It's one of the great rituals of winter, the forecast calls for snow and a blizzard of customers blows into the hardware store.
As the winds began picking up Sunday afternoon and the snow increased in intensity, on Merrick Road saw a steady stream of shoppers seeking everything from snow supplies such as shovels and salt to Christmas decorations , which were marked down.
"I needed a shovel," said Allen Fennell. "The funny thing was is that I had one, but when I went to get it today for the snow, it mysteriously disappeared."
Fennell said that he knew he had to get there before it was too late. "The side roads are bad, but the main roads are okay," he said. "They weren't as bad as I would've thought they would've been, but I think it's only going to get worse."
Fennell was headed home to spend the rest of the storm shoveling and making snow angels in the backyard with his kids.
Patty Callan headed out to shop early, but her trip was cut a little short because of the snow. She made her way to the hardware store, with her son Joseph in tow.
"We live down the road and were out shopping when I decided to stop in and see what kind of sales the store had on Christmas decorations that we could use for next year, much to my son's dismay," she said with a smile. Joseph was playing a hand-held game, passing the time while his mom shopped.
"We have salt and shovels already, but I'm thinking that we may need some more salt," said Callan. As they finished shopping, she had more bad news for her son. "He's going to help shovel," she said.
For some residents, that's no punishment.
"It's funny," said Samantha Clarke, who was beginning her cleanup. "Unlike most people, I could shovel snow out of my driveway for hours and I don't mind it. But windshields? I can't stand doing it."
But Clarke did what needed to be done and dutifully cleaned the windshield.
Even owners of snow blowers, like Frank and Dorinda Palmisano, made their way to Ace.
"Our snow blower kept choking out," Said Dorinda Palmisano.
"So we came in to get some gas conditioner for it," said Frank Palmisano, finishing his wife's sentence.
Anthony Corso was also getting into snow mode when he decided to stop at the store en route to his house. His kids waited in the car as he ran in to by some undercabinet lighting and some bulbs. "After this I'm heading to get gas, then home to get the snow blower ready," he said.
But lest you think everything about the snow involved work, Robert Bana saidhe has been looking forward to the first real snowstorm of the year to share some childhood traditions with his two sons.
"We're building our first snow fort together," he said. "After that, we're stocking up on the snowballs, and we're having ourselves a little war."
Holly Brooke had high hopes for Monday morning. "Please, please, please, let my job be closed tomorrow," she said. "Last year, my boss didn't give us one snow day...I'm hoping we get enough overnight to finally break him."