Snow Survivors

What kind were you this winter?  This writer observes 4 types of Westchester Winter warriors:





The spring thaw seems to be here.  Shorts and bathing suits are on display at The Westchester mall, like so many crocuses.  And women are flocking to the gym, desperate to shed the poundage that amassed over the past few frigid months.

But the memories of frost are still fresh, as the snow melts into slushy piles, vanishing to reveal lawns in need of re-seeding. This winter, our County was hit especially hard by blizzard-like weather.  Having spent a few years in much colder and nastier climates, I chuckle to myself and think, “Baby you call THIS snow?  This is just a flurry!”  But when our residents are hit with natural ‘disasters’ like white flakes and wind, they get weird and twitchy.

During this last storm, thousands of people lost power.  Schools closed.  Trees fell.  Meetings got cancelled.  How did suburbanites respond?

I have grouped our neighbors into these general categories:

·         The Panic Pack:  Fueled by the media (with terms like Snowmageddon and Snowicane), this species immediately runs to the supermarket to stock up on milk, bread, and other “staples.”  Even if these people don’t generally eat milk and bread, they feel compelled to buy it when a storm is coming.  They probably watched “The Wizard of Oz” too many times and may even shout, “Down to the Root Cellar, Emily!” as they flee from the storm, clutching their loaves and cartons.  These folks often have had generators installed in their homes too.  I strongly suggest you make friends with at least one of these neighbors.

·         The Survivalists:  They own candles, lanterns, warm blankets, and SUVs.  They don’t need to shop for staples because they already have a disaster plan at-the-ready.  Rock salt is in their blood.  They view the storm as a major adventure and will weather it out, huddled together in their freezing homes when they lose power.  As soon as the plow comes through their streets, they jump in their vehicles and hit the road.

·         The Cabin Fevered:  Within seconds of getting that phone call that schools are closed, they start to pace and tear their hair like caged animals.  “Oh no!  How can I escape?”  flashes through their heads.  Thoughts rage of bored kids, loud noise, no relaxation, wet boots and snow pants tossed on the floor.  It’s  “Lost” without the tropical weather, and weird things may start to happen.  (Most of you have seen “The Shining,” yes?

·         The Creatures of Comfort:  The hotels of Westchester thrive on this population in the winter.  As soon as the lights go out, these creatures make reservations.  The more rugged types choose one of the lower priced hotel/motels along the highways.   The peacocks head straight for the Ritz-Carlton, using the storm as a handy excuse to pamper themselves and spend a couple of days having their beds made and their meals cooked.

If we lived in the Midwest rather than Westchester, coping with these storms would be common practice.  “What storm?”  we would probably ask.  But suburbanites are not naturally suited to survival in the wild.

The reality is that what we just experienced is nothing compared to REAL disasters being faced by other parts of the world.  Skidding-out on the Cross County or going a day without fresh-ground coffee beans cannot possibly compare to having one’s home flattened.

We should all keep that in perspective, as we flock to the mall to swap UGGs for Havaianas.


Twisted Pickets is authored by Billie Cleaver (a pseudonym).  She claims to be a renegade relative of June and Ward Cleaver.  June had a torrid affair with Eddie Haskell and Billie was the result.  She inherited June’s apron collection

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