Monday, February 2, 2015

JANUARY 26- FEBRUARY 1, 201576

We survived "Snowmagedom" , "Snowpocalypse", "Snowacaine", Juno, or The Blizzard of '15!

We feel guilty because we actually enjoyed being snowed in and being part of something big and exciting but we truly feel badly for those on the coast and the islands that were flooded, wind damaged and without power.  That definitely would not have been fun.

For anyone who hasn't been near a T.V., radio, or newspaper for the past week,  a blizzard hit the NorthEast late Monday and lasted through Wednesday.  
I learned exactly what a blizzard is- a severe snowstorm characterized by driving snow, strong winds, intense cold, covering a wide area and producing low visibility for at least 3 hours. The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow.  Parts of our coast here had winds up to 80 mph.  

This is no time for levelheadedness. Blizzards are like roller coasters: they’re only fun if they scare the bejeebers out of you.

By my count, there are about a half-dozen new weather people on Channels 4, 5, 7, and 25 since the last big storm. And if they don’t show the appropriate amount of hysteria during this, their first New England blizzard, I say ship their sorry carcasses back to whatever hick station they came from.

Ha! Ha!  I love those quotes from local journalists!

I am just now posting about the blizzard of last week and as I write this we are going to be under a new "Winter Storm Warning", beginning at midnight tonight through about 1am Tuesday.  What is a winter storm, you ask?  "Severe winter weather conditions which may be a combination of snow, ice, sleet, and blowing snow with precipitation at least 6 inches within 12 hours."  We are expecting 12-18 inches.  
We will probably be snowed in again tomorrow. 
Yahoo!  I'm loving it!

We stayed inside all day Tuesday during the worst of the storm but got out on Wednesday to shovel out.

 Notice the up-turned windshield wipers.  

 Thank goodness for snowplows and that we live in an apartment complex where the management is responsible for removing the snow.  All we had to worry about was digging out our car. 
Speaking of...

  Gotta have access to what's important!





Up to my knees!

While we only had the opportunity to shovel out our own car, our missionaries made us so proud by using this time to spread goodwill and cheer. For safety concerns, they were "red-dotted", which means they were to stay home or close to home but were permitted to go outside to help others.  Together they completed over 30 hours of shoveling snow for their neighbors, with one companionship shoveling out 6 cars from 4-9 pm.  Two Elders walked to the church to shovel out the driveway and parking lot so patrons of the Family History Center would be able to get to it the next day.  Many made cookies and brownies for their neighbors.  We love these amazing wonderful young people so very much.  I know I say that about every other post( if not every!) but we do.  The world, the future is in good hands.  

We may not have shoveled snow for hours for our neighbors but we did take care of our little hungry feathered neighbors!  We threw out bird seed about every hour and had visitors all day long. I love that we have cardinals and blue jays here!  They are pretty skittish so I had to take the photo from far away and the resolution is poor.
But wait...

Took this one with my camera and it came out much better :)
Took this just sitting at my desk , looking out my window.

Basically we were snowed in Monday afternoon through Wednesday.  Got a lot done, worked on projects brought specifically for snow days (we were warned ahead of time this may happen and to bring things to keep ourselves busy.  Although this has never been nor do I foresee it as ever being a problem for me!), and relaxed.  (we stayed in our cozy jammies all day Tuesday:)

And thanks again to our kids for our fireplace.  It helps warm up the room so much, physically and psychologically. 

Thursday it was deemed safe and major roads were clear enough to navigate so we went to the temple to serve all day. Many special things happened but I will mention one.  A young man was there who had just lost his wife. I don't know the details of how she died but his wise bishop brought him to this place of supernal peace.  After their session , the bishop went to the airport to pickup the young man's family who were coming for support and for the funeral.  He encouraged this young widower to stay in the Celestial Room and commune with his Father in Heaven and then do sealings. 
He stayed in the Celestial room for about an hour.  And although I'm sure it must have been very difficult, he did do sealings. I wasn't able to see him afterwards but I'm sure hearing those beautiful promises of eternal love and families comforted him greatly.  Those of us who knew his story were praying he would feel his wife's presence there.  I am so grateful for the knowledge this Restored Gospel gives me that this life isn't all there is, that we lived before and will live again and that we can share the eternities with those we love.  I know they are close by, aware of us,  and helping us; that we will be reunited again and that reunion will be most joyful.  

It snowed again on Friday, and as we watched the weather and traffic reports on the news we heard of several accidents on the highways so we decided to "red dot" ourselves and stayed home again.  We were very sad to miss our District Meeting and zone lunch.  It is always one of the highlights of our week.  We missed out on a scrumptious lunch as well :(  We have a new senior couple in our zone, the Walshs, who are working specifically with our Portuguese Group.  They have graciously offered to share in the zone lunch effort so now we rotate every other week. Yay! Thank you, Walshs! They lived most of their lives in Virginia and she made a local specialty , Brunswick Stew, and homemade cornbread and cookies. I've heard from several of the missionaries that it was all delicious but that the cornbread was THE best they ever had in all their lives! 

Saturday I was able to run out for a bit and grab some food and supplies for more projects.  We have a most wonderful and close zone but are trying to foster even more closeness so we are doing "secret service" for each other from names  randomly drawn.
Thanks to an idea shared on Pinterest, I made this fun "Fishers of Men" gift box for the 2 elders whose names we drew.

Sunday brought a baptism!  Nickenson Chery entered into the waters of baptism and is on the path home.  I'm so disappointed this photo doesn't come any where near to showing it, but he was one of the happiest people I have ever seen be baptized.  His joy was overflowing, He couldn't stop smiling ( well, except for this photo I guess) In our gospel Principles Sunday School class we were asked to share something that made us happy this week. He immediately jumped up out of his seat and said he wanted to be the first to share - he was getting baptized and that fact made him so happy!  At his baptism, he jumped up twice spontaneously to share his joy and his testimony and gratitude.  His joy is contagious. He has even stopped people on the streets and said, 'I'm getting baptized! You should too! It's a wonderful church!'.  He's wonderful .  We love him.  He is working at Tufts right now , getting his feet in the door, hoping eventually for a Hospital Administrative job.  He is also an inventor and entrepreneur.  Just delightful - full of light and life and love. 

I will take another photo of him next week and capture his true nature. 
They came in quite early for a moment of quiet and thoughtfulness.  The room was filled by the time of the baptism.  Jeremy Koontz, our Gospel Principles teacher, (and darling husband and father) baptized him.

After the baptism we visited with our friend and artist, Loretta Jarak.  Her birthday fell on one of our snowed in days and we were so saddened we weren't able to visit her right on her day so it was at the very top of our list of things to do.  She was so happy to see us, it warmed our hearts on this frigid day.

Following are a few random pictures I took from the car to give an idea of life around here after a blizzard.

 The snow plows do a great job getting the snow off the roads but as the streets are so narrow here there is no place for the snow to go but the sidewalks.  And as most people here use public transportation, they walk a lot which means they need the sidewalks clear. Also , often only one to one and a half lanes are cleared because there is too much snow and it piles onto the other lane. It takes a while but they do have an amazing system to handle these mass quantities of snow. Above you can see the huge pile of snow on the side of the road which used to extend the entire length of the road.  At the back of this bulldozer is a shovel and it is shoveling the snow into the dump truck. When that truck is full, it drives off and dumps the snow in a huge un-used parking lot on the outskirts of the city. You can't see it here but behind that dump truck 3 or 4 more are lined up to be filled up and off they go. 

 Check out these huge icicles taken on a house across the street from someone we picked up Sunday morning. At the temple one of the workers had a big gash on his head from where an icicle had fallen on him!  Ouch! Death by icicle would be a crazy way to go!

O.k., this is a local tradition we think is funny but great because it works and people respect it.
After you shovel out a space for your car, you can put a chair there to hold your place and no one else can take it.  We saw all kinds of chairs all along our way.  I should have taken more photos of them. We've heard there is no quicker way to incite the wrath of a Bostonian than to take the parking space they cleared out. 

After visiting Loretta, we attended our district/ward correlation meeting. These cozy sisters show this is the way to hold a meeting on a cold winter's day. ( Sister Batcshi and Sister Frei)
We drove the elders to the T and the sisters to the church afterwards and then headed home ourselves.  It was a beautiful Sabbath.

 Snow was falling so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could only imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness
Mary Oliver

How can we not rejoice when such beauty surrounds us?

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I write this as another storm approaches.
I  will leave you with a snow kiss!

Love you all!


  1. That is a lot of snow. I am glad you can enjoy the snow. I love when you snowed in and get to enjoy it. It is nice you didn't lose power, that makes a big difference. Thanks for the snow kiss.

  2. Baci is going to get pretty buff shoveling all of that snow!

  3. I love that the snow stays white and pretty with all the plows and everything. its always sad when snow turns grey and gross

  4. the snow kiss! so cute! :) loved the video of dad slaving away with the shovel, haha. love all your bird neighbors too! so pretty.

    and the guy that got attacked by an icicle? ummm scary! you guys should wear helmets!