Monthly Archives: January 2016

Winter Storm Jason

Winter storm Jason will be traveling up the Northeast Coast of the U.S., wrecking havoc in his path this weekend. It’s the first snowstorm of the year and is promising to be a giant one!

“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”  Kin Hubbard

This storm is big enough to warrant a name, and so I decided to spend some of my time inside, looking into why we name storms.  I guess I’ve pondered this before, but never had the time or inclination to actually research it…another great opportunity when you’re spending some time alone, you can delve into a subject you’ve been curious about.

Storm watch

Next stop East River!

Generally speaking, this is what most people think, when gearing up against a storm the size of Jason.  Panic prevails and the stores become overwhelmed by dazed customers rushing in to buy things they never thought they needed…cannned goods along with the staples including more milk and water, bread and eggs than they could possibly consume in the 24-48 hour duration of these “weather events”.

Bread, eggs and milk!

Run on Groceries as Jason’s arrival is anticipated

Not to make light of legitimate concerns over safety in any storm!  Having lived on the U.S. Northeast coastline for most of my life, you learn to respect mother nature, take nothing for granted and always hedging against the worst…especially in a storm that merits a name!

Stock up for Jason

Stockpiling for the Storm

So back to my findings on this particular “naming” topic.  The naming of hurricane storms started in 1950.  Before then, these were tracked by years and the order in which they occurred.  But apparently, that frequently caused confusion when 2 or more storms were brewing near each others longitudinal and latitudinal positions ‘s at the same time.  It was thought that there would be more clarity in communications, therefore, if these huge storms were instead given names.

It wasn’t until 3 years later, in 1953 that women’s names were used, in addition to men’s.  Atlantic based hurricanes rotate names every 7th year, unless a particular storm was so devastating that the name is subsequently retired.  There are 78 names that have been retired since 1954.  2005 holds the record for retired names within one year, having 5 taken off the roster, including  Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma.

Winter storm at home

Jason arriving NYC chez moi Upper East Side

But winter storms only began bearing names in 2012, when The Weather Channel thought that, like hurricanes, giving these huge storms names would help communicate better to the public when an outsized storm or blizzard was coming. It began with a November Nor’easter that The Weather Channel named “Winter Storm Athena”.

And so, as the weekend kicks off, we run to the market, shore up our pantries and hunker down for the arrival of Jason.  He promises to make quite a mark on the Northeast corridor!

Be safe everyone!  And if you’re on your own, be sure to enjoy “A Table For One” this weekend.

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

New Year Lights

This year, I stayed in New York for New Year’s Eve.  I’ve visited lots of different places on New Years, hosted wonderful dinner parties on Nantucket and rung in most “new” with great friends.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, It will be happier.”                     Alfred Lord Tennyson

I love the start of a new year.  And celebrating at home means cooking the best recipes of the year, serving the best champagne I can find and watching the famous ball drop in Times Square.    I never tire of the midnight toasts and warm embraces of loved ones and friends.

But, like most holidays, I love to extend the celebration and make it last as long as possible.  In New York City, that’s easy.  In the days following New Year’s, a walk through the city at night presents a perfect opportunity to continue the holiday, by observing the beautiful street lights.

New York Street Lights

Holiday Street Lights in New York

Taking an evening stroll through the city, brightens the early-dark-nights of the New Year.   I always make a point of exploring the side streets and avenues without a specific plan.  I love all kinds of walks, but the purpose of this one is simply to wander and observe.

Park Avenue Lights

Park Avenue’s Holiday Light Displays

It can be very rejuvenating to begin the new year by observing all of the beauty around you, no matter where you are.  Extend the bright hopes of a new year beyond the traditional New Year’s eve midnight celebrations!

New York City Lights

Colorful City Lights NYC

Open your heart and mind to the hope that the year ahead will be filled with joy and the anticipation of all things possible.  And be sure to use any time on your own to explore, wander and enjoy every moment with all of your senses recharged!  That’s what starts a New Year right at “A Table For One.”

Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady

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