It all began when my mom called me up on December 31st. She said, “a big storm is gonna hit Boston! move your flight now!” and so I called up the airline and changed my flight to a day earlier. then i was wracked by doubt. Was this the right decision? Maybe the snow wasn’t going to be so bad! It was a lot of extra cost! this might have been a mistake!
When I got to Boston the snow was already coming down in waves, hitting the planes so hard that we had to wait for 20 minutes for other planes to be de-iced before we could get off the plane.
I got to the water ferry and snow was drifting everywhere. i began to regret that I had no boots!
Then the ferry came and the waves rose fiercely out of Boston Harbor. They slapped against the boat and it was hard to even stand. I stood on the top deck, (but I actually cowered in the stairway) as the searing wind hit my face with icy grains, and more snow whirled down endlessly from overhead. The stairway was full of treacherous ice, and it covered the handrail as I lurched down from my perch and slid gratefully back into a seat inside.
The boatman got chatty as I asked him for some more tea, and he told me there was a pretty bad storm in October as well, when they did a commuter run up to Salem, and that there were 7-10 foot waves, and most of the passengers were so green when they got off, that they all decided to take the commuter rail back, instead of the boat!
That night, they closed the airport and delayed over 1500 flights. I would probably have been stuck in Newark if I’d kept my original flight.
The next morning I woke up to this. Snow still coming down, and drifts of over 3 feet in places.
My aunt and uncle told me about the great blizzard of 1985 up in Buffalo, where they actually had to get out of their apartment via the roof, jump a foot down into the snow, from the roof, and then dig their neighbors out.
Because of the lake effect, the snow had fallen 8 feet, and because of the wind and drifting it was much higher in some places.
My uncle told me that people pulled to the side of the road to wait for the snow to stop, and then they got trapped in their cars, and they froze to death. They found people after they could plow the roads, dead and frozen in their cars.
I hope wherever you are, you’re staying warm during this incredible freeze!
Tonight it felt like -12 F out as I ran down the frozen black lake. The wind blew straight through 2 pairs of pants and froze my legs. There was no sound but the soughing of the tree branches with their dead leaves. The only light was a sliver of a moon and some high, dead stars glittering. It was so cold that I rushed back inside to throw another few logs in the stove and huddle near it until warmth came back to my fingers.
You could probably take this as an extended metaphor about trusting your gut and going with what works for you in fundraising, but honestly, all I can say is, trust the weatherman. He’s studied meteorology for years, he’s done LOTS of looking at the weather, and he can tell you from his extensive experience what to do.
And I would say trust people who have studied fundraising for years, who have done LOTS of looking at what works and what doesn’t work, and who can tell you from their extensive experience what to do. Don’t go with your gut. Your gut is probably wrong.
Speaking of trusting people who have fundraised for years, you might want to get on this course that 30-year fundraising veteran Claire Axelrad is doing on major gift fundraising. She really knows what works. I am expecting to learn a lot from her!