SnoJam 2k11

Every hundred millennia (or few years depending on your measurement of time) a storm comes along that just brings everything to a standstill. This was last seen during the documentary The Day After Tomorrow. Prior to that, there was the blizzard of 93. I remember the Bo93 well and would gladly have another one. Despite the loss of power, bitter cold, and cabin fever, it was amazing. I am a fan of the snow and ice and that was right up my alley. This year marks the return of the ice/snow storm to Atlanta! Granted it wasn’t as brutal as 93, it was still just as fun.

The week leading up the storm the news folks were saying it was going to snow a bit. Then they said it was going to be more snow than predicted, then even more ice and snow. Eventually it was as if Jack Frost himself was sweeping through our precious town, wreaking havoc where ever he saw fit. Jess and I being the skeptics that we are weren’t that worried. We figured it would snow a bit, maybe schools would be closed for a day, but for the most part, people were over reacting. When we awoke on that Monday morning, what we saw was nothing shy of a winter wonderland. There was ice and snow as far as you could see. Snow drifts had formed around the house, cars were caked in ice and snow. All roads were impassable. The ice-travaganza that was predicted on the news had come true!

Our first course of action was to make sure we had everything we needed to last a few days. I had gone grocery shopping the day before and loaded up on general groceries, no I didn’t buy 4 gallons of milk, 32 dozen eggs, and 8 loafs of bread. I bought stuff that normal people eat under normal conditions. This proved to be a much better idea in the end. So we had all our flashlights in case the power went out, blankets to keep us warm, radios for news reports, etc. Then we bundled up and ventured out to see what fun could be had!

My first idea was to fashion some sort of sled out of something. We tried plastic container lids, inflatable rafts, cardboard boxes, our hands, and all manner of things. Eventually I scrounged up some left over trim from when the shower was installed, some 2×4’s, a few screws and nails, and set off to build the TurnerSled 9000! My first attempt was decent, though in my plans to make it go fast I tapered in the front, which actually caused it to be slower. The second version had parallel runners and a cup holder. This proved to be the best design yet. So we spent the day going up and down the driveway and road on our sled. Chase had a fantastic time out there. This was my first opportunity to see him play in the snow and I have to tell you there really is nothing quite like the joy of watching a kid in just sheer happiness playing outside. Jess and I tried out the sled as well and it was truly a wonderful time.

Eventually it got a bit to cold to be out there, so we came in, got warm had some food and rested up. We knew we wanted to venture back out so I rounded up some firewood from the woods behind our house, moved the fire pit to the front yard and we set up shop. Chase would go up and down the driveway, while Jess and I hung back staying warm by the fire. Being outside with my family enjoying this brought back memories of when I was a kid playing in the snow during the blizzard of 93. Granted back then it was about 10x more snow, this was about 10x more fun!

Wrapping up day 1 we all got dry and warm, made a dinner of nachos, and just stayed cozy. We don’t have a working fireplace at the house so we had to rely on the heater and each other to stay warm. Luckily our power never went out and we were just fine. The next day some of the stuff had re-froze, but it had melted just enough to where the sled wouldn’t work any more. It looked like our day of fun had been limited to one. That was fine cause we spent our time beating levels in Super Mario Wii, making cookies, playing games, etc. Time had stood still and despite the fact that it was gross and cold outside, it was warm and happy inside.

By day 3 cabin fever had started to set in. I managed to venture out and pick up some more supplies. The roads were still pretty nasty, but it was fairly passable. We couldn’t believe how covered everything still was after this much time. We did our best to stay entertained while being trapped yet again. You know there really is only so much one can stand of being cooped up before you just have to get out. By the 4th day, the roads had cleared enough to allow Jess and Chase to go to school. I ventured back to work and got my first glimpse of down town. It was a mess. there was still ice and snow and mud everywhere. The city looked like it had just been hit by a months worth of wintery conditions.

Day 5 and things were back to normal in our neck of the woods. Roads were fine enough, and people were going about their business as usual. The city however was still complaining that the government hadn’t done its job to clear the roads. But that’s just how Atlanta is. We aren’t equipped to handle anything more than some cold rain. Eventually by day six and seven stuff was back to normal all around. Yeah, there is still ice patches here and there, roofs with snow still piled up, hits that the city was brought to it’s knees only a few days prior, but it was all getting back to normal.

Our family had made it through SnoJam 2011, Snowpocalypse, or what ever you want to call it. It was a week I’ll never forget. Hopefully mother nature won’t wait another 18 years to bring us another storm of this magnitude. Then again, maybe we should just move north so I can play in the snow all the time.

The pics:
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