Thursday, December 30, 2010

Always be Prepared

Of all the things that can stress a BBW, the weather is surprisingly not one of those things. That is because changes in the weather can be anticipated: rain expected, carry an umbrella; chance that the temperature may drop later in the day, carry a sweater or jacket. Expecting a blizzard?

Yeah, well that requires a little more effort.

The husband and I went to NYC to visit family for the holidays, and in the ten plus years of making this trip together, it has NEVER snowed (side note, snow has been on the ground upon our arrival, and maybe once we might have left town early to avoid snow).  Nevertheless, the weather reports said that there would be snow, so on the way out of the house, I grabbed my boots thinking that at most, there would be a few inches. And since we knew that there would be a trip to the Staten Island Mall at some point, the husband planned to buy himself another pair of boots.  And that was how we "prepared" for the snow.

Then the snow kept falling and accumulating and then it was Snowpocalypse Now, punctuated by thundersnow.  And by the way, I need to mention that we are city folk with a Camry, which thankfully has  four wheel drive, but still is no match for an unplowed hill in blizzard conditions...

Again, because weather can generally be anticipated, a BBW should not get caught off guard.  Yet, that was not the case with this trip and for the next 36 snowbound hours, I had plenty of time to think of all the things that went wrong on this trip.  Thus, my new BBW project is the Operation Travel Blizzard Preparation Plan (OTBPP).

Today, my first task related to OTBPP was to go to Lowe's where I bought shovels, sand and a few other hardware necessities for both cars.  Addtionally, I plan to pack a blanket, some extra clothes, snacks, water, and other emergency gear so that we will not freeze or starve.  All of this is standard Travel Blizzard Preparation Planning 101...

Next, if I know that I might be snowed in at my destination, then I need to remember to bring something constructive to do that does not require a reliable internet connection. I always lug the laptop along when I travel, and it was great to get some work done offline, but once that novelty wore off, I needed something else to do other than watch bad TV. So I will keep a small bag packed with books, magazines, Scrabble, playing cards, and other distractions so that we don't die from boredom.  Again, standard Travel Blizzard Preparation Planning 102.

And another key element for my OTBPP is to follow my instincts.  The husband, while well-meaning, is often wrong.  So the next time my spidey sense tells me that we need to stop by the grocery store to get extra food, we will stop.  His counter that, "we can just eat the leftovers” will be ignored because by day two, no one wants Christmas leftovers.  And everyone knows that by day two, when the Christmas leftovers are just about gone and there is nothing else to eat except for soup and instant oatmeal, someone is bound to be cranky... 

Come to think of it, the main reason why I under-packed for this trip was because I listened to the husband.  HE said that this would be a short trip; HE said that we would spend most of our time visiting relatives; HE said that at most, it would only be a few inches of snow; and HE argued that we did not need to bring any food because his family would take care of everything (thank goodness I ignored that suggestion or there would have been no leftovers to complain about).  Apparently I am married to Mr. Under-Estimation, the man who assumes that nothing will go wrong and when it inevitably does, has very little to say. 

So the final element of the BBW Operation Travel Blizzard Preparation Plan is NOT TO LISTEN TO THE HUSBAND!

Alright, I’m ready!

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