My first entry…

     I utilized the better part of a week thinking about what to write about, and where to go with this blog. I had a lot of thoughts in mind about the first entry. I finally thought I had it nailed down Thursday night, but then a funny thing happened: a blizzard.

     Now I’m stuck inside, reflecting on past storms.

     Major snowstorms have mostly been a pain in the ass for me – they often arrive near my birthday, in mid-February, and cause me to do nothing and go nowhere for my birthday.1 The first time I can actually say that I thoroughly enjoyed one was December 2009.

     It was a Friday night in Baltimore, and my girlfriend and I had met up with some friends at The Ottobar to see some bands. Erik Petersen from Mischief Brew was there with the band “Guignol”, as well as several local bands that opened.2 The show was a great blast – the small crowd had all of the energy and love for music that anybody could’ve asked for.

     During the show, the storm swept in.3 Between bands, people would filter outside, mostly to smoke (or to hang out with their friends that did). As the night went on, between each band, the snow got heavier and heavier. By the time the show was over, snow coated the streets of Baltimore, with very little asphalt to be seen.

      Some friends invited us to a party at their house, and a bunch of us went. However, when we arrived, we found out the power had gone out, so the party was pretty-much canceled. So, we all planned to go home – only there wasn’t any going home for me or my girlfriend. By the time we were ready to leave, my old light-weight pickup truck with RWD wasn’t making it up or down any Baltimore hills. Luckily, one of our friends lived a few blocks away on the same street, which was totally doable. We took our time driving to her house, and then settled in to our new weekend home once we got there.

forblog    That night, there were no noises in the city – everything was silent. In the morning, we ventured out, as the snow continued to come down, to see what was open. Very little was open, and the only traffic on the streets were the MTA buses, and even they had trouble at times.

     Never have I seen a city so peaceful and quiet in the middle of the day on a non-holiday Saturday. We walked down the middle of the street with no trouble, and passed only a few people, all of whom were super polite and happy to be out and about. We ventured to the local Safeway grocer to get some food -the place was nearly empty of people, but surprisingly well-stocked during a major storm.

     When the storm finally subsided, I watched strangers come together to help everybody and anybody out. I was able to dig my truck out, but the road was so slick that as I tried to pull out, I fish-tailed until I was perpendicular to the sidewalk. Had I kept on with this, I would’ve slammed the bed of the truck in to the back of a car.

       Several people noticed and ran over and offered to help. They went and knocked on the door of the person whose car was in front of me next to me. The lady put clothes on, came out and moved up a few feet. Then the people who had gathered pushed on the side of the truck as I steered and gave it gas. They managed to push me enough to get me in to the road. After that, there was no real trouble getting anywhere. I’m so thankful for those people, and how nice that weekend was in general.

       Walking around the peaceful city with somebody I care about is a treasured memory for me – I can’t imagine ever seeing the place like that again. Everybody was so helpful, so friendly, so neighborly – the spirit of Mr. Rogers was everywhere. It probably looks like that right now, but I’m not there.Stay warm out there, everybody. Stay safe.

1. Unless you count “shoveling snow” as “something to do” for my birthday).
2. Interestingly, this is actually the first time I saw my own band, Blinding Eye Dog, as they were one of the openers.
3. I believe this one was referred to as “Snowmageddon” – or maybe that was the one a month or so later.

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