It all started at around 8 a.m. on Tuesday. The wind started to blow. The temperature started to drop. I walked to my El stop. I got downtown. Then I walked six blocks into 30 mile per hour winds to get into the office. I decided that I didn’t need to go to the gym that day.
In the middle of my staff meeting, the building started to shake. The wind was gusting down Michigan Avenue around 50 miles an hour. Ebony is very, very close to Lake Michigan. Around 2 p.m., we were told to pack it up and go home. I tried to call a cab. No go. So I had to walk.
Interestingly, Fox TV had sent me a frozen pizza from Lou Malnati’s. I tried to take it home, thinking it’d be good blizzard food, but ultimately I had to give it up. Too tough to walk in the wind with a big old box full of dry ice. My boss gave me a lift to the El stop. I gave her that pizza. We saw an old lady with a cane holding on to the corner of a building, trying not to get blown down. I had to walk up two flights of stairs and just hang on to the stair railings so I wouldn’t get blown over into the electric train tracks. (The El is an elevated train that is a few stories above street level with open air stations with no walls.)
Big men were holding down the teenage girls, so they wouldn’t fly away. It was 3:30 p.m. I’m pretty sure no one knew each other. But no one wanted to get electrocuted. So we all kinda just held hands. Oddly sweet.
The wind chill was now 0 degrees.
It took me 40 minutes to get home. I had to stop in a subshop to get out the wind after getting off the train. The ice was chipping away at my skin. I wasn’t cold but my face hurt.
The hubby stopped by my mom’s house before getting home. Moms was cool. He went to Harold’s Chicken, and got some water. He made it home by 5:30 p.m. The wind chill was now -5. We live near the lake.
I conducted an interview with a rapper. You’ll read about THAT soon.
The Thundersnow started. The sky turned pink, then purple, then orange, then pink. It was nighttime and yet outside, everything was pink. Then the Thunder and lightning started. It looked like the lightning hit the snow and traveled down the falling snow as it fell. No one was outside. The power went out. Came back on. Went out. Came on. Satellite went out. Internet went out. Even the water in the toilet started chugging on itself and swirling – all by itself.
The fire department announced they were using snow mobiles. The public schools were closed. Everyone braced and talked about Chicago’s Blizzard of 99 and the Blizzard of 67. My father remembered it like it was yesterday. I remembered being at Northwestern University during the ’99 blizzard. New Yorkers tried to talk smack but truthfully, Chicago gets colder and wetter. It’s the Midwest. This storm is bigger too. Our winters last longer.
The wind picked up. The city closed Lake Shore Drive. The snow fell for two more hours. The people on the Drive were still stuck. By midnight, they were still stuck. By 1 a.m., they were walking home. One of those walkers couldn’t figure out what was land and what was lake. He stepped into Lake Michigan. Drowned. Or froze. Or both. The waves were 30 feet high.
By 2 a.m. I couldn’t see outside my windows. So I went to sleep.
This morning, at 7 a.m., here’s what happened to my car.
And my truck? All but gone.
Note that my fence is six feet tall. And yet here, it looks two feet tall..
It’s now 11:54 a.m. The snow has kicked up again. The streets are not clear. Nobody is outside. The wind chill is 30 below zero. There are still 300 BMWs, Audis and Maybachs stranded on Lake Shore Drive. I have one dumb ass neighbor who is collecting bad snow karma as I type. (Follow my twitter timeline for more on THAT fool.)
What’s next? Well, I have work to do – computer work. No one in this house is going anywhere.