When you live in Chicago long enough, you just ignore snow storm predictions. Let's face it: the weather forecasters are only right once in a while. Oh, we get some snow here and there, but it rarely adds up to the big storm predicted. And, when you're in Chicago, a big storm isn't five or six inches of snow.
Last night we got a big snow. The amazing thing is that the storm came in within 30 minutes of when the forecasters predicted it. About 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, I walked Oreo and headed towards the girls' bus stop. I took him on a long walk because I wasn't sure the next time he'd get out again for more than a couple of minutes.
The closer I got, the less I could see. If I could see two blocks ahead of me that would be a lot. The wind was already terrible. I stood behind a big, old tree with a trunk so wide it protected me from the wind. Still, by the time the bus arrived I had ice on my hood, ear muffs, scarf, gloves, etc. We ran through the neighbors' yard to our house.
The winds and snow were in full force by the time my husband called to say his train was running late. I told him as long as he was warm and dry then it didn't matter how long it took him to come home. I'd rather he was stuck on a train than in a car on the expressway. His train had to go backwards on the track and switch tracks before he could get home. It took 90 minutes more than expected, but he was home.
We spent the rest of the night listening to the winds howl. We had a crazy mix of snow, wind, thunder and lightening. Our lights flickered a few times and we made plans in case we lost power. The irony is we're upgrading our electrical service soon and putting in a whole house generator. Of course, it's not in yet, so every time the lights flicker I shiver.
The girls' school cancelled classes before school ended Tuesday. My husband's office called about 11:00 p.m. to close the office. I guess they were just waiting to make sure it was really going to be as bad as predicted. The good news is they did close the office.
We awoke to an erie calm. We jumped out of bed and started layering to go shovel snow. Once we bundled, we opened the garage door. Our first instinct was laughter. A crazy high drift blocked our garage door. It opened, but there was just a wall of snow. Last I heard we received about 20 inches of snow.
We made it outside and started shovelling. We shovelled a couple of paths to the road, which surprisingly was already plowed. Across the street a young man was snow blowing the neighbor's driveway. When he was done, we paid him to finish our driveway. It was the best money we've spent in a while.
The rest of the day we'll fill with activities to keep the girls busy. They will work on their Valentine's Day cards, practice piano, do a little homework, play, play and play. If the wind dies down later today, we might take them sledding. Until then, we'll stay safe and warm inside our house. It seems like the best thing to do today.