It’s very important that one of you buy me a house on Florida’s Gulf Coast, because fuck this

And you thought I was having fun last week! Well, just look at how much fun I’m having this week!

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Yes, we got positively hammered with snow this past Monday … and because I was determined to finish my “Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash” wrap-up before doing anything else, I didn’t get outside with a shovel in my hand until around 8:30 p.m. … and I didn’t finish shoveling the foot-or-so of wet, heavy snow until around 11:30 p.m.

The late-night shoveling excursion probably explains why I’m now battling a cold … an ailment that arrived in the wake of Tuesday night’s freezing-rain storm, which showered down upon the snow that already had blanked the earth. And I will readily admit that the aftermath looked kind of cool:

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Visual aesthetics notwithstanding, however, this particular weather phenomenon sucked harder than a Shop Vac thanks to the massive quantities of limbs and trees it brought down … which not only further decimated the already fucked-up trees in my yard

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… but also tore down power lines all over southeastern Pennsylvania. More than 715,000 customers were without power … including — you guessed it! — us.

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The scene I captured above is actually the least devastating example I saw during my drive to work yesterday … but, after taking that particular photo and then pulling into an adjacent driveway so I could turn my car around, I promptly got stuck in the snow and ice. Fortunately, as I mentioned in a previous shitty-winter-weather-related entry, I’m a self-taught snow-and-ice stunt driver, so I was able to redneck my 15-year-old Ford Ice Skate back onto the road … but once I freed myself I decided to pull the plug on my storm-chaser photo essay and instead concentrated on navigating the winter war zone.

There’s nothing like a mass power outage to make you realize just how quickly society will fall apart if something more serious should happen … because, within hours of losing power, it felt like we were in an episode of “The Walking Dead.” Except, instead of surviving a life-and-death struggle in the midst of a global zombie apocalypse, we were faced with far dire horrors … like no Internet, no cell signal and no way to recharge our quickly dying gaggle of iPhones, iPads and Kindles.

We survived by fleeing to my brother-in-law’s home, where he and his family kindly took us in. Then, like the modern-day warrior I am, I braved the night in search of dinner. The traffic lights were out, the storefront lights were out and I was beginning to doubt my chances of success when, suddenly, like the Star of Christ, a lone, bright glow cut through the darkness.

All hail the mighty Wawa.

In the years that have passed since my unfortunate first encounter with the sandwich-ordering machine at southeastern Pennsylvania’s favorite convenient store, I’ve become a full-blown Wawa convert … and my fellow worshipers were out in full force on Wednesday night, thanks to what I can only assume was the divine intervention that powered the Wawa with the energy of a thousand suns while everything around it lay shrouded in darkness. Either that, or they have a generator.

At any rate, it was like Wawawoodstock in that place … and I could feel bearing down upon me the collective stares of the ever-growing line that was forming behind me while I navigated my way through the touchscreen ordering system. Thankfully, I was a sandwich-ordering ninja on this occasion, masterfully tapping out instructions for more than a half-dozen sandwiches of all shapes, sizes and varieties. The manager awarded me a Master’s of Sandwich-Ordering degree. I framed it. And put a chain on it. I’m wearing it around my neck right now. Pretty sure I get a free sandwich the next time I drop in.

By yesterday afternoon, with power still not restored to our home and power-company estimates indicating that we’d probably be waiting until Sunday, I decided to unburden my brother-in-law’s family by booking a non-refundable hotel room. My brother-in-law’s family, however, did not want to be unburdened, and subsequently invited us to spend a second night in their home … an offer the kids eagerly accepted, as they were having fun spending time with their cousins … which is how I almost ended up getting a night alone at the Sheraton Suites.

Almost.

After leaving work, I decided to stop by the house to grab a photo-card reader so I could download the pictures above and do some blogging from the hotel … and discovered upon my arrival that the power was back on.

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t hesitate for a moment or two — OK, definitely two — before calling my wife to tell her that she and the kids could return home for the night.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted February 8, 2014 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    It is beyond me how people even survive up there. Just looking at the pictures made me want to cry; I couldn’t survive in those kinds of conditions.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: And for once I can honestly say, “I CAN’T wait for Super Bowl Sunday!”My Profile

    • Lil Red
      Posted February 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Of course you could, Gigi. You just do what you have to do like the rest of us do. It’s temporary. Life goes on.

      • Posted February 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but I believe her point is: Why would anyone voluntarily subject themselves to this when there are better places to be where this doesn’t happen? Or maybe that’s my point. Either way, I think I need my head checked … or a better job opportunity further south. :)

  2. Posted February 8, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    We get some pretty cold winters here in rural Pacific NW and power outages are a big problem so about 5-6 yrs. ago we invested in a generator that kicks in automatically and keeps us in much needed heat and water and the added bonus of lights, microwave and tv. It’s one of those things that if you have it you never need it and vice versa…..we’ve only needed it 3 times. It’s the 2nd best investment we’ve ever made, the 1st being earthquake insurance. ;)
    Rilly´s most recent blog post: Kitchen Cabinet Caper Update……My Profile

  3. Posted February 9, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    My seventeen year old son was trying to describe the other day how he keeps managing to not get stuck in the snow (in his decidedly old Toyota Camry). And you have come up with the perfect term for it. He’s learned from years of my husband and I “red necking” our way through crappy winter driving conditions and has followed our lead. By the way – though we didn’t have an ice storm I am looking out my bedroom window at a solid three feet of snow on the ground and a six foot drift against our backyard shed. It’s been a fun winter hasn’t it?

    P.S. So hoping I didn’t just jinx my kid.

  4. heidig
    Posted February 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    A few years back (seems like yesterday!), we had an early October snowstorm here in the northeast. We were without power for ten, yes TEN long, cold, dark days and nights. Can you say G.E.N.E.R.A.T.O.R?! I feel your pain.

  5. AnnieS
    Posted February 14, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy. I found you again. I reformatted my computer and, because I’m old and forgetful, didn’t save all my bookmarks. And, again, because I’m old and forgetful, I couldn’t remember what I had bookmarked. That was about a year ago. I’m so happy to be reading you again. You make me laugh.

  6. Posted February 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    OMG..I am so ready for this ice and snow to be gone. GONE.

    I’m with you. The gulf coast sounds heavenly.
    Michelle´s most recent blog post: 20 Reasons Why This Winter Hasn’t SuckedMy Profile

  7. Marlene Ashley
    Posted February 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I live in Naples…on Florida’s Gulf Coast…and it is JUST THAT GOOD right now. I GLADLY live here in July/August/September just so I do not have to live through December/January/February like you are right now. Sorry…

  8. Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    So that’s where all our snow is. Please give it back. The forestry department issued fire warnings a week ago because it’s so dry here.
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: WTF?My Profile

  9. Posted February 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I guess I should have mentioned: I live in Alaska.
    Gullible´s most recent blog post: WTF?My Profile

  10. Posted February 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I can totally relate to that… NOT!
    We are having a toasty winter down here in Hollyweird 80 degrees today :)
    Come and visit!
    Buddha of Hollywood´s most recent blog post: THE TAO OF HOLLYWOOD IIMy Profile

  11. Mara
    Posted February 21, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    While I do feel your pain – where I live in the true great white north, we average 40+ days each winter where the temperature is below -20…It’s almost March and I have 3 feet of snow in the back yard that won’t melt until sometime in May…so I think that we might have to barehand fight for that house in florida (if it isn’t swolled by a sinkhole) – and..desparate people are unpredictable so watch out!

  12. Posted March 5, 2014 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    The Gulf Coast is hot, humid, bug-infested and overrun with righteous right-wingers, all of whom have retired and have opinions stuck in the forties or worse. Lived there for nearly thirty years; still not sure why.

    You want a Mediterranean Climate like that of the San Francisco Bay Area where it Never snows, seldom hard freezes and is always liberal, welcoming, generous and Beautiful. Not to mention you can get to desert, mountain forest, beach, cliffs, redwoods…. in two hours from here in most any direction. It truly is the best place to live. My fourteen years here feel like five.
    Lynda M O´s most recent blog post: How I Quit Drinking Thirty Years AgoMy Profile

  13. Posted March 10, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I am in Georgia so I am a little further south, but I am north of Atlanta so we have gotten our fair share. And yes, we do not know how to handle winter weather. If it was just snow it would be ok, but we get that awful ice with it!

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