Ah snow. I really do love and hate you. I’ve never made it overly clear, but for those of you who do not know, I live in the DC metro area. Currently, we are in the calm between two major winter storms. At my house, we got around a solid two-and-a-half feet of snow from the first storm, and the weather service is predicting another six to twelve inches on the way. Not the end of the world, to be sure, but nevertheless, it is unwelcome.

Storms like these are made for stories. During what has commonly been dubbed, Snowpocalypse, I was content to stay at home, shovel the walk, and generally not freeze to death. But it was not to be. I got a call from my friend, Pat, saying “Dude, I’m driving to Richmond to drop my roommate off at the airport. You wanna come?…Just say yes!” Every part of me wanted to say just the opposite, but I agreed, and thus it was that I began making sandwiches.

My sandwiches are the kind that your dad used to make, and which most elementary school kids would try to trade away with an unsuspecting soul for the more socially acceptable PB&J. It is all salami, cheese, spicy German mustard, baby spinach, onions, tomatoes, and all on multi-grain bread. I also brought bananas and water. I wasn’t trying to feed the world, or even my friends. I just had the feeling that they would be under-prepared for the trip, and that if I was going to be stuck out on the middle of the Interstate I could at least do it with some food. I know the old saying, and it is true: a full belly makes for merry company.

I had to walk to a main road to meet my two travel companions as there was too much snow on the side streets for them to reach me. I wore layers, and they did not. This did not seem appropriate given that we were about to do something that was pretty high on the stupidity-meter (In fact, I’m pretty such it rates just below play with a loaded gun while jamming a fork into a toaster), but I let the matter pass. A bit more concerning was the fact that we were going be driving in a fifteen year old, front-wheel drive Toyota Camry with anemic windshield wipers. And then lo, something rather odd happened. We didn’t have one problem. We didn’t get stuck. In fact other then losing vision when big rigs went by and worrying that the car would vibrate itself into pieces on the uneven ice, we had a blast. There was much joking about the sandwich and the fact that I would not let my friends eat theirs’ right away (“You’ll thank me when we have to wait for someone to dig us out!”) And so we did what most men do on a road-trip: we lamented our lack of quality booze; we talked about girls; and we marveled at how drastically the quality of the plowing would shift from county to county.

The trip was not without a lack of evidence of how ill advised driving in such conditions are. We passed one car that was on its roof, and at least three other accidents. But we arrived safely, and while I did bring awesome sandwiches, I also found had the pleasure of eating at The Capital Alehouse in Richmond that sells a bacon-cheese burger sandwiched between two grill cheese sandwiches—Yes it is as good as it sounds, and yes, I did go running though the snow when I got back so as not to die from a heart attack. Pat and I returned with no troubles, and it’s a story about find a ridiculous burger in the snow. But it’s the start that of the story I find interesting. Food and water just seemed prudent at the start of the trip.

With Snowpocalypse 2.0 on the way to the DC I know people will stock up on food. Yet I’m forced to wonder about how many people will still be caught unawares? Not because they are stupid, but because they just don’t think. My friend called, and I knew he was not ready for the drive we took. So with two feet on the ground and another half foot to a foot expected, its time to see just how ready we all are and maybe how awake our brains are feeling.  Of course it may also just be the chance to do something completely spontaneous.