Solstice Celebration 2007


We had three significant winter weather events in December.  Wichita was spared the worst of the first two storms which were freezing rain events.  There was significant damage done to the south of us on the first day.  Then the next event clobbered the north and east of us.  I went out and got gas for the generator because we expected to be without power for an extended period of time.  We didn’t lose power but we did get some icing.  I took a couple of pictures for your enjoyment.


Ice Storm


During the Quest for the best burger in Wichita in 2005, Mark and his coworkers went to the Longhorn Steakhouse.  The premier appetizer at this exclusive eating establishment was “Rings, Wings and Dangling Things.”  We were so enamored of the place; we went back for our Holiday lunch this year,making a tradition of it.  We ended up with a decent crew to go on this adventure.


High Quality Dive


The Crew


Rings, Wings and Dangling Things


We ordered two sets of the premier appetizer.  You will also notice we got some nectar of the Gods to wash the dangling things down with.  It was a true solstice celebration.  As the documentarian, I was obliged to provide evidence that the event was enjoyed by all.


The Evidence


We were not the only ones with snow.  Meg got a snow day but Andrew didn’t.  Meg sent some pictures of her snow day.  She was in Dearborn visiting her friend, Natalie, for the weekend and school ended up being cancelled Monday.  They played in the snow and then made a chocolate house.


Snow Day




Hot Coco


Chocolate House


For the Quest on the last working Friday of the year, we went to a Vietnamese Restaurant. 


The Crew


The Food


Meg and Andrew came home Friday night.  It was lucky they left when they did.  We ended up getting another significant winter weather event on Saturday.  I took Andrew out to get a haircut on Saturday morning.  When we were driving we saw lightning.  The weatherman says that there was enough convection to produce thunder and lightning in a snowstorm.  Wink says this usually indicates a significant weather event.  Andrew’s reaction was “What kind of Hell Hole is this place?”  I must admit I have never experienced thunder snow prior to coming to Kansas. 


Thundersnow also known as a Winter Thunderstorm or a Thunder Snowstorm is a particularly rare meteorological phenomenon that includes the typical behavior of a thunderstorm, but with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It commonly falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of extratropical cyclones between autumn and spring when surface temperatures are most likely to be near or below freezing. Variations exist, such as thundersleet, where the precipitation consists of sleet rather than snow.


The definition of blizzard is snow, sustained thirty-five mile per hour winds and visibility lower that one quarter mile for three hours.  We met those criteria for several hours.  It took us a long time to get home from the haircut.  Once we got home, we were resolved to just sit out the storm.  Frodo was only too happy to oblige.






When all was said and done, they measured 6.8 inches of snow at the airport with more snow to the east where we live.  I think we got more.  I got the snow blower out and it would not crank.  I pulled the cord hard enough to snap the cord.  So the kids ended up having to help me shovel the driveway.  It was a chore.  Meg shoveled a walkway for Frodo.  He really didn’t like going outside during the blizzard. Wichita is used to getting a couple of inches which melt the next day. They don’t have many plows and the subdivisions don’t provide snowplowing. The roads were terrible for days after the blizzard. 






Frodo’s Walkway


We hosted the section Christmas party Sunday night.  The blizzard put somewhat of a damper on the festivities.  Wichita was still reeling from the snowstorm.  At least two couples canceled that night.  The last party we hosted had a unique sign.  So for this party I commissioned a piece of yard art.  It arrived just in time for the party.  Here we are preparing the yard art.


Yard Art


Yard Art Installed


Here is the flyer for the party.  We promised Champagne and chocolate.  We ended the party with a Yankee gift swap.



So we promised a Chocolate Fountain and Champagne Cocktails.  The Champagne lady was one of the ones who cancelled.  To her credit she did drop off the mixings prior to the party.  We did get the chocolate fountain up and running just in time. It was popular with the kids.


Chocolate Fountain


Yum Chocolate


Finger Food


Yankee Swap


Yankee Swap


The party was a success.  It was a big push to pull it off in the middle of the winter weather event.  It would not have been possible to get it all together without the help of Wink, Andrew and Meg.  Thanks for the job well done.


C’est Fini


We survived with just enough time to spare to pull the house together for Christmas.


It was and continues to be a busy December.  I am looking forward to relaxing in January when all I have to do is go to work.



Mark and Wink