Friday, December 9, 2011

That Mother Nature, she sure is fickle!

Those of us in Western New York woke up to the first Lake Effect Snow Warning of the season this morning.  And while many of us apparently had to remember exactly how to drive in this stuff, our first real snowfall served to remind us all just how unpredictable lake effect storms can be.

Photo courtesy

As I write this at 2:30 Friday afternoon, it would be easy to look out the windows of the Clement Mansion on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, see the grass and distinct lack of white stuff on the ground, and mock the weather folks who predicted five-to-nine inches of snowfall.  At my house in the Town of Tonawanda this morning, however, we had to break out my son's boots for the walk to school for the first time this year, and I had to brush well over an inch of snow off my car before driving in to work. 

I live only a few short miles away, yet while there isn't a flake to been seen here at the office, I'm wondering if I'll have to break out the shovel when I get back home.  Of course, as any Western New Yorker could tell you, this sort of localized storm is quite common this time of year.  Think back just over a year ago--snow was bad enough to close the Thruway for over 24 hours near Cheektowaga, but areas just north of the city were barely effected.

Meteorologists will tell you it's darn near impossible to predict exactly where a lake effect storm will leave it's biggest mark.  That's why it's important to prepare ahead of time, because you never know when Mother Nature might decide to target your neighborhood.  As the winter season kicks off, make sure you follow these safety tips.  And remember, in Western New York, if you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will probably change!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Opening our doors this holiday season

When you have something nice, it's best to share it with others.  Here at the American Red Cross, we are blessed to have the Clement Mansion as our administrative headquarters, and this gorgeous building becomes even more beautiful when it's decorated for the holiday season.  It just wouldn't be right to keep that beauty to ourselves, so invited some of our friends, volunteers and supporters over for a Holiday Open House last evening.

Over a hundred people stopped by for some cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from our friends at Brodo, as well as the opportunity to see this amazing building in all its holiday glory.  We love having our friends over to visit, and it gives us a chance to talk about the vital work their support helps us to provide in the community.

We're not the only ones who like to share over the holiday season.  During the Open House, many guests took the time to look at some of the gifts available for purchase through our Holiday Giving Catalog, including comfort kits, blankets, an overnight shelter stay, phone cards for service members deployed overseas and much more.  Instead of giving your loved ones more "stuff" this year, please consider giving something that means something by purchasing a symbolic gift in their honor.  You'll be surprised how good helping others will make you both feel.  And stop by and see the Clement Mansion decked out for the holidays...we'll leave the tree lights on for you! (White ones only, Mrs. Clement!)