(written February 21, 2008) Winter reached a crescendo yesterday when Zugdidi got about 15 inches of snow. Although it snows here each winter, the memories of most locals were taxed in trying to remember the last time a single storm deposited more snow than this one. There are no snowplows here and by the looks of things, there are few shovels either. Snow is simply packed down by the few cars venturing out and by pedestrians tromping hither and yon. Very few of the cars here have snow tires. In fact, most of them have tires that display no treads whatsoever! Not many of the cars here would be able to pass the annual inspection required by the motor vehicle department back home. Cars are stuck everywhere and will likely remain just where they are until the snow and ice melts sufficiently for them to get out. The power has been out at our house for the past 24 hours, and of course, that means we have no water either. I have a meeting in Tbilisi tomorrow, and I am on the train at the moment because the marshutkas and buses are not running because of the snow. Unfortunately, the train takes forever (8 1/2 hours on a good day, and today isn't good). Actually, I just received a text message that said my meeting has been canceled because of the weather. Unfortunately, I'm already on my way! At least there’s power in Tbilisi. It was only a few years ago when power outages for months at a time were commonplace throughout Georgia. Everyone here remembers those times, and they are completely non-plussed about the power being off now. Not so me! I can’t imagine what it must be like to live without electricity for any length of time. I’m stressed out now and it’s only been off a day!