Sunday, January 8, 2017

After the Snow: Life's Short, Bright Flash Driven Home on a Bitterly Cold, Moonlit Winter's Night

A large house with big, woodsy yard on a late winter afternoon, Gambrills, Md., 4:15PM January 8, 2017.

I think this and the picture below were taken along Annapolis Rd.

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I'm back home ensconced tonight in my crappy little apartment in Washington, D.C. -- or, Warh-sheen-tun, as my stepsister Debbie says in her Baltimore accent that years of living in Laredo, Texas (!) has done nothing (thankfully) to alter. This follows my three-day visit to my mom following my stepdad Ray's sudden passing on Thursday.

The funeral for my stepdad is set for Friday, Jan. 13th -- yes, Friday the 13th -- and I'm going to head back up on Thursday. As a federal contractor, I get three bereavement days, one of which I already took (on Friday), for a set list of close relatives including stepfather.

Winter evening (or rather, winter late afternoon), Gambrills, Md., 4:15PM January 8, 2017.

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I was able to see Ray briefly yesterday laid out at the Singleton Funeral Home in Glen Burnie. Debbie and my mom and gone in the morning but we returned to drop off a black tie for his military uniform that I purchased at Marley Station Mall Macys, and I was able to see him for a few minutes alone.

MARC Penn train line somewhere in or near Bowie, Md., 4:41PM January 8, 2016.

The train was rushing back into D.C., likely its last run for the evening. That's the waxing crescent Moon visible in the evening sky beyond the jumble of electrified wires along the train line and a crisscrossing high tension transmission line. The Moon is very bright tonight.

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I'm going to end the entry in a bit.

To be clear, I would love to write more tonight -- and post the pictures I took yesterday -- but I really have to finish this peer review report that I needed to have done last week but, obviously, could not. I'm going to be up late tonight and may not even go into the office tomorrow. As it is, I'm still sick with the flu or at least a head and chest cold.

The central part of Glen Burnie, Md., in a brief, heavy snowfall, 12:39PM January 7, 2017.

EVEN Glen Burnie looks pretty in a snowfall ...

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Despite this cold, I'd like to at least try to go to the gym tomorrow (afternoon or night, depending on how tonight unfolds) and again on Wednesday night. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do anything including my usual hour-long jog, but I'd still like to try.

Elvaton Road, Glen Burnie, Md., at evening, 4:37PM January 7, 2017.

We were driving back from the Target where we made some purchases -- including some heavier shoes for Debbie, who came up from Laredo with only sneakers -- and printed out and purchased some pictures of Ray from a flash drive.

As an aside, I left that damn flash drive there on Wednesday. I realized I didn't have it and my mom brought me back to the house to look for it, but I couldn't find it. Having already said goodbye to him a few minutes earlier, and rushing back into the trailer in a hurry, what would be the truly last and final words that I ever said to Ray as I left were: "I can't find that damn flash drive. I'll see ya in a few days."

As it is, that flash drive turns out to have come in handy for the pictures.

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It is a bitterly cold night although the wind has died down. Air temps are around 20F and falling into the teens, perhaps single digits in the outlying suburbs, and there is a residual dusting of powdery snow on the ground from yesterday's short duration but heavy snowfall.

There was 1/2" to 2" of snow area-wide yesterday including 0.4" at KDCA in first measurable snowfall of this season, 0.5" at KBWI, and 0.6" at KIAD. There was one burst of heavy snowfall across the Baltimore / Washington corridor that briefly made it look like a snowstorm. However, the really heavy snowfall amounts of up to 12 inches in places that don't normally get that including the Virginia Tidewater and lower Delmarva.

Here is a map that NWS AKQ office created and released:

Snow totals for the NWS Wakefield (AKQ) county warning area (CWA) for the January 7, 2017 snowfall event.

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Honestly, I'm glad we didn't get a big snowstorm, and now it's too damn cold (though soon to warm up). However, odds are this was our last opportunity for the next few weeks -- and we'll quickly run out the clock on wintertime.

OK, I'm signing off for now. I'll try to post a more complete entry in the next day or two.

--Regulus

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