It’s been a strange week around here. Snow and ice and freezing rain, and maybe now high winds — and I managed to go through most of it with a head cold. Saturday was light-weight cute snow, enough to be interesting, but not so much that I couldn’t go to Olyreads (book group) or my weekend D&D game. Sunday a bit more, and icy. I went to a housewarming party a few blocks away, fell on my butt on the way home. Monday (a holiday) was when the first cold symptoms arrived, so that when the snow really came in on Tuesday I was pretty well out of it.

So it’s been pretty as seen from my bed and the couch, possibly even deeper than the “Snowpocalypse” of 2008 or 2009. We’ve had power the whole time (thus far!) so I’ve been cozy at home with chicken chili & Netflix Instant (and Venture Brothers discs). I took a brief walk to the store on Wednesday, which was pretty astonishing, and also last night (Thursday) and that was quite amazing. All the trees were covered in a slick of ice and bowed down under the weight; lots of cracked or broken branches, as you might imagine. A row of bamboo was almost completely flattened. And the store had lost power and was closed — 10 years in this neighborhood, almost, including our own multi-day outage, and I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen them closed. We discovered that we were in something of an island of power in a dark sea of outages. Ran into a neighbor who still had power, and she said that their cable was out. (Thank goodness for DSL!) It reminded me quite a bit of the Xmas 1996 ice storm, with the sound of trees cracking all around. I saw a tree across the back alley lose three big branches with enormous crashes; I’m so discombobulated from the cold that I don’t remember exactly which day that was, although it spooked me badly enough that I took a shower in case the power did go out.

Yesterday I went to work for the first time all week. Getting to the bus stop wasn’t too bad, although clambering through the mound of snow onto the bus was challenging. All along the route I saw bowed or downed trees, fallen branches, huge piles of snow, even a streetlight that had knocked over by a tree! Saw one work crew, also one car stuck in a slush-filled driveway, possibly being helped by police. I stopped by the store, partially out of morbid curiosity, and it was spooky: half-lit, all the freezer cases empty and the meat cases covered with plastic, with hand-written signs saying the meat wasn’t for sale.

Now it’s all melting; the “moat” at the end of our driveway that always floods when it rain is ankle-deep in slush, and the yard still has probably half a foot of snow. But at least the ice has melted off of the trees, and after a week and a half of freezing weather, 40 degrees F feels damn balmy. With any luck, it’ll melt up quick, and I’ll get over this nasty bug quick, and maybe I can get back to biking to work.

Because, yes, I finally upgraded the handlebars on the Xtracycle — we replaced them, together, which was actually kinda fun — and last week I even rode two days, before the morning temps dropped into the 20s. Loved it, really; I’d forgotten how good it is to ride, even though I was ridiculously slow. Soooo slow, I suppose mostly because the last time I biked to work was November 1. Two and a half months! Even longer than last winter. But yeah, if everything comes together…we’ll see.