No Chocolate in Donner Pass

Moncton is a handsome boy. Some may notice Picard in the background – Faith has Netflix, so…

We had a snow storm overnight. I’ll have to mention how much we got in a comment, later. As this is being posted by the WordPress overnight gremlins, I’ll either be getting ready to go to work, because it fizzled, or I’ll be finally testing that new headlamp on my snow blower, or, I’ll be sleeping because it hasn’t yet stopped snowing. That’s the forecast. What? That’s not clear? I know, but that’s the forecast. We’ve been told to expect as much as 11″(28cm) or as little as 3-5” and it’s either going to end before 6:00 am or 7:00 am, or maybe 8:00 am. We follow a couple of forecasts. They don’t agree with each other, and they have both changed their mind several times since Friday.

But there won’t be any chocolate for me to take into my office (to refill the candy dishes) because everyone is out buying bread and milk.

You know, the two grocery items that spoil the fastest. That’s the stuff you buy when you think you might get snowed in. Not cans of tuna, or SPAM, or Doritos. Nope, bread and milk.

As if anyone in the modern era has ever been snowed in by 11 inches of snow. OK, maybe the folks in Seattle and perhaps the people in Atlanta, but here in New England, 11 inches of snow is easy to deal with. We’re not pulling covered wagons through a mountain pass. They plow the highways down to bare pavement. They plow the local roads down to a slushy mess. People either clear their driveways or engage the four-wheel-drive they paid extra for, and drive through it.

And yes, when I put my Jeep into four-wheel-drive, I do say “EN-gage” like Captain Picard.

Schools might delay the start of classes. That’s because they have to clear the parking lots, clean off the buses and give the teachers time to deal with their driveways and sidewalks.

Yes, we have to clear the sidewalks. Actually, it’s the worst part. There’s only about two feet of grass between the sidewalk and the street, so when they plow the street, it goes onto the sidewalk. We have eight hours after the end of the storm to clean them. A lot of people can’t do the math on (now + 8), as shown in the gallery.

Some businesses might delay the opening of their offices. Some might let their employees work from home. Some might let their employees wear jeans and boots and sweatshirts to work. Schools often make their decisions based on the forecasts and announce the delays the night before a storm like this.

Businesses don’t usually delay the opening, unless they’re pretty sure it will still be snowing at the point the office is supposed to open. Businesses never close based on forecasts, we wait until there’s snow on the ground, and 11 inches wouldn’t be enough and we’re not going to get 11 inches. At best, we’ll be able to wear jeans.

But the remote possibility that we might get 11” of snow will send people streaming to the stores for milk and bread, oh, and water – bottled water. It’s crazy. At the very worst, 11” of snow would close the schools in our town for one day. Not the stores, the schools, and, for one day! It’s hard to believe people don’t have one day’s worth of food in the house. It’s even harder to believe that people don’t have one day’s worth of bottled water. And, oh my goodness – since we have “city water” – could we not drink from the tap for one day?

No, we (they) will pile into the stores, scooping up every jug, loaf and carton and fighting their way to the checkout claiming that all the milk is one item, all the bread and all the water, so they can use the express checkout. No hope for me and my three bags of Hershey’s Nuggets to get in and out quickly. Besides, since the parking lot will be worse than the store, getting in is only a remote possibility. Experience tells me that I would drive to the strip mall where the store is, almost have an accident on the outskirts of the parking lot and either come home mad or go to the bar to conduct some additional research for those Saturday posts.

However, I checked with the Editor and I can avoid all of that. Unlike our neighbors, we have milk, bread, water, bacon, beer and Cheetos.

If you’re not from the United States, you may not be aware of the reference to Donner Pass in the title. Here ya go – sorry, it’s Wikipedia.


89 thoughts on “No Chocolate in Donner Pass

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    1. We haven’t had as much snow as you guys, but we’ve had more than enough ice. It’s supposed to get very cold this week. Then maybe we’ll start to see March’s lamb side.

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  1. Well…I’m waiting, did you get snow or not? I want to be able to not only empathize, but sympathize, ‘cuz I’ve been there done that multiple times in February, and March…not April, no, let’s not go there, yet. I love that you included beer and Cheetos in your list. A smart man, yes, you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You might be able to chuckle at me. We got 8″ of heavy wet snow, but this was the biggest snowstorm we’ve had this winter. We’re not measuring up to the pack you have. And, if you’re going to have a list, you might as well be honest about what you’re going to need. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You forgot to mention the packages of meat they throw in the grocery basket. I always wonder – if the storm gets that bad, power goes out, food has to be thrown out. I’ve done that way too many times. I’m with you on the tuna and other canned and boxed items. Hope you didn’t get too much snow. I just checked on line, and it ‘looks’ like you got between 6-12″. Quite a range, but I’m thinking that headlight got a chance to shine either way. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a nice pile of sticky snow, Judy. Everything is covered. It’s really pretty, but I’m guessing it’s going to be done work clearing it. Not sure how much is there. I’m heading out after I finish this cup of coffee.

      You’re right about the meat and other perishables.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry about the madness. You should see what happens when hurricane warnings go up. Grocery shelves stripped. But they can wreak true havoc when they actually occur. But most people don’t understand moderation. Last year’s “Welcom to Atlanta” snows knocked out power out for two days. While we have gas stove and gas heat, but the ignition for them is electric, so…..brrrrrrrr….and I had the worst cold in years at the time. i hope you don’t get the 11” of snow. Kirk out. 😉

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    1. 8″ but nasty stuff to clear. Very slow-going with the machine. Your issue with the heat is why we have a wood stove instead of a pellet stove. Pellet stoves are easier to deal with, but they require electricity. We lost power in 2011 for 10 days in November, but we were able to keep the house warm.

      Thanks for the STOS sign-off :)

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  4. Me too – where are you? and how much snow did you get? The Editor sounds well organised … and those beauties just enjoy life – they know you’ll take care of them! I cannot think what my parents did in our 10.5 weeks of near enough snowed in – in 1963 … in the days before mod cons …

    So many aren’t resilient now-a-days .. I think I’ll stop now!! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re in north-central Connecticut. We made out OK. 8″ of heavy wet snow, but they delayed the office opening until 10:00. Plenty of time to clear it. I think people like your parents were better able to cope with life, in general.

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      1. Yup – they’d lived through the War … and 1940 was awful as too 47/48 – both freezing times … I gather from the records. Boy am I glad I’m over here – but you get used to it don’t you … thanks for the update re the amount …

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          1. I’m glad I’m back in England with our seasons … just makes life interesting. I never discussed the War with my parents – various reasons – best left undiscussed … I too can’t imagine living through that war or any other war … too sad. Thanks – H

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  5. It sure is looking like winter by you again. We’re suppose to go down from our 85* to 65* on Wednesday – so I best get up early and enjoy our one more day of “Winter” because after that the AC will have to go back on!

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  6. 100 bonus points for Netflux and Picard and having sense about snowstorms and grocery items while living in the north. Bummer about the chocolate, although that may be a good reason to stay home and snuggle with the critters. “Hey boss, I have a problem here and I can’t come in until I can get to the store. Maybe by Wednesday. “

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    1. Thanks for the bonus points, Mary. I’ll have to see if Target accepts them for chocolate. Not many people made it into the office today, so the leftovers are holding. I might try the “I can’t come in until there’s chocolate” ploy – it’s worth a shot.

      The Editor gets mad when there’s a storm coming on her regular shopping day. She wants a sign that says “I’m always here on Tuesday”

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  7. I have read about the Donners. Cautionary tale. I love the look of winter but I would prefer to be remembering it, not living it. I grew up in Northern Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba so I understand rough winters. My Mother used to carry a picture of her house with the snow up to the eaves. It was a two story house.

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  8. You are hardy northern folks. Here in the Washington DC area, we close schools if there is a threat of more than a couple of inches of snow. In addition to milk and bread, folks seem to feel a need to buy at least 24 rolls of toilet paper. I am not sure what it says about us, though this area is known for its mountains of paperwork. Sorry. This time, all we got was a bit of rain, which is what the forecasters predicted.

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    1. Thanks Mike. We got 8″, but we did delay the opening, so I had plenty of time to clear the mess. Of course, the plow came back again after I left. It’s amazing what people buy when they might get stuck in their house for 1-2 days.

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  9. You had me laughing at ‘bread and milk.’ Yup. Hurricane coming? Don’t even think of going to Wal-Mart. Bunny tracks, starving squirrels, the 4 M’s!! What a great Monday post, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. I should mention that we have plenty of cat food – yes we do, MuMu! Our first cat, Oreo, used to go from window to window when I was clearing the snow. It was like he enjoyed watching me work.

      I’m guessing the stores love these storms. They sell out of stuff that will have to replaced quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, weather forecasters. They called for snow here Friday. It didn’t. They called for heavier snow Saturday night so we cancelled dinner plans. Not a flake. They called for up to a foot today, ending by noon.
    It’s 8:18 and we’ve got 2 inches. What do they know?
    But I do have bread and milk so it’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were all over the map with this one. We are usually prepared to survive for a while if we get stuck here. It really doesn’t happen very often. It’s crazy when they hype this up to the roof, and then we get what seems like a “normal” amount of snow. I don’t want to play the old man card, but 8″ really isn’t the end of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re going to get very cold this week. Unfortunately, I’ll still be going back and forth to work. I love that comment about the Donners – “Yeah, we can come over for dinner. Should we bring anything?”

      “Maybe a couple of big pots.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You lost me , at first , with the Donner Pass reference. Should have seen it , I guess. I think that the Donner party had more than 11 inches of snow ; and , no doubt, they had already run out of bread , milk , and beer. Oh , and chocolate was probably long gone.

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    1. Thanks Dan. Sorry for the confusion, but it’s how people act around here, like if we get a few more inches of snow they’re going to start chowing down on the neighbors. Worse than running out of milk, bread and beers, the Donners probably ran out of Dans.

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  12. Glad you have the basics, Dan, because I understand you got quite a lot of snow. It makes me happy to know you’ll all survive. :-) No snow here, just cold and wind. It’s still only 6 and -7 with wind just a bit after lunch. But it’s supposed to warm up a bit next week, so I keep hoping spring is going to arrive soon.

    janet

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    1. Thanks Janet. We didn’t get that much, but it was wet and heavy. Out single-digits start Wednesday. I am looking forward to some warmer days. It won’t be long now…right?

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  13. Great post Dan. We were gifted with 8″ of wet, heavy snow that started out with freezing rain. There’s a bit of melting right now, but we both know that will all be sheets of ice in a few hours. I’ve found that my constant complaining about winter doesn’t change a thing, so I’m going to concentrate on reminding myself that spring isn’t far away……..nope, not working either! Lol.

    I will never understand the phenomenon of loading up the fridge and freezer right before a storm……the most likely time you’ll lose your power and all that food. How is it possible that all these people always run out of the most basic grocery items (milk, eggs, bread, butter, toilet tissue…….) the day before a storm? Every storm?

    Love the photo of all the footprints in the snow and the bunny prints. We have bunny prints all over too, but they are accompanied by their mounds of miniature cannon balls!! Your bunnies are much politer than mine!

    The 3M’s, as always, never disappoint. Love the shot of Maddie looking up at you. Keep that fire burning or MiMi will be very sad, or should I say mad!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. And, not to be confused, we have mounds of bunny poop. Maddie walks around the back yard “the bunny was here, the bunny was here, the bunny was here, too.” I think MiMi gets a fire tonight, it’s supposed to start getting colder. I’ve tried the quick in and out at the grocery store, and it isn’t pretty the day before a storm. The Editor thinks these folks just never keep any food in the house. We survived.

      Likewise, we had 8″, wet and heavy. The opened the office late (10:00) so I had time to clear it. Although, I’ve been informed that the plow came again after I left. I might have a little clean-up to do when I get home.

      I always feel like I should have an answer when Maddie looks at me like that,

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  14. Last year we actually needed milk, bread, and eggs just as a snowstorm was approaching. I felt like a total douche in Giant as I was checking out. Oh, and we were low on TP as well, so that was in the cart. Was a walking cliche.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Something about snow forces me to indulge in chocolate… namely a steaming cup of hot chocolate… whether I’ve been outside or not. Just watching the flakes fall from a window is chilling to me. We had about 9″ on the Seacoast of New Hampshire.

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  16. I grew up about twenty-five minutes from Donner Lake and so I am quite familiar with the story of the Donner Party. I’ve even been stranded up there during a blizzard. You learn to carry food and water at all times in the mountains as you can be stuck in a blizzard in July! We always stock up on nuts and dried fruit. Don’t let the cabin fever get you down!

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    1. Wow! Jan, that’s amazing. When I lived in Washington, I remember always being prepared for anything when we went hiking or camping. I got snowed on, in the Catskills in NY one Thanksgiving weekend. Fortunately, we were able to find our way back to our car.

      Yesterday ended as a bright sunny day (with snow on the ground), so being outside wasn’t too bad.

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  17. Thanks for educating us folks that live in warmer climates; I always say I like to visit snowy places but not to live there.

    Hope things warm up soon but those competing forecasters seem to say more storms passing through the west coast so most likely headed your way.

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  18. I nodded along. On days the weather is frigid and snowy, our bosses seem to want us to arrive late and I do believe they fully expect us to arrive as dressed for Everest as they are.
    Our street has no sidewalks. At minimum, we do an up strip on the long drive and an across strip for the postal carrier who cuts through yards. (No, we don’t mind. Did you know some people mind?)
    We almost always have an additional loaf of bread in the freezer, usually two. We haven’t been out of milk since ever in our lives. I don’t even think our parents ran out of milk and neither of our mothers even drink it
    It’s cold today and I do think unusually cold for March, but it’ll end soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That cold is coming our way today and tomorrow. We also do a strip for the mailman and delivery guys. We don’t even have a walk to our porch, but I do a trip for them, cause they will trudge through the snow. Some people do mind, but my dad was a mailman, so I keep a path clear for ours.

      Dressing for winter has become a challenge here. I get to work before the heat kicks into high gear. My office is usually in the high 50s when I arrive.

      We’ll see warmer temps pretty soon. The sun is going to drive winter out of here.

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  19. 11 inches of snow does not really require emergency food, unless, of course, it comes with extreme high winds. Still, should a storm threaten food supplies, I would think chocolate would be at the very top of the list, above even milk and bread. Heaven forbid anyone would run out of chocolate during a storm!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It all depends on the winds, Dan. We only had a few inches last week, but with gale-force winds, it still made driving extremely hazardous, both because of the blowing snow and the occasional dead stoplight.

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  20. First snow day, Dan. And the folks closer to 128 had it bad. Only 8” here – piece of cake for slow plowing, except for the end of the driveway. Good thing you took that laptop home. There are people who have never heard of a roof rake. That was us when we moved to New England. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I, too was introduced to a roof rake when I moved here. An essential winter tool. We got 8″ of wet heavy snow, but I cleared to driveway and got to work on time for our delayed opening. I hope you enjoyed the extra day off, Jennie.

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      1. Same snow totals here, Dan. Hubby’s co-worker lives closer to Boston and had 16” to dig out. We were cleared out before noon. I got lots of school catch-up work done. Wonderful to have a snow day! Now if only the laundry fairy had shown up… 😀

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  21. My husband and I both grew up farther north so we don’t panic when there are deep snows predicted, BUT lord love a duck do the people around here go nutso when snow, of any amount, is in the forecast. At first I found it irritating, but now just chuckle. Whatever floats your boat… or melts your ice, I guess.

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