Here's my advice on how not to weather a Blizzard in New England:
First of all, buy garbage cans to take the trash out EVERY WEEK instead of letting it pile up for a month in the unused garage thereby creating a nice little home for furry friends a.k.a. mice. Yes, mice have taken over our garage. It makes it easier to take the trash out the day after the storm when you don't have to worry about vermin attacking as you carry away their feasts. Also, this is very important because when the oil tank is in the garage, you are more likely to check it to make sure you don't run out of oil in the middle of the night during the blizzard if there are not scary creatures freely roaming that corner of the house. Or you could be like Erin and run through the garage in the middle of the night with flip flop slippers on to see if your biggest winter fear just came true. (This is something I WILL NEVER do and probably the sole reason I'll get married. I'm notorious for paying roommates to take care of the garbage and vermin.)
That brings me to my second piece of advice, check the oil as soon as you hear the weather report proclaiming (correctly) you will be covered in 10 inches of snow (at least) during the storm. This gives you time to call the oil man to come BEFORE the storm so you don't wake up at 11:30 p.m DURING the storm only to realize there is NO HEAT AT ALL because the oil tank is empty. It makes for a precarious situation, as no one is going to come fill your oil tank (well, not for anything less than four figures) in the middle of the night (all the more reason to have a warm body in bed next to you, if possible. Mr. Matthews did not cut it last night, thereby, making me reconsider not having boys sleep at my house). Also, with this comes the problem of hot water; there is none, which means you have to go to work early to shower next door (which happens to be a hotel owned by the company for which I work) and pray the nice girl is working so you can get breakfast for $4.
Thirdly, find a nice high school boy to shovel the walkway and a path to the oil spout, as the oil man will not deliver the oil without a clear pathway (Although, he will still charge you $75 extra for the trip. Did I mention the CEO of my company owns the oil company? I should complain). If you do not have someone to shovel, you'll have to leave work to go home to shovel a forty foot path in front of the house through three feet of snow yourself. This sucks. You come out of it looking like a scowling mushroomy white French poodle who should have waited to shower until AFTER shoveling, which brings me to my fourth piece of advice:
DO NOT KEEP YOUR BOOTS IN THE GARAGE WITH THE MICE. Otherwise, you have to shovel in your "England shoes" which might be good for rain in the lovely United Kingdom, however, not so much for the three feet of snow through which you have to shovel and walk.
This brings me to number five: after it takes you an hour to drive 8 miles then 45 minutes to cross a draw bridge, you overwhelming become ok with SUVs, as in you probably might go buy one in the next five minutes as a result of your awful winter commutes over the last two days. A shiny nice Suburban should do the trick during New England winters (and yes, I secretly want to go buy one RIGHT NOW. I might take my little green car over to the dealership to get me one of those American beasts with a custom Bose stereo system. Can you see 5'4", 120 lb me driving around BY MYSELF in one of those? God the image brings tears to my eyes right now). My very green, Earth-friendly self (just look at the recycling, I mean home for animals, in my garage) declares it's perfectly acceptable to drive a SUV if you live in New England and brave the winters.
And finally: BE PREPARED!!! When your existence is based on unpreparedness, it is important to over correct for the past by making an attempt to be ready for such things: Take out the garbage, check the oil, keep boots by the door away from gross mammals, hire a shoveler or buy a snow blower, have a weather appropriate vehicle, BUY SOME CLOTHES THAT FIT YOU (Uh, sorry, that is just me telling myself that because the only pair of pants I could find in my morning panic were two sizes too big for me), wait, I mean, don't forget your bra at home, especially when you are carrying a rack of cantaloupes (sorry, E, I couldn't help it!) . Oh and, Enjoy the snow! (or use it as an excuse to by the $18 hand relief lotion you've been unable to justify until today as soon as you crossed the bridge.) Happy Winter...
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to thaw out my toes and to locate pest control services.
("courtesy of" a fellow storm survivor from somewhere wintry)