CaptureA nor’easter is a storm that forms in a low pressure area that is associated primarily with the Northeast part of North America where polar cold air masses converge with warm ocean air over the Gulf Stream.  Winds swirl around in a counterclockwise direction around a low pressure zone, constantly blowing from the northeast off the ocean onto the land. Winds in a nor’easter can sometimes reach hurricane force and bring anything from rain to snow.  I’ve seen rain coming in through the edges of windows, or through ceiling after having been blown up under the eaves or shingles of the roof.  Everything blows sideways, trees come down, coastal areas flood, and many lose power.

Nor’easter storms were made famous in the book and movie, The Perfect Storm.  This week we got a decent nor’easter.  I have been looking at two feet of snow and still falling.  The drift in front of my garage is much higher yet.  In anticipation of the storm, I left my bright yellow shovel by my front door.  This was a good decision since I had to shove the door open because of the snow piles in front of it.  I would have had a four foot snow drift to get through to retrieve the shovel from the garage.  This way I could dig my way to the garage.  But then, I’m not going anywhere.

Nor’easterlies.  It is why I have a back-up generator for my house.  We remain safe and warm.  And the bread is baking in the oven.


My guard owl is almost buried.


The entryway after several rounds of shoveling.


Yet more fell after this…

Where in the World? (This Christmas)

This is the time of the Chinese New Year’s celebration.  Everyone goes back to home villages to visit family during this time of year.  This is not an easy trip to plan since you can only buy train tickets two weeks ahead of time, you can only buy them from the place of your origin, and you are competing with millions of other travelers.  Having seen the lines of people trying to get home for the holiday in China, I once foolishly wondered why they put so much effort into going home given the barriers.  I merely had to think about my own family to put it in perspective.  Take the movements and placement of members of my family this Christmas for example…

From Shanghai, where they live, to the Middle East for a reunion with fellow teachers, and a visit with a father on a kibbutz, taking a cloth Christmas tree in their suitcase.

Swaziland doing voluntary service.

Paris serving as a nannie.

Going from northern Minnesota to Florida, leaving winter behind, to have fun with the grandchildren.

San Diego Cluster:  Where Daisy the pug received steps to enable her to get up on the couch.

North Dakota Cluster:  Where everyone primarily spent Christmas with the individual outlaws this year.  A quiet day at home with turkey.

Phoenix Cluster:  From NYC to Phoenix to join family and extended family snowbirds for the holidays and see how much Taylor loved her new chair.

From Michigan to NYC to explore the Big Apple.

Michigan Cluster:  In the snow and rain from Minneapolis to Michigan via Rockford to stay with a niece overnight (who was apart from the North Dakota cluster), in order to join others arriving from Boston for the gathering, all prior to the Michigan snowbird going southwest to see how much Taylor enjoys her chair, and how well Daisy can get on the couch.  Returned to Minneapolis, transporting Minnie Mae’s china with them in order to give it to the South Dakota niece enroute home from Philadelphia.

Minneapolis Cluster:  From South Dakota to family gatherings in Minneapolis, on to St. Louis to move a family member to Philadelphia, then back to Minneapolis where the dishes were to be picked up, having been brought there from Michigan by an uncle and aunt.  Alas the dishes were forgotten in the back of the uncle’s van, while they proceeded to arrive back at home in South Dakota.

The uncle was last seen with the back of the van open along the highway hoping against hope that someone would steal the dishes before next year’s Christmas round robin.

Multiply this by millions…