The Bread and Milk Brigade

You may have heard, a few weeks ago…it snowed back here. It was in all the papers.
(I have to quit using that phrase because there aren’t any papers anymore)

It was all over the internet.

On both coasts there seems to be an amazing lack of weather memory. When it snows here people act as though it is an event of biblical proportions.

As though it hasn’t been doing it since 1621.

Just as L.A. drivers end up curled up on the floorboards of their Beemers when a slight mist falls from the sky, these Bostonians have a yearly collective amnesia about snow preparedness.



Snow preparedness evidently requires copious amounts of milk, eggs and bread to be able to stay in your house for 24 hours when it is snowing. Yesterday the markets were overrun by rampaging hordes of family care-givers snatching loaves of Oroweat off the shelves like it was bread day at the Moscow Municipal Market. Harried home keepers stared at the empty shelves of 2% milk, finally muttering, ”Ahhh – Screw it” and grabbing a couple of half gallons of whole milk.

I was in the market too. I had half a loaf of that wheat bread with the crunchy stuff on top and at least 1/3 of a quart of milk at home. Unless I wanted to make 5 boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese and 30 grilled cheese sandwiches I was pretty much OK. I hadn’t heard about the snow ( The Hanover Times Picayune and Super Coupon Saver newspaper didn’t have room for the weather box…but Short Ribs were $2.39 a pound at Sullys’ Butcher Shop) so I was shopping for the ingredients for Cioppino (The San Francisco Treat).

It’s amazing  to me how we are so fully informed by internet TV and radio about weather and yet seem so surprised and unprepared for it. I remember hearing stories about how old farmers (or sailors or cowboys or oil wildcatters) would look up in the sky and say, “Yep, looks like we got a  fill in you favorite weather disaster here  comin’ in”. At which point they’d round up the cattle or nets or whatever and stoically wait it out.

True, they didn’t have to get Precious to her Pilates For Kids Class or make sure they had daycare for the Snow/Rain/Tornado/Frogs-falling-from-the-sky Day. But didn’t our ancestors, even just a couple of generations back, have more…gumption?

I like that word gumption…we need more gumption – and a lot less apps.

Weather disasters could be a great story from your family history. Did your ancestors live through storms, fires, the dust bowl, the disco era?
Were your parents living in New York during the the Blackout of 1965? Were you born in 1966? Maybe a little questioning is in order…just sayin’.
I personally rode out most of the major Los Angeles earthquakes in the 20th century. Yep, I have stories.

These are just the kind of hooks that will make telling your family story interesting.

By the way…I just figured it out.

The best way to survive a snowstorm is to make French Toast.

Bet they didn’t tell you that in your Boy Scout Manual.

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