Thursday, February 3, 2011

BLIZZARD OF 2011

It hit hard.  Thankfully Kansas City was not in the heart of the storm.  That was reserved for central Missouri.  The Missouri basketball team was scheduled to play last night in Stillwater, Oklahoma and it took them three days to get there.  They had spent two days stuck in Kansas City and managed to get a practice in at Park University which is close to the airport.  The team finally got to Oklahoma State six hours before game time only to lose by six points.  They looked flat and I can't help but think that their routine being interupted by the storm was at least partly to blame for it.

We knew the storm was going to come in all day Tuesday.  With this in mind I decided to go into the office early and get as many hours in before leaving early.  I got Barb to her office at about five fifteen and arrived at my office at five thirty.  I was glad I did.  The storm began about eight Tuesday morning and continued on.  By the time I left at noon there was approximate four or five inches of snow on the ground.  The snow wasn't all that was going on though as we had horrific winds blowing the snow into deep drifts.

I left the office and headed over to pick up Barb.  It wasn't too bad of a drive.  Traffic at noon wasn't too heavy and I made it over to her office within thirty minutes.  It was starting to get slick and after walking her to the car to be sure she didn't fall, we headed home.

The highway wasn't in too bad of shape yet and we felt comfortable enough to stop by our favorite burger joint to pick up a couple of their famous tenderloins and onion rings before heading on to the house.  A water line was busted on the way making the road slightly bumpy but other than that we had no problems until we hit the driveway.  The wind had blown a three foot drift across the driveway and I drove into as far as I could until the car came to a halt.  Then we walked carefully up to the house and onto the porch which was barely visible under the snow drift.

That night I got a call from my boss.  The office would be closed on Wednesday due to the weather.  There was only one other time I remember them closing the office and that was in ninety three when the office flooded under three feet of water.  This was a rare occasion and one that I was glad to have.

The whole state was getting hit hard.  Missouri had closed I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis because of blowing snow and dangerous conditions.  The airport was shut down and people were sleeping in the chairs and on the floor there.  The city and the state were crippled.  I have never seen this happen in my lifetime before.

Most of the day Wednesday I spent shoveling snow.  The drifts were four feet high in places and it took everything I had to get as much of it cleared away as I could.  I uncovered the porch and the sidewalk and half the driveway before my hands and back quit working.  Later that night a snow plow cam through piling a foot of snow between the car and the driveway.  I honestly thought I could still get the car out and onto the street but I learned that I am not quite the driver my dad is in the snow.

Late Wednesday afternoon a gas pipe ruptured a mile and a half from our house.  They said it was a sixteen inch pipe and they were evacuating the area around the break.  As I went to let the dog out, the smell of natural gas overwhelmed me.  Pretty soon the gas company came around to check for levels of gas in the air to be sure it wasn't enough to explode.  Our area was said to be safe although the stench continued to reek outside the house.

The car slipped down between the gutter and the street this morning as I tried to push my way out onto the street.  It was not going to happen.  I went and got the shovel and began clearing out snow under the car to clear a way for it to get to the street.  I did make some progress toward that direction but the car just would not go into the street.  I was stuck.  Being stuck is not a good feeling and eventually I just wore myself out trying to get out.

Barb went in and called a tow service to pull the car out on the street.  They quoted a horrendous price but we decided that we had to get the car out somehow.  When the tow truck arrived he looked at the situation and saw that I was just inches from being loose so he hooked a chain on the car and pulled me three or four feet out into the street.  He then looked things over and said that he wouldn't feel right charging me the quoted price because he didn't really do that much.  He cut the price in half which pleased me tremendously.

I finally got Barb to her office and got myself to my office this morning.  As I sit here writing this I feel the soreness in my back and my shoulders and hands.  I called my nephew who is always willing to help out if I ask him to and left a message that I would pay him to finish shoveling the driveway for me.  He is young.  His body can handle this kind of labor.

As for me, I sadly found out that age is catching up with me and my body is not what it use to be.  It is something I am afraid I am going to have to get use to from here on.  Getting old can be fun.  Being old when you have responsibilities such as digging out from a blizzard is not much fun.

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