you are sitting in your house when your phone buzzes with a message from your service provider. welcome to canada, it reads. international roaming charges may apply. you haven’t left your home in hours, but it doesn’t matter. canada has found you.
you watch from your window as inches of snowfall grow into feet, completely burying your car along with everything you know. soon the window itself is covered, and you anxiously count and recount the items in your pantry. later you will hear that a friend a mile away from you got only a light dusting.
the month is may, but it is still snowing. was summer but a dream? has there ever been a time when your bones did not feel this chill? a man walks out of tim horton’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt and you shudder to yourself. is it me, you ask silently. am i the only one who can feel the cold?
you search in vain for a local restaurant that does not have wings on the menu. you never call them buffalo wings. you’ve seen what happens to those who do. you order wings with your spaghetti and wings with your steak. you do not have a choice in the matter.
a goose the size of a small bus growls at you as you walk towards your bike. you pivot immediately, trying not to show fear. the bike belongs to the goose now. its fangs chomp the air hungrily and you throw it your wallet, just to be safe.
the day after easter, you wake up polish. you are clutching a pussy willow with the taste of kielbasa lingering on your lips. everyone you meet is dressed in the colors of blood and bone and they cheer as you walk past. tomorrow they will admit to none of it.
one day the sky above is a strange color like a lighter version of a bills jersey. you hear someone call it “blue” and you shrug. the word means nothing to you. you have never seen the sky that color before.
“Pierce’s Palace Hotel, 1880 Prospect Avenue, (Buffalo NY), opened 1878. Considered the jewel of Victorian-era architecture in Buffalo, this “fabulous confection of a sanitarium” was built by Dr. R.V. Pierce to host
tourists and invalids who traveled here to receive Pierce’s cure for
their ailments. Pierce was a world-renowned peddler of patent medicine
who became a millionaire selling bottles of Doctor Pierce’s Favorite
Prescription, Dr. Pierce’s Smart Weed and Dr. Pierce’s Pleasant
Pellets, most of which contained opium. His Palace Hotel burned to the
ground in 1881, three years after opening, and D’Youville College now
occupies the site. Pierce later built an Invalids’ Hotel and Surgical
Institute at 665 Main St., which drew patients from around the world,
before leaving town and losing his fortune in an unwise attempt to
tunnel for gold and coal in California." (photo and text from the Buffalo News)
Welcome to Buffalo New York, where lake effect snow is the norm, but storms of this magnitude are rare. Half of the city is under feet of snow, the other can still see grass and the sun. Many are stranded and the relief has begun. Not as bad as the Blizzard of 1977, but Buffalo is definitely experiencing a Snowvember.
Praying for all affected by the storm, as well as the emergency personal and plow drivers. Stay safe out there everyone.