where did all this stuff come from?

Wow!  I mean WOW!  

Usually when they forecast a big snowstorm, we either get rain, or the real storm misses us and instead of a blanket of snow, our streets get covered with a blanket of salt and we spend the next six months tracking salt and sand into our houses.

But beginning this past Friday evening, I’m sure to the dismay of many stores across the area, mother nature delivered.  

  It didn’t take long at all before a pristine layer of white covered the frozen ground.  Sandy and I peeked out the windows periodically from near the warmth of the fireplace.

 Not all the children were nestled all snug in their beds… apparently some were out leaving messages for their friends such as Izzy and Nick.  

The “Hi Nick” message appeared in front of our house… we think one of the girls who used to live here was Nicky.  Looks like someone did not get the message that she moved.


This storm was already showing great promise… and the next morning we weren’t disappointed.  I wandered downstairs and looked out into our winter wonderland.

The pond was covered with an icy slush… but my concern of an ice dam forming and diverting water out into the yard never occurred.  Everything looked great! 

The snow was coming down furiously.  The birds in my backyard spent a lot of time trying to find someplace to wait the storm out.  One fellow found the perfect shelter in my freshly filled bird feeder which provided him both cover and food.  Two other birds took turns trying to huddle underneath my electrical box which did not give much protection.

By the next morning these options were no longer available, the wind and snow had been too much for the bird feeder and it lay half buried.  The electrical box had been completely covered by several inches of snow.   

But that was all still in the future… we were not there yet, instead we were in the middle of the storm of the century* and like the great explorers before me, Amundsen, Scott, and Shackleton, I knew I was destined for an adventurous trek out into the wilderness of Arlington, VA.
* not really… but it was a lot of snow
But my lovely wife was not quite ready…. apparently woman’s snow clothes take significantly longer than men’s to put on.  Probably on the order of 5 minutes vs. 90 minutes.  So I shoveled instead.  There was already a good 8 or 10 inches of snow out there and more was coming down fast.  With my trusty shovel in hand, I prepared to begin unburying my property.  As I looked left and right, I could not help but feel a sense of pride for the strength of will of my fellow neighbors.  All up and down the street they fought back against mother nature, determined not to let their depreciated properties disappear forever under the avalanche of snow bearing down on us.
Hmmm… did I get carried away there.  Truth is my next door neighbor gave up with a sore back and hired someone to finish the shoveling.  People across the street hired someone with a snow blower to come and finish their job.  I had to shovel everything three times myself by the end of the weekend.  But I digress….

Eventually Sandy made it out of the house and our adventure started.  The snow was coming down fast and the wind was whipping it straight into our faces.  I didn’t really think we’d be out that long before the cold got the better of us.  We walked down to Lubber Run park and marveled at the transformation that had taken place.  

  After taking a break in one of the picnic shelters in the park, we decided that before we could continue we needed a little more protection from the whirling snow.  We headed back home to grab an umbrella which would hopefully keep the blowing snow out of our faces.

Armed with this additional layer of protection, we set off again for high rises of Ballston with promises of warm soup at the mall.
The above photo shows Sandy walking down the middle of George Mason Dr… which felt more like a deserted country road rather than a four lane divided road.

 It was a slow trek through snow that was now at least a foot deep.  Most of the roads and sidewalks had not been touched yet… the footprints we left the only break in the blanket of ever deepening snow.  After a while, we could see the faint outline of the art deco building where our promises of a temporary respite awaited.

  It was like being in a different world inside the mall.  No signs of the storm that raged outside.

And they have yummy soup! 

After lunch we went back out into the swirling white world and made our way home.   

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