After being briefly upstaged by missing-plane porn and Crimea porn, weather porn staged a comeback. It was no ordinary storm incoming, it was worst storm ever and it was heading straight for us.
Well, OK, not straight for Martha’s Vineyard, but the maps showed it aiming for the coastal areas of the Northeast, and that includes us.
They didn’t say “worst storm ever” either. They just predicted “snow” and “blizzard conditions” and “winds over 50 miles per hour” in that tried-and-true broadcaster’s tone that says You’ll be lucky to get out of this alive.
That’s what makes it porn. It’s not that missing planes, the Russian annexation of the Crimea, and big winter storms aren’t serious business for the people affected by them. The porn part kicks in when people get buzzed with adrenaline over things that don’t affect them at all and over which they have no control — or things that haven’t happened yet and might not happen at all.
Yeah, I know that no one’s an island and we’re all affected by everything that happens anywhere, but there’s more buzzworthy stuff happening in our own backyards. Porn tends to make real life look pale and even inauthentic.
But I digress. I threw up my barriers against the incoming-blizzard-we’re-all-gonna-die porn — come on, people, it’s still March and we’re still in New England, right? — but some of it got through. When I woke up this morning, true, I heard the wind blowing and saw tree limbs waving impressively outside the skylight. But the dusting of snow on my little deck was so pathetic, I thought, rather snarkily, “False alarm, nyah, nyah, nyah.”
My front door, however, wouldn’t open till I pushed really hard. So that’s where the snow was.
Note the two ice disks leaning against the railing. I had high hopes that they’d be joined by a snowy third, but the water in the water dish sloshed a little when I picked it up. It wasn’t frozen solid, and it turned to slush in the unmolding. Windy it is. Cold it is not.
While I wrote, Travvy the snow dog went back to bed. Around 9:30 I donned my warm, wind-breaking old parka and pulled on my boots. My going-out sounds roused Trav from his slumber, but when I opened the front door (pushing more snow out of the way) and the wind whistled in, he gave me A Look. The look said, roughly translated, Are you kidding?
No, Travvy Snow Dog, I am not kidding. Out we went.
The walking was easy. In some places the ground was nearly bare; in others the snow was four inches deep. The wind was blowing all right. Yes, I know a limb could snap and fall on my head. The weather pornographers want me to believe this is a common occurrence. It’s not, but I did watch for nearly severed branches and listen for the sounds of cracking wood. Nothing. There wasn’t much debris on the ground either. We’ve had enough high winds this winter that whatever’s going to fall has mostly fallen.
Travvy had a good time in spite of himself. However, when we turned off the bike path to follow the long side of the field at Misty Meadows — into the wind — I got another version of The Look. He trotted along with hunkered-down determination till we were back in the woods.
At Old County Road, we had to wait for an approaching car, the only car I’d seen on the road. A Subaru Forester — why am I not surprised? I looked at the driver. The driver was looking at me. He waved. I waved back. Ah, the camaraderie of people crazy enough to be out in a storm!
We got home safely. I went in to get my camera so I could take a photo of Travvy Snow Dog with snow on his face. Travvy gave me The Look.