The blizzard of ’09

On Friday night, we had nearly a foot of snow, and then on Saturday it just kept snowing, with wind and whiteout conditions creating a true blizzard, and when it was over we had another foot. I don’t remember getting this much snow in such a short time even when we lived in Wisconsin. It set records for the D.C. area. Here is our car, with my pickup in the background:

Blizzard of '09

Blizzard of '09

We had stocked up with provisions and had nowhere to go. With snow above the bumpers and a 60 foot driveway, it was a good thing. Church was even cancelled, but we all did an online matins, which worked quite well. I pity those who were out in this. But we weren’t. Sunday it wasn’t quite so pleasant, since that was a day for digging out, but my son-in-law took on that task and saved me from multiple heart attacks. Anyway, we enjoyed a very, very peaceful weekend.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    I guess you don’t use spiked tyres much? We had the same amount of snow yesterday (and more coming all the time) but I drove to work. We have these snow blizzards every winter once in a month or so, so we’re used to them. Although here in the southern Finland the winter’s been pretty lame in the past five years.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    I guess you don’t use spiked tyres much? We had the same amount of snow yesterday (and more coming all the time) but I drove to work. We have these snow blizzards every winter once in a month or so, so we’re used to them. Although here in the southern Finland the winter’s been pretty lame in the past five years.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    Sometimes, being snowed in can such a blessing, especially at a busy time of the year like this.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim in ON

    Sometimes, being snowed in can such a blessing, especially at a busy time of the year like this.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    No, Snafu, we don’t have spiked tires in Virginia, a southern state that usually gets very little snow. (One inch tends to shut down the D.C. area. Imagine what 24 inches is doing.) Even in Wisconsin they are illegal, as they are thought to damage the streets too much. They wouldn’t have helped us much, though, given the 60 feet of snow over the wheel wells we would have had to get through. But I know it is wrong to complain about snow to someone from Finland!

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    No, Snafu, we don’t have spiked tires in Virginia, a southern state that usually gets very little snow. (One inch tends to shut down the D.C. area. Imagine what 24 inches is doing.) Even in Wisconsin they are illegal, as they are thought to damage the streets too much. They wouldn’t have helped us much, though, given the 60 feet of snow over the wheel wells we would have had to get through. But I know it is wrong to complain about snow to someone from Finland!

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Gene – interesting. Although, what has happened is that a high pressure that moved down from the Yukon sat over the northern prairies (AB, SK, MB, even ND), till mid last week. This pushed weather systems further south, where they could gather moisture and then dump it.

    What this means for us here in the north is that we had quiet weather, but with the temperature here in central SK plummiting to the -30′s, and the windchill to the mid -40′s.

    As I say – it’s too cold here to bad weather!

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Gene – interesting. Although, what has happened is that a high pressure that moved down from the Yukon sat over the northern prairies (AB, SK, MB, even ND), till mid last week. This pushed weather systems further south, where they could gather moisture and then dump it.

    What this means for us here in the north is that we had quiet weather, but with the temperature here in central SK plummiting to the -30′s, and the windchill to the mid -40′s.

    As I say – it’s too cold here to bad weather!

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Of course, our cumulative snow fall on the ground since the beginning of December is not even 2 inches yet.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    Of course, our cumulative snow fall on the ground since the beginning of December is not even 2 inches yet.

  • Booklover

    Your son-in-law dug you out and saved you from multiple heart attacks? You should have sent him up here to save me from eating all those cookies and the same malady.

    We’ve had snow, but too much cold weather to have that much snow.

    And I agree with Kim.

  • Booklover

    Your son-in-law dug you out and saved you from multiple heart attacks? You should have sent him up here to save me from eating all those cookies and the same malady.

    We’ve had snow, but too much cold weather to have that much snow.

    And I agree with Kim.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    You’ll see more of this, the more the earth warms.

    Huh?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    You’ll see more of this, the more the earth warms.

    Huh?

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Booklover, my problem would be too many cookies AND digging snow. I said that he saved me from multiple heart attacks because I figure that if I had one that I would take an aspirin and then go back digging. Then I’d have another one. If they revived me at the hospital, I’d come back to digging.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Booklover, my problem would be too many cookies AND digging snow. I said that he saved me from multiple heart attacks because I figure that if I had one that I would take an aspirin and then go back digging. Then I’d have another one. If they revived me at the hospital, I’d come back to digging.

  • DonS

    Dr. Veith @ 8: Now that’s perseverance! :)

    We lived in northern Virginia during the ’80′s and I remember those “paralyzing” 1-2 inch storms. We had one storm that set records at the time, about 23 inches, similar to this one, and the area was shut down for days. But there is nothing more peaceful than a blanket of new fallen snow.

    Now I live in Southern California, where a quarter inch of rain has the same paralyzing effect. :)

  • DonS

    Dr. Veith @ 8: Now that’s perseverance! :)

    We lived in northern Virginia during the ’80′s and I remember those “paralyzing” 1-2 inch storms. We had one storm that set records at the time, about 23 inches, similar to this one, and the area was shut down for days. But there is nothing more peaceful than a blanket of new fallen snow.

    Now I live in Southern California, where a quarter inch of rain has the same paralyzing effect. :)

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Dr. Veith #3:
    24 inches closes D.C. for all eternity? :)

    Yep, the spikes do damage the streets. We have to lay a new layer of road every once in a while or else the street starts to resemble more of a reverse railway track than a normal road. Expensive, but there’s no option really. Or the option is not to move on winter time.

    Also true that spikes alone won’t do, also you need to somehow put the snow aside with..hmmm.. wedges(?), if that’s the word for the things they have in front of tractors for these cases?

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Dr. Veith #3:
    24 inches closes D.C. for all eternity? :)

    Yep, the spikes do damage the streets. We have to lay a new layer of road every once in a while or else the street starts to resemble more of a reverse railway track than a normal road. Expensive, but there’s no option really. Or the option is not to move on winter time.

    Also true that spikes alone won’t do, also you need to somehow put the snow aside with..hmmm.. wedges(?), if that’s the word for the things they have in front of tractors for these cases?

  • Carl Vehse

    “24 inches closes D.C. for all eternity?”

    “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

  • Carl Vehse

    “24 inches closes D.C. for all eternity?”

    “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”

  • Peter Leavitt

    We had fourteen inches in our coastal New England town that has had several twenty plus inch storms in recent years. Thank heaven for our Toro snow blower, which I’m reduced to at age seventy-three.

    A bonus is the pleasure of a white Christmas. Veith’s analogy of snow as a covering white grace is moving, though in the middle of the rigor of snow blowing during a thirty-five knot Nor’ Easter yesterday, I would hardly have thought of it.

  • Peter Leavitt

    We had fourteen inches in our coastal New England town that has had several twenty plus inch storms in recent years. Thank heaven for our Toro snow blower, which I’m reduced to at age seventy-three.

    A bonus is the pleasure of a white Christmas. Veith’s analogy of snow as a covering white grace is moving, though in the middle of the rigor of snow blowing during a thirty-five knot Nor’ Easter yesterday, I would hardly have thought of it.

  • http://watersblogged.blogspot.com Bob Waters

    So the permanent dome of hot air over the Capitol failed you this time!

    We got 27 inches in Chicago when I was a junior in high school, and 32 when I was finishing up my bachelor’s at RF. I was always amused when I lived in Northern Virginia at how traffic on the Beltway would slow to a crawl the moment the slightest touch of white appeared on the shoulders. I cannot imagine how you guys are coping.

    Here in Des Moines, we got eighteen inches two weeks ago, and are expecting a foot or more additional on Christmas Eve. Looks like no candlelight service this year. But then, we in the Midwest are used to this.

  • http://watersblogged.blogspot.com Bob Waters

    So the permanent dome of hot air over the Capitol failed you this time!

    We got 27 inches in Chicago when I was a junior in high school, and 32 when I was finishing up my bachelor’s at RF. I was always amused when I lived in Northern Virginia at how traffic on the Beltway would slow to a crawl the moment the slightest touch of white appeared on the shoulders. I cannot imagine how you guys are coping.

    Here in Des Moines, we got eighteen inches two weeks ago, and are expecting a foot or more additional on Christmas Eve. Looks like no candlelight service this year. But then, we in the Midwest are used to this.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Would never cancel church due to a foot of snow here in Utah. A smaller group to be sure, and probably a simplified service, but if there were someone besides me there, there would be church. In fact I would love a fresh foot-deep blanket before our services on Thursday and Friday.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Would never cancel church due to a foot of snow here in Utah. A smaller group to be sure, and probably a simplified service, but if there were someone besides me there, there would be church. In fact I would love a fresh foot-deep blanket before our services on Thursday and Friday.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    #11 LOL :D

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    #11 LOL :D

  • Schellhase

    Walked down your street on the way to church (St. Pete’s doesn’t cancel–ever!)

  • Schellhase

    Walked down your street on the way to church (St. Pete’s doesn’t cancel–ever!)


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