2022 Christmas Blizzard

Christmas didn’t quite go as planned, this year! My family was all set to come to my house at noon on Christmas Eve so we could gather for our annual Family Christmas…..my church put together a wonderful Christmas Eve service scheduled for 4:00……I was looking forward to going to see a movie on Christmas Day (a tradition I’ve had for many years). But…..Mother Nature had other plans!

The forecast had predicted a blizzard to start mid-day on Friday and go through Sunday morning. With the major heavy stuff looking like it would stay south of us, we didn’t think we’d get enough to be much more than an annoyance here. My main concern was for family that was coming from a city to the south of us. But, plans were proceeding…..it’s Western NY…..we can take it, right?

Let’s start with Thursday…..I had some minor surgery on my left hand – trigger thumb release – which wasn’t a huge deal, but it meant that my hand would be totally unusable for 3 or 4 days and usable with caution for a while after that. I add this part as a preface to what was to come over the next couple of days!

Then…..on Friday morning, I ran a few errands, picked up the meat platter for my family Christmas, and did some last minute things at the church for our Christmas Eve service. All seemed fine – it was SUPER cold, but so far, so good…..till mid-day when the wind picked up and the snow started and it began to look like we just might be in for a time of it!

While I was at Tops getting the meat platter and “stuff”, the lights kept flickering. The place was PACKED with crowds of people…..apparently, Walmart was closed due to no power, so Tops was the only game in town! Word of power outages were posted all over Facebook and driving started to get dicey. I spoke to leaders at our church and to my family and we all decided to just wait to see what happens overnight before we make any decisions about Christmas Eve festivities.

Once I got home, I stayed there — the wind was roaring outside and the snow was blowing like crazy……not a lot of accumulation, though – it was just blowing around making visibility impossible. A travel ban was put into effect and the county declared a state of emergency. Reports of thousands without power and heat were shared. Luckily, I never lost power and had heat, but so many were not so lucky!

Through the night, every time I woke up, the wind reminded me of what was going on outside.

Then, Christmas Eve morning I woke up to the same strong howling winds. I looked out and visibility was pretty bad. I didn’t have a lot of snow on the ground – a few inches and my deck had none. But, I opened the garage door and saw how the wind was drifting the snow.

Word of places that were more open to the wind told a story of major drifts totally blocking driveways and roads and trees that had blown down taking power lines with them. Facebook posts talked about people stranded and cars in ditches and warming shelters and people still without power and the travel ban was still in effect. No one was going anywhere! And it wasn’t over, yet!

But, it looked like it would start clearing up by 3:00 or so. Not soon enough for our plans for the day! I rescheduled our Family Christmas to New Year’s Eve and we canceled our Christmas Eve service at church (we already were not planning a Christmas morning service, so no need to cancel that) – all other churches in the area did the same. And, we hunkered down!

The time the forecast predicted a clearing came and went and the storm raged on…….

Views from my windows:

_____

Photo credit: Pastor Marsha was out for a walk and took this photo of our church on Christmas Eve.

The wind finally stopped roaring sometime late Saturday night – Santa was able to get on with his business, but no one else was moving, unless they were out for a walk.

Then…..Christmas morning, the sun was out, the sky was blue, the wind was calm…….still under a travel ban because there are still roads that need to be cleaned up and people stranded and cars in ditches, but it looks a LOT better!!!

We survived the Christmas Blizzard of 2022……Mother Nature may have canceled Christmas Eve, but she didn’t cancel our Christmas Spirit! My neighbors are all out clearing their driveways and once the travel ban is lifted, people will start to get out and get on with their lives. This morning, the reports are showing people are still without power, but a LOT less than yesterday – the crews are out and getting it restored as fast as they can…..THANK YOU!!! And road crews are out busy clearing the way for life to go on……THANK YOU!!!

Back to my first photo – my hand surgery means I won’t be clearing MY driveway. Yesterday a friend cleared it for me, but it filled back in through the day and night. Looks like I can likely drive through it and just let Mother Nature take it back as she warms the earth around us over the next few days (supposed to get into the 50s by the end of the week – Woo Hoo)…..or, maybe someone will help me out….either way, I’m good!

As for my Christmas Day movie tradition – I might still go – depends on when the travel ban is lifted and if I can, in deed, drive through the snow in my driveway…..or, maybe I’ll just veg out in front of the TV. We’ll see…..I have a nice meal planned and the day will be wonderful whatever I end up doing. As for my Family Christmas – we’re all set to celebrate all together at my home on New Year’s Eve – it’s all good – Christmas is a state of mind and we can share the spirit of it any day we choose! I’m just glad we are all safe and able to make plans to be together!

So…..Merry Christmas to whoever ends up reading this…..Mother Nature had her say and messed up some plans, but we laughed at her and went on about our lives despite her efforts otherwise!

6 Comments on “2022 Christmas Blizzard

  1. Thanks so much for your terrific Christmas story and photos. It’s nice to know how Albion got through “Elliot”. Hope you have a great Christmas party on New Year’s eve! And a healthy, travel -filled 2023!

    • Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed year in 2023. We miss our Albion Church family. Hope all are well.

  2. I enjoyed all the blizzard photos. I hope your Christmas week is joyful and leads into a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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