Snow events

Snow, they say is coming....
First it was "2-3 inches ",
Then 2-4,... 3-6. 
Now they say 5 to 9. 
But where is it? 
Not started yet.
Not here anyway.
Kind of wrinkly clouds. 
Maybe if they got a poke 
It would all come down.

It’s sort of like waiting for the visit of a friend. One that doesn’t stop by too often, promises they’ll come but then….they don’t turn up.

I should be relieved when it doesn’t snow, considering the inconvenience, the hardship for wildlife, the expense.

So why am I disappointed when snow’s a “no-show”?

I headed to upstate New York in 2018, taking considerable pains to be here by the end of September, in order to avoid first snow. Hah. We had a storm at Thanksgiving and some bracing cold and then it took itself off.

Back in Washington State, where I had just come from, blizzards! Unheard of.

I’ve been looking out my window for weeks, at the dried up ground left over from the Fall. Brown, all brown. Still a nice view, but I thought it would be white from October through till March. Back in Washington my friends are snowed in again.

Not what I expected. I remember, years gone by, when I lived on Long Island and had to drive miles and miles to work, that it snowed and it snowed and it snowed.

Snow doesn’t half make life a misery at an airport, especially one that was seemingly as badly organized as JFK in the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s….

When there was a “snow event”, the different airlines had to send a representative over to the Port Authority to play “Snowman”. That poor person was supposed to present their airline’s gate requirements and flight times of arrival and departure and negotiate a plan of attack.

Fortunately I was never given the task. I was far too willing to always let everyone else go first.

Sometimes, if it was really bad, there was no point in going home after your shift, because you only had to turn around and come back next day and who needed to do that drive twice? You could start early and get paid overtime.

Besides, if you could get to the parking lot, (sometimes the bus stopped running) your car was most likely irretrievably buried.

When you were lucky, the boss would give you one of the hotel rooms they may have thought to block off for stranded passengers, but more often than not, the rooms were all taken.

It could be embarrassing when hotel space ran out. You would arrive with a bus load of passengers only to be told there was “no room at the inn”.

In the days before cellphones, you would then have to try to raise someone on the walky-talky (good luck with that) and hope they could find you an alternative. Otherwise, it was back to the terminal and pull up a piece of cold floor.

The passengers, of course, seemed to assume that the weather was something we ordered, along with the catering, and that we did it just to annoy them. They never seemed to take into account that bad weather made life infinitely more annoying for us.

After a big snow event, or any kind of airport “event”, for that matter (JFK had all sorts), what followed was the great baggage pile-up because while eventually we would get our passengers onto a flight, it was most unlikely that their bags could be located to travel with them.

As the airport became functional, flights would start to arrive “en masse”, pouring out of the sky. Passengers would disperse to their connecting flights but if you consider two bags per passenger, piling up on the floor with one or two sleep deprived baggage handlers to sort them…

It didn’t happen, of course.

The airline I worked for had more ways than most to lose bags. It was an on-going embarrassment which from all accounts continues all these years later. What is their problem?

We did have a novel way, once, of returning a bag to its owner:

"One man I know will not forget us,
For him we provided an extra bonus.
Arriving on flight five oh one,
He found us looking very glum.
A breakdown on the baggage belt
Was making great annoyance felt.
Nature called, and off he went,
Arriving in time to see the descent..
From up in the ceiling his baggage arrived.
I must say he didn't seem all that surprised!

True story. The passenger’s bag fell right at his feet!

The baggage belt ran over the top of the arrivals area. When it started up, bags started to fall off the overcrowded belt and through the ceiling.

forgive the very crude cartoon

Our snow has now arrived…..

It’s brought out the cardinals and a few other cold looking birds. Good job we picked up food yesterday!

Poor babies.

5 thoughts on “Snow events

  1. I actually love the snow (as long as I don’t have to drive in it.)
    The birds are so beautiful.
    We very seldom see cardinals in our area.

  2. The plants in New England have evolved to have a certain amount of snow cover. If not, they don’t do so well. Also, without sufficient snow, there is less snow melt which could help lead to drought conditions in the soil. Or, at least I think sol

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