Tzur Hadassah under snow part 2: OMG ISRAEL SNOWPOCALYPSE 2013 edition

TWO memorable snowstorms in one year? Welcome to the Jerusalem Hills!

It started on Thursday morning at around 7am… All eyes on Neve Daniel… When news arrives from Gush Etzion that snow has arrived, we know it’s only a matter of time.

So no gan Thursday and it was quickly canceled in advance for Friday. Real snow days, just like in my North American childhood. Even if it’s about 1-2 feet less.

Snow… freezing… blackout… no heating… more snow… N-n-new York, is that you?

Went for walk Thursday night… Relived the upstate New York university snow days.

Friday at around 1:30am the blackout hit… Bebe came into my room at 3am to tell me her room was scary. I told her to go back to bed and then after a few tries walked her back to bed to discover the lights were out. Then I felt really bad. “I’m so sorry! Your room is really scary!”

The blackout lasted 12 hours, so no heating until around 2pm on Friday. No matter, we were outside anyway…

Then the kids fell off the boogie board sled and we laughed and laughed.

The only issue was the fridge. So we relocated the milk.

And then relocated some more. Tasty, tasty windowsill kitchen.

And then relocated the freezer, too. Can you spot the meat NOT defrosting?

By last night, it was snowing hard again. They had predicted an even worse storm over Shabbat – and we woke up to double snow or more. Throughout the day it continued, on and off. We ventured out to a beautiful snow country view… white skies, white ground, the occasional white 4×4 showing off…

I’m going to relive today’s memory of trudging through crunchy snow with my kid, giant snowflakes falling in our faces, knowing that I need not be concerned my 50% North American kids wouldn’t know winter…

After Shabbat, here’s what was left – plus plenty of potential black ice:

It’s Saturday night, end of snow day #3. No gan tomorrow, either. We’re going to eat cupcakes, sit on the snowy porch, and enjoy the snow-filled Tzur Hadassah view.

Apparently this is the worst storm on record in Israel, and possibly the worst in modern Israeli history. We were lucky with a relatively warm home, plenty of food, and a fun spirit about it all. We’ve had four fatalities over the last couple days. 13,000 homes in Jerusalem went without power over Shabbat, and other towns in our area went without electricity since Thursday night. Roads into our area and Jerusalem were blocked; cars were stranded at Jerusalem’s entrance. Hard rain, freezing cold and hail took over the center and there was more snow up north. Gaza experienced major flooding. Syrian refugees were hit with more struggle. Egypt saw its first snow in 112 years. King Abdullah of Jordan played in the snow.

One last thing – trying not to lose my faith in basic high school science education here. The huz was out starting the cars to save the battery and spotted a neighbor hosing down the road. With water. He told the neighbor to stop – he’s just making ice. He replied, “There’s already ice, I’m loosening it.” A million facepalms descended from the heavens. I’m going to start teaching chemistry to Israeli 5-year-olds.

I’m pretty sure if John Kerry wants to be useful in the Middle East, the former Massachusetts senator would teach us all how to handle true wintery weather.

It ain’t over till the black ice melts.

XTREME WEATHER Middle East edition! Read more about it.


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