I don’t care what the calendar says, winter isn’t coming, it’s here! At least in Buffalo, New York, where I currently reside.
We got pounded by some lake effect snow last night. But it wasn’t just run-of-the-mill lake effect snow, it was thunder lake effect snow!
Yes, that’s even more dreadful and frightening, because not only did we get upwards of 3 feet of snow, we had high wind gusts accented by loud cracks of thunder!
Needless to say today we’re snowed in. My girlfriend and I, that is.
And given that we’re snowed in, I figured I’d put together a list of the things I value most when I’m at the mercy of a wintery tempest. Now, my list isn’t the end all be all. I’m definitely leaving some items off. But here is what I came up with:
1. Self-defense tools
While the chances of a burglar, home intrude, serial rapist, sociopath, etc., breaking into my residence may be rarer in the midst of a mini blizzard, there’s still a chance that they’re out there casing my apartment, preparing to invade. If that happens, it’s good to know that I have the tools to deal with the threat.
You’ll notice in the photo that I have 12 gauge shotgun, Stevens Model 320, and a decent size combat knife, a Swamp Rat RMDx LE. Sufficient tools indeed (What does your go-to home defense posture look like?).
Let’s face facts, in these snowy conditions with roads closed, low visibility, freezing temperatures navigating the streets is extremely difficult. Police and first responders could be hours away, not minutes.
If you don’t have tools for self-defense in situations where help is not readily available, you’re gambling with your life and the lives of the people you love. Get armed, get trained and get mentally prepared for whatever may come your way.
2. Warm Clothes
Yes, at some point I’m going to have to go outside and shovel off my GF’s car. I’m not looking forward to it. Thankfully, I have proper clothing to deal with the elements. Wool coat, leather gloves, scarf, wool hat…
But I also got me a pair of Thinsulate Wrangler jeans! Yeah, they’re a little bulky, but they are Warm! I’d suggest getting a pair if you live in snowy conditions. I ordered them off the Internet, from Sheplers.com, I think with shipping and tax I paid $55.94. A bit pricey for a pair of jeans, but you won’t regret it.
Chili, stew, meatballs — they all work in a crockpot! I love to cook. And when you’re snowed in, there’s something about a hearty, slow-cooked meal that warms the soul. The aroma also makes your home smell lovely.
In a power outage situation, crockpot ain’t gonna work. Thankfully, we still have our power on. And as I write this, it doesn’t appear that there are outages in my area. So, I’m going to start making some meatballs and pasta sauce. Yum.
Back when I was real young, the inimitable Jimmy Griffin, the former Buffalo mayor, gave arguably the best advice to citizens following a similar lake effect snow storm that hit the city on Jan. 18, 1985.
The intrepid Griffin said, “Stay inside, grab a six-pack and watch a good football game.”
I couldn’t agree more. Besides, what’s good food without good drink?
Aside from having a bottle of Bullet Bourbon in the cabinet above the refrigerator, I have more than a six pack of Magic Hat #9. The “not quite pale ale.” It’s a great bear, crisp, not too hoppy, and it goes down smooth.
5. Snow Angel
Hopefully, when you get snowed in, you get snowed in with a friend. Better yet, hopefully you get snowed in with a “snow angel.” In my case, I got my GF. Couldn’t ask for a better situation. Later today, we’ll snuggle down on the couch, crack a beer, and watch a movie together. It’s the perfect way to spend a snow day.
Actually, we probably won’t watch a movie. We’ll probably end up watching Real Housewives of (Fill in the Blank). I don’t mind compromising on that. I make her watch and cheer for the Buffalo Bills, arguably the most painful professional sports team to follow.
Sorry, she wouldn’t pose for a picture.
For those of you who are also snowed in or bound to be snowed in at some point this winter, what’s on your 5 must-have list?