helen Le Caplain said...

Cor that food looks delicious - and my goodness that's some snow you're experiencing.

Keep warm and have fun!


Anonymous said...

I love snow too. We used to live near to where the Donner Party perished, so I keep a lot of supplies on hand just in case.

Young Fogey said...

Gosh darn that Global Warmening! Look how it's ruined winter! (sound of tongue being removed from cheek)

What a wonderful time you must have had with your children! So glad you have the togs for any occasion, including this.

And what a great neighborhood to live and work in!

G, my man, you are blessed.

Marc said...

An excellent way to spend the weekend. Thanks for sharing to idea that commuting is NOT the highest goal in life.

And the Guinness Foreign Extra makes an excellent bread too:

Marsh said...

Great post. Almost makes me miss places that have weather, but I moved to California because you don't have to shovel sunshine. The kids do miss it, though. Thanks for sharing winter with us.

sbudennis said...

Foundry for dinner?

Anonymous said...

Great post.
I love the images. We had .6 inches of snow this year. Pathetic.

I miss my east coast/mid west real winters...

I was truly tempted to board a plane just to be there to be in a great winter storm again.
I hate Seattle now.

Tim J. Moerman said...

Snow days are the only real holidays we get anymore. Unlike all the "real" holidays, it's never known far in advance when one is coming, so you don't get beaten to death with weeks of advertising and pressure to shop and consume as part of the celebration.

Anonymous said...

I truly enjoyed this post. I agree with the comment that snow days are the only true holidays these days.