March is continuing to be the angry drunk of NJ months, which is no surprise to me. I’ve lived here for 20 years, and March is always just completely awful.
What does surprise me is that absolutely none of the NJ natives ever realize this. They seem surprised every year, as evidenced by their Facebook posts: “OMG, WTF, SNOW? HELLO! IT’S SPRING!”
Facebook’s “Timehop” tells me that I have posts from 10 years ago about how weird it is that people from NJ are surprised that it snows in March, and that’s just from when I was on FB. Clearly, this is a perennial problem for the citizens of NJ. I’ve personally experienced snow in April here, and have needed to wear long sleeves in May. However, I will say that four nor’easters in less than one month is excessive, even for March.
I’m originally from Louisiana, where the weather is warmer, but no less tempestuous. I vividly remember the first “spring” I spent in NJ, because I was invited to my husband’s family’s very Orthodox Easter celebration. Now, I’m not Orthodox, or even Christian, but I am Southern and I absolutely know how to dress to the nines for Easter.
So, here I am looking cute in my best Easter dress, hat, and shoes ensemble, and it is like 20 degrees and snowing. My husband’s family is all dressed in pants and wool coats and wondering why in the hell I look like an extra from Steel Magnolias. That was my introduction to “spring” in NJ.
Being from Louisiana, “The Land of Tornadoes, Floods, Hurricanes, and Hail” (Why isn’t that on the license plate?), I know very well that weather is not to be trifled with. I learned my lesson that first year here and I do not “think spring” until May, at the earliest, because 20 years in NJ has learned me that spring does not arrive here in a timely fashion.
So, we’re on Nor’easter # 4 for this month. That’s a little odd, but I’m prepared. I’ve lived through lots of storms, and I know the drill. We’re on a well, which means if we lose power, we lose water. I fill every available receptacle with water before every storm (actually, I even do it when it’s just windy, because we lose power all the damn time).
I also start up the oven and bake a bunch of stuff. The oven is gas, but it has an electric start. Once it’s on, it will stay on if the power goes out, but it won’t start without electricity.
For this last nor’easter, I made a nice pot roast. I had that sucker in the oven for hours and hours, until it was just melt in your mouth tender, and at just around dusk I took it out to rest on the counter. Shortly afterward, the power went out and all hell broke loose.
Trees were falling all over, which was why the power was out, and it was dark. I was running around with a ludicrously tiny flashlight, because I couldn’t find the good flashlights, to asses the damage. Meanwhile, I’d left two cats and a dog alone with the roast.
Let me just tell you, cats are assholes when it comes to power outages. They know they are not allowed on the counter, but they also know I can’t really see their rotten little asses on the counter in the dark. I don’t know exactly how the roast ended up on the floor, since I couldn’t actually see the cats on the counter that well with the flashlight beam. (They’re very quick, it’s like a horror movie,), but I heard the splat, then scrambling, and shined my pathetic beam of light in that direction.
What I did see was my roast, clutched in the jaws of the beagle. And I was like, “HELL NO! That is MY ROAST!”.
I do not play when it comes to food.
Armed with only my tiny $1.99 Tractor Supply flashlight, I chased that beagle through the darkened hallways of the house and pried my roast from his jaws. Yes, I ate that roast, beagle spit and all. The damn beagle is lucky I had already turned the oven off, otherwise he might have been the next roast.
In short, if we ever end up in one of those Young Adult Novel Dystopian Situations, I will survive. If you can get yourself to NJ, you’re welcome to join me on my farm. Just don’t ask too many questions about the roast.