I started rolling my eyes on Thursday when weather.com reported 1-3 inches of snow on Friday and locals were inflating the numbers to 8-10. People here are forever exaggerating the predictions. (Granted, they don't have the first clue how to drive on snow either. My husband and I are frequently appalled at folks who ride their brakes the whole way down a twisty mountain road so they're sure to go slow -- therefore are more safe.)
There wasn't a flake on the ground anywhere when I got the automated message from the Superintendent of Schools announcing an early release from school on Friday because of forecasted snow. Mind you, I grew up in the snow-belt southeast of Lake Michigan where school wasn't called off unless there were 8 inches of accumulation between 3am and 6am and the plows simply couldn't catch up before the buses had to run.
And here they were, calling an early release almost 16 hours before the first predicted flake. Not only that, Friday was a 1/2 day to begin with... which meant the kids would be in school from 8am to 10am. Ridiculous. But true to form, they cancelled school on Friday morning. (Or maybe it was just a 2-hour delay.)
However, it did start snowing and didn't stop for the next 24 hours.
By Friday afternoon, I'd shoveled a few inches off the drive and salted it so the good Dr. could make it up when he got home. We lost power for a few hours on Friday night, but we just snuggled under some blankets next to our gas logs and read Harry Potter. And it came back on before I went to bed. (Some around here didn't have power for 48 hours.)
By Friday night, snow was heavy on all the branches. There wasn't a bit of wind to blow it off -- it just came straight down--kept coming down.
Saturday Morning was a winter wonderland. The limbs of my Japanese Dogwood were all bent to the ground--a predicament it couldn't seem to get itself out of, so I rescued it by banging the limbs with a broom stick and watching them spring back up. Yes, the avalanche of snow inevitably fell on me.
The overnight accumulation also meant we had a lot of shoveling if we ever wanted to leave our place. We estimated that there were about 12 inches on the drive.
Really, it's not Darth Maul under that hood, he's just sporting his new black ski-mask. Regardless of his acts of kindness, the kids were calling him "Arch Enemy" and pummeling him with snowballs from the fort we built for them. Sometimes the orchestrated simultaneous attacks from opposite sides, but they never came out the victors.
It took us about 2.5 hours (with the two of us) to shovel the drive on Saturday. (Myself spending more time on the fort and picture taking, though.) But then I shoveled another 3-4 inches off the whole thing by myself on Sunday. (Even my toes are sore from clenching them to keep from slipping on the slushy slope. Not to mention my back and glutes.)
All told, most of my neighbors and friends are estimating around 22 inches... and I'd say I fully agree with about 18 of those. Regardless, it is unquestionably the largest snow we've had in the seven winters I've lived here. So I'll try to keep my eye-rolling in check next time.