“Life is what happens to you…

…while you’re busy making other plans.”  John Lennon

This past weekend a group of our friends from the capital district in Upstate NY came to visit us for a weekend of chatting, shopping (for the ladies), eating, drinking, and having fun enjoying NJ.  The vast majority of our guests drove for around four hours to get here, so they all planned to spend the night after the shopping and dinner.  So, all in all, there were nine adults and six children under one roof.  Fun, right?  Well, then the snow came. Wet and heavy on the leaf filled trees.

Soon, all the plans we had suddenly changed.  Roads became inaccessible due to felled trees and limbs obstructing roads.  There were power lines down as well.  The quietly falling snow and the characteristic silence that comes with it was constantly pierced with the sound of cracking branches and popping power lines from all directions.  We jokingly called it “Treemageddon.”  So our town’s infrastructure was shut down.  We had no electricity after about 3PM, and the heat went with it.  Fortunately, our hot water heater and stove top are gas powered and they remained functional.  Take a look at the photos below for an idea of the damage in my neighborhood.

Roads were completely blocked.

Power lines were touching the ground on what seemed like every street.

An anecdote goes with the photo above.  In the center of the photo above, you can see where my foot prints end.  It was from that spot that I stopped and took the preceding photo of the grey house before turning around.  I walked about 30 feet and my friend T and I heard a loud crack and spun to see a tree limb fall very near the place I had just been standing taking pictures.  You can see that the tree limb in the photo is only a few feet from where my foot prints end.  Close call, eh? It was about this time that we decided our little tour should end and we went home.

We had ordered food from one of our favorite Italian spots, but the restaurant had lost power and we weren’t sure we could get there even if they could make the food.  We called them and they confirmed that they were unable to get us the food.  So we headed for the local grocery store to find it closed.  So we kept looking and eventually found another grocery store that was “half-open.”  That meant we could access the produce and food aisles, but not the frozen food cases.  That was fine.  We loaded up on pasta, sauce, milk, bread, and produce and made dinner for all.  Of course the dinner was served by candlelight (and lantern light– thanks to our always-prepared friends).

Before you go feeling sorry for us, y’know what?  We had a great time.  The food was good, we had plenty of libations, and the nine adults seemed to generate enough body heat for us to not really notice that we had lost central heating.  We spent the night, gabbing, and catching up with dim lighting and cold beer.

We all had tea in the morning and toasted bagels on the stove.  We jokingly referred to our weekend as “urban camping.”

The next morning we dug out the cars, said our good-byes, and saw our friends off.  We’re gonna miss ’em.  That’s for sure.

I took the photo below from my backyard.  That’s my neighbor’s backyard.  The tree took out the fence– serious stuff.

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