The sky was blurred with spiraling snow for an entire day and two nights. So many flakes filled the air that they made a sound, sort of like a hissing.
My friend Elizabeth and I were curious cats, sitting on opposite ends of my couch that is pressed against my windows. We watched the snow piles grow on my windowsill, slowly obscuring our vision of the street throughout the day.
This was the third biggest snowstorm to hit Michigan. Historic. Momentous.
This storm was seriously epic and weird. I watched it develop on the radar like a movie. It was sort of shaped like a sweet potato with the ends pointing down. It spanned a good chunk of the US; it started developing in the Nebraska, Iowa area, growing in size as it approached Chicago and Michigan.
We were dumped on by snow because the sweet potato storm was fueled by a warm, moist air system in the Gulf of Mexico, which was producing tornadoes and severe storms in the south. This rain/storm system merged with the snowstorm, creating a shape with crazy tendrils. A sweet potato octopus.
Albion got somewhere around 18 inches of snow.
And let me tell you, we all felt the repercussions of all that snow.
I was chatting with my advisor today about how snowstorms become physical. We don’t get sore or stuck in our houses when it rains, but when it snows we have to dig ourselves out, we have to use a shovel to unearth our cars, doorsteps, driveways and sidewalks. We feel it.
I even felt it today as Elizabeth and I donned our many layers and jumped into the ocean of snow that is our driveway with shovels in hand. My arms burned and quaked with each heap of snow, hardly making a dent in an hour. It was fucking hard.
We feel changing weather patterns in our backs and shoulders, burning biceps and forearms, our snot-dripping noses, numb fingers, in our spinning, sliding, traction-less tires, in our sopping socks and snow-filled boots.