Monday, February 8, 2010


Now we're just getting ridiculous.

The December 19 storm was enough make me thoroughly sick of winter, before winter officially began. I think the official total for my neck of the woods was 16 inches of snow, though many people think we got a few more than that.

But that was just a warmup for February 5-6. I had heard the Forecast of Doom earlier in the week, when the call was for 16 to 20 inches, and the forecast got worse and worse from there. By Friday, two feet of snow was roughly the lower bound of the estimate, and the Federal Government closed four hours early.

Friday night wasn't so bad, however. Light snow fell, and the first few inches melted off the asphalt driveways. By the time came to turn in for the night, we had four to five inches on the ground. Then Bad Things started to happen.

Power went out at 4:15 a.m. It made a brief return late Saturday morning, but quickly failed again and didn't come back for good until after 9 a.m. Sunday. By that time, the indoor temperature had fallen to 42 degrees. Did you know that various household liquids become very viscous at low temperatures? Shampoo, liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent all ooze rather than pour. On the bright side, no one froze to death.

Snow was still coming down Saturday morning after falling heavily all night. The snow was so heavy that tree branches sagged, the lower ones on or close to the ground. The magnolia tree in the foreground of the picture below was one sorry specimen, and one branch had been neatly severed. I waded into the waist-high virgin snow to knock off as much snow from the branches as I could.

We shoveled, the neighbors shoveled, a kind neighbor ran his snow blower over part of the driveway and sidewalk, and by mid-day Saturday we had piles of snow six feet high lining the drive. The snow kept falling, though, so it needed another pass before the storm was over. The final total was a whopping 30 inches. (I know, I know, that's not impressive compared with colder places. The TV news managed to find a visitor from Anchorage who said airily, "Thirty inches? That's a normal Tuesday." There's a special place in hell for people like that.) I can rest easily knowing that, statistically speaking, I can live here another 50 years without seeing accumulation like that. I'm hoping the roof doesn't collapse under the weight, because it's not going anywhere any time soon, and more is expected Tuesday night.

Below, the mailbox just peeking out from the pile of snow:
The sidewalk looks so nicely plowed...for the first ten feet. Kids, I think you're walking on the street to get to school for a loooong time to come.

No more, okay? Just quit it!

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