For some, a blizzard is enough to give shape to a day off from work or school. But for Lisa Cimino and John Wilkinson, the recent winter disturbance did not sack the meaning of Monday.
Cimino, a waitress at Poppy's Restaurant -- and the granddaughter of the original Poppy -- said she opened the local eatery, as usual 6 a.m. today, at about the same time the plowers stumbled in from an overnight storm that dropped about eight inches locally.
"They had been out all night plowing," said Cimino, who has worked in the family business on and off since she graduated high school in 1987. She said about 20 plowers came in-and-out during the early morning, and most of their orders were to go.
However, apart from the plowers and a few loyal regulars -- who come no matter what the weather stirs up, Cimino said -- the 38-year-old breakfast nook attracted less than the typical fare today.
"On days like this, we're off about $250," said Cimino's brother Robert Cimino, who flips the omelets, pancakes, and burgers as the main cook at Poppy's.
Joining the Cimino siblings as an early riser this morning was John Wilkinson, a 58-year-old handyman from Wallingford who stopped at McDonald's around noon for a wholesome bowl of oatmeal.
"I worked on a hot water heater in Northford at 5:30 this morning," said a heavily-layered Wilkinson. "I have four-wheel drive, but some roads weren't passable so I took back roads," he said. "But the plows were doing a good job."
The Wallingford resident said he has 11 clients in North Branford.
"I keep their residents happy," said Wilkinson, who in addition to providing minor electrical and plumbing repairs is a licensed general contractor.
Siding With Caution
Back at Poppy's, a group of truckers settled down to a late breakfast.
Nate Henderson of the interstate trucking company SC Ballard, which is located in North Branford, said he is in charge of safety issues and deemed the roads too hazardous for driving today.
"When it gets to the point where I'm worried about my guys crashing, it's not worth it," he said, as he asked someone to pass the hot sauce his way.