Eating our way through the snowstorm

Where’s the beef?

“You’re going to have a lot of fun here,” said the woman, giggling as we entered and she exited the supermarket this morning. We grabbed the last cart and wheeled it toward the produce section. But wait. Where did the bananas go?  The broccoli? The apples? The lettuce?

I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life and until today have never seen anything like today’s empty grocery shelves. It’s the weather’s fault.

Our weather is never showy, much like the bland natives here. In the 1880’s out largest ethnic group consisted of immigrants from Norway, that is, people who came to fish, build boats and cut down trees. For excitement they formed lodges —  Sons of Norway, Daughters of Norway, Norwegian Male Chorus, Norwegian Ladies chorus — ate lutefisk and skied.  More than a hundred years later, things haven’t changed.  “Seattle has become one of the largest ‘Norwegian cities‘ in the United States.”

no more broccoli

Disappearing flour

The weather here mirrors these taciturn, staid people. (My husband is part Norwegian and his aunt and uncle ate lutefisk, also known as lye fish, so I feel free to stereotype.)

But back to the weather. We’ve no hurricanes, no blistering heat waves, no blizzards, it’s rarely too hot, or too cold. But this week we have snow, not a big event in many parts of the country but a very big deal here. The snow started Sunday, went through Monday, and started up again today.

my Japanese maple tree

All week weather forecasters have had a heyday, sucking up much of a thirty-minute newscast with maps of where the snow would first hit, where it would travel next, at what hour it would begin, and when it would stop. Reporters kept busy sticking their rulers in the snow in every surrounding community to show us how many inches had accumulated.  Of course it’s not a simple snowstorm, it’s “snowpocalypse.”

Cities in our part of the country do not invest heavily in snow removal equipment, which means that streets are often impassable and people are stuck in their homes. This explains why so many people have hung out at the supermarket the past two days and creating a setting that matches the kitchen of Old Mother Hubbard.

After standing in the longest checkout line in my personal history of grocery shopping — there was a similar line for each all eight cash registers and self-checkout — we asked the checker how she was holding up. “When I went home last night I was exhausted, but I told myself it would be a lot less busy today,” she said as she collapsed over her register. Looking outside, I’d say the rush to shop is over.  Now the checker will have to face miles of backup on the roads as everyone leaves work early to avoid traffic.


About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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2 Responses to Eating our way through the snowstorm

  1. Darlene says:

    Loved it, Ann—well captured—fun to read. You absolutely “nailed it.” We missed all the struggles with shopping—hit our local QFC on Thursday morning, but by the afternoon the cars were lined up on First South trying to get in the parking lot. My oh my—how many inches did you get???

  2. Here in Victoria, we are shivering and sliding through snow as well. It’s so cold! I haven’t been grocery shopping since all this started a week ago, so I hope I’m not met with empty shelves tomorrow!

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