Last night was wild and wicked weather wise. We dodged a bullet as winter storm Bruce brought blizzard like conditions just north and west of us. It was still too warm here to snow, but that warmth collided with the oncoming cold front and spawned tornadoes. Chicago got socked and hundreds of flights were canceled. So, it was with more than the normal amount of trepidation that we arose at three to get Dave to his flight on time. He was still go for launch as we all drove to the airport. It was still a dark and stormy night, although little of the white stuff had landed. The wind was still howling, as it had been all night long, shaking windows and the back porch screen door, which was being blown open and then back shut again with a bang. We dropped Dave off. Said our goodbyes quickly in the razor-sharp wind-chill and were back in bed less than an hour after rising. This time we both fell back asleep and were only awakened again by Dave’s text announcing that he had landed safely in Boston, dodging a bullet.
And when the saints come marching in, I want to be in their number, like St. Anne, St. Bob, St. Colic, all closed. The list of school closings is full of saints. Winter storm Avery, the first named storm of the season, has nailed St. Louis. Anne had a middle school gig, now nada. In past years, we would watch the TV crawler and see first, Mapaville and Richwoods and an endless train of saints and almost never Maplewood-Richmond Heights, but not this time.
Kelly Inc. robo called us at six. They called to say there would be no school. Thanks. I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards. Everything was so quiet out, being under a new blanket of snow. It looks like five inches from overnight and it’s still snowing. I can’t see the paper and I’m not about to go looking.
So, today is officially a snow day, but since both of our next door neighbors work from home, for them not so much. While most of the rest of our neighbors don’t appear to be in any hurry to go to work. Yesterday, I put up the bird feeders and they’re now doing a land office business. That didn’t take long. Waiting for the snow to stop falling, so that I can start digging ourselves out.
The remnants of Hurricane Gordon are forecasted to arrive in Saint Louis this weekend. It is supposed to start raining Friday and all day Saturday, bringing with it over 3″ of rain. Normally, we would have been planning to do the Bike MS ride, as we have done many times in the past, but our lack of training had convinced us not to ride this year. Gordon’s advent only confirms this decision.
I’ve done the MS-150 charity ride in bad weather before and it is no fun. A similar September hurricane visitation caused the MS Society to revamp its route. On that year, everyone rode out, away from their cars and overnighted in Mexico, MO. The storm moved in Saturday night and left stranded some 2,000 cyclists with the prospect of riding back in the rain. Many bikers wanted to be sagged home, but the MS Society wasn’t equipped to handle this. I gutted it out and the next year and on all subsequent years rides have been structured as two one-day out-and-backs. With the rain coming mainly on Saturday, will make this year’s ride especially hard, since Saturday is always the more popular day.
This year aside, we haven’t given up on biking. I still ride most days in the park and once Anne finishes her long-term sub gig, I’ll get her back out on the bike. We signed up for a new multi-day cycling tour, Cycle Zydeco. We’ll join some of our Saint Louis bike buddies next April, down in Cajun country.
Before Gordon began to loom over this weekend, we had planned to attend the Saint Louis Art Fair. This fair always conflicted with the MS-150 and it has been years since I’ve attended it. I was looking forward to visiting it this year, but the weather makes this seem more doubtful now.
It is still February. There is still morning frost. However. It was in the sixties when I bicycled in Forest Park today and these beauties were blooming when we walked past them yesterday. Could this be spring? Maybe. There are still plenty of names left in the Weather Channel’s alphabet of winter storms. I first thought that naming blizzards was a dumb idea, but now I believe that it is a good idea. Personalizing them makes one more aware and better prepared. I won’t worry about that today. I’ll worry about that tomorrow. Today, I reveled under that big boiling ball of gas (plasma actually) in the sky and I plan on doing this again tomorrow. So, I guess I’ll have to push off any winter worries for another day or two or maybe more…
We’ve gotten over 2″ of rain in the past three-day. Further south of Saint Louis the region there is in full flash flood conditions. And to think that we started this week in a moderate to severe drought. With all of this rain and with the help of MSD has turned our front yard into mud. I’ll have to go out there, with a shovel, just to clear off the sidewalks. If I didn’t know that MSD would be coming back and that we are expecting AT&T to plant fiber soon, I might breakdown and buy some sod, but this is not the year for that. Instead, I’ll seed again and hope for the best, all the while knowing that that is a fruitless endeavor. At least it is nice and sunny today and should be halfway warm too, while I’m shoveling mud. Later, Anne and I got out for a walk in the sunshine. Walking around, I noticed that quite a few of my neighbor’s yards were similar muddy messes. So, it’s not just me who has a crappy lawn these days.
Dan sent us some photographs. He got them from the film company that he is about to start working for, on the coast of Maine. They were taken at the cottage that was rented to house the movie’s art department. It’s not my work and I loved them, but in the end I decided not to share them. I think that they were taken to alert the cast and crew as to what kind of weather they should expect and to motivate them to prepare for it. It worked, because Dan was asking us about the REI gift card that Jay and Carl gave him for Christmas. He wants to order some better gloves. It looks pretty cold. Even though the water temperature is warmer than the air, I wouldn’t recommend going swimming. Dan will be working there for the next six weeks.
Meanwhile here in the Lou, the mercury hit 81 ºF, a record. This week, with this warmer than normal weather, I managed to squeeze in back-to-back bicycle rides. This warm weather has also prompted MSD to pick up their pace. They have trenched and laid new pipe past our driveway. The stack of pipes in our front yard had begun to diminish. Work has now progressed about halfway up the street. Two weeks? If only it that could be true.