Why I’m so lucky to be alive

2#blizzard2013

I’ve covered so many snowstorms that I’ve gotten numb at the thought of getting any of the white stuff. That said, I do love tracking snowstorms – heck, any storm for that matter. But covering storms for the news is completely different from actually traveling in it. One recent snowstorm dumped five to eight inches across New York City. It wasn’t nearly as bad as previous blizzards I’ve experienced. But, it still could’ve cost me my life.

It was a typical snow day for me. I was scheduled to report to work in the afternoon. Fortunately, my husband was able to work from home. That meant more time to prepare before hitting the road. Despite a slick and slushy commute, I made it to work safely. However, returning home was a whole other story.

After my shift, I stayed late to get some schoolwork done because lawd knows Baby O would be ready to nurse the minute I got home. Besides, I didn’t mind waiting for the plow trucks to clear the roads.

Before leaving, I did my usual check in with my mom. Likely every other ride home, I got on the ramp to the parkway. I saw one of those big monster plow trucks out of the corner of my eye, and that’s when it HIT ME!

“I GOT HIT. I GOT HIT!” I shouted.
“YOU GOT HIT?” My mom asked.

We were still on the phone and she sounded nervous. It all happened so fast.

Waves of dirty snow flowing from the plow truck came flying at my SUV in slow motion. In an instant I felt like I was buried alive. My windshield was completely covered with snow. I couldn’t see Sh**. Most people would panic, but for some reason a feeling of calm washed over me.

My mom kept asking me what was happening. I assured her that everything was ok, although it really wasn’t.

The snow was so wet and heavy that the windshield wipers couldn’t clear it away. I drove for about a quarter of a mile to the next exit. There was no way I would have risked pulling over onto the shoulder. I’ve heard stories about people getting hit by motorists as they cleaned the snow off of their cars, and that wasn’t going to be me.

I was able to park on the service road immediately after exiting the parkway. I used my passenger side window as a guide.

I carefully got out and cleaned my car off. During this time I filled my mom in on what happened. She was amazed that I was able to drive without crashing.

Sometimes I ask myself, “Why didn’t I flip out?”
But after much thought I’ve come to the realization that I just didn’t have time. The fact that I took my usual route home helped me. I knew exactly where I was, and how far I needed to drive to get to the next exit. I also had a snow remover in my car.

It was a crazy night. You know, I stopped believing in luck after watching an Oprah episode years ago. She said there’s no such thing as luck. “It’s all about opportunity meeting experience.” After a night like what I had, I may have to start believing in luck again.

Either way, it just wasn’t my time. I’m just happy to be alive.

Have you ever experienced anything like this? If not, what would you do?

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It’s Hard Spending the Night Away From My Babies

As the second snowstorm of the season approached, I knew that there was a good chance that I’d have to be away from my family.

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My daughter has grown accustomed to having Mommy working long hours whenever the weather gets bad. However, this would be a first time experience for her baby brother – not to mention their Dad. It’s one thing to be stuck in the house with a small child. Adding an infant to mix brings it to a whole new level.

Lucky for me, my job is to track the storm. As soon as I knew snow was on the way, I went into preparation mode.

Before heading out the door, my hubby and I coordinated our schedules. With Grandma stuck at work and daycare closing early, we had to pull it together in a short period of time.

It was a long night, and I made it home once our streets were plowed. Princess was fast asleep. But, Baby O stayed up all night waiting for me to come home. Apparently, he refused to sleep the entire day.

Head over to my  Baby Center blog to find out how I survived the snowstorm without my kids.

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Oh No, Not Another Snow Storm!

I must admit, I love covering extreme weather. Snow, hurricanes, you name it and I’m there. But the hardest part of my job is leaving my two, make that three babies behind. Having daddy home does make it easier.

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We always advise viewers to stay in doors, while we go outside and brave the conditions. It’s a tough job, but I love it! We expect up to a foot across much of the region. Boy, I’ve got a pretty long day ahead of me.

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4th of July Weekend Pics

We were on the hunt for fireworks close to home for the 4th of July holiday weekend, but were out of luck. It seems like there’ve been a lot of budget cuts in some areas. We’ll have to wait until next weekend to check out a display. In the meantime, we made the best of the weekend by staying outdoors. It was the perfect way to beat the heat.

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Blizzard 2013: How to make a cool snowman

After doubling my travel time home during the blizzard, I was so glad to make it back to our pad. The first thing we did when we woke up was go outside for cleanup. I can’t front I wasn’t really the one doing all the shoveling. I’m not just saying that because I’m preggers. I don’t think I ever lifted a shovel. The closest I came to doing the deed was a couple of years ago. My car got stuck in a snow drift and I manually removed the white stuff from my tires, so that I can get through.

My hubby was out there like a trooper, while Princess and I suited up for a snowball fight. However once we got outside, all she wanted to do was “shuggle” like daddy and clean off Mommy’s car.

Blizzard 2013 Snow funWe did manage to get in some fun time. But the island girl in me had to go back inside to defrost a few times. I was freezing my butt off. Clearly this little girl had a blast. She didn’t want to come inside.

Blizzard 2013 stranded a lot of people across the northeast. But, the one great thing it brought was joy for my baby girl. She was itching to build her first snowman. Here’s how she did. Enjoy!

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#Blizzard 2013: My husband the stallion

When I asked my husband what I should write about earlier this week he jokingly said,

“Just write about what a stallion I am in the bedroom.”

I didn’t want to stroke his ego and bore you graphic details of our bedroom exploits. The last thing I want to do is turn this blog into a porn site. But after this blizzard of 2013, my husband lived up to his title.

I started tracking the storm about a week ago. At first it looked like it would be a bad rain storm with the potential for a wintry mix. But as it drew closer, the weather models began to shift. We knew this had the potential to be a really bad nor’easter. But as the forecasted winds speeds began to pick up, it became clear that this storm would turn out to be a blizzard.

I had been out sick (like a dog) for the first couple of days in the week. Despite feeling under the weather, I decided report to work for storm coverage. There was no way I’d miss this monster storm.

By Wednesday, we forecasted 8-16 and 4-8 inches of snow for our forecasted areas. I knew this would be a tough one considering we’d get some rain and sleet mixed in. By the storm’s arrival on Friday, we got a couple of inches of the white stuff in the morning. Even though there was a transition to rain and sleet by the afternoon, there was a hefty helping of snow, as the storm ramped up overnight.

Most of my co-workers made hotel arrangements. My plan was to ride it out at my station, as I did for Sandy a few months back. You may be thinking how crazy of me to give up luxurious hotel digs and room service for a night at the news station. But the truth is being at a hotel doesn’t always equal convenience for me. I would have to cross a bridge and travel through unfamiliar territory. I’ve spent years covering storms both as a traffic reporter and as a weather forecaster. I know the roads that lead to my town like the back of my hand. I know the county’s routine in terms of snow removal. Also, I’ve had horrible experiences staying at hotels outside of my comfort zone. One of which led to me being in an accident, when I was four months pregnancy with Princess. There was no way I was going to take a chance like that again.

Before I left for work, I decided to swap my sedan for my hubby’s SUV (which turned out to be my saving grace). There was no way I was going to battle this beast in a small car.

Boss lady let us out at the cusp of the explosion. I called our traffic center to find out the low down on road conditions, and bounced as soon as I could. Since this storm fell on a Friday, I knew that crews wouldn’t clear my street as early as normal on Saturday morning. So, leaving at the time I did was the best option.

Roads went from black top to all white as I traveled closer to home. I saw cars in ditches, and people stranded. Visibility was down to nothing! My hubby and I stayed in contact the entire ride home (hands free, of course). Although he wasn’t in the car with me, it sure felt like he was right there. At one point I remember saying,

“I can’t see sh**. It’s totally whiteout and the wipers are covered with ice!”

There was no way I was going to stop and get out of the car to manually remove the ice. That was out of the question.

“Blast the defroster. Turn it up as high as you can,” he said.

It worked.

During this ordeal, the snow was coming down like crazy, and the winds were blowing it side ways. My hubby had been shoveling in shifts in order to make sure the driveway was cleared by the time I pulled up.

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As you can tell by the pics, tertiary roads were nearly impassable. If it weren’t for him and his trusty SUV, I don’t know how on earth I would have gotten home. I consider myself a very experienced driver. I’ve made it through many blizzards and rain storms, this one was a doozy. But, I’m glad I made it home ok. I couldn’t miss spending another night- this soon- away from from my two favorite people.

My hubby has proven time and time again that he is a stallion in more ways that one.

Would you have stayed at a hotel, stay put, or take the risk and drive home?

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