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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

We got nearly 2 feet of snow between the 29th and 30th of this month, which is October in case you’ve become disoriented. It’s funny that I never dreamed of a white Halloween. Never really thought about it before. And to be honest, it’s beautiful.

In the beginning...

The snow is of the heavy, wet variety and it’s piled on the trees and every surface in thick, white pillows. The problem is that it’s October and the trees weren’t quite ready for those pillows. With their leaves still on, the poor trees are bending, bowing and breaking under the weight of the snow.

Broken trees = broken power lines = no power anywhere near me = no heat, no running water, no coffee.

This is still early on. Around 4PM on Saturday.

We did try to make the most of the situation though and had a great time playing in the snow as it fell.

Superman-Jack-O-Lantern-Snowman, naturally

Then night fell on us and with it a few trees, several branches and any hopes I had of sleeping. I made several middle of the night rounds with my flashlight in my freezing house checking on the trees outside. At 2AM I got T out of bed to help me shake off a tree that was resting on our back deck. A few good shakes and it sprang back up, only to lean against L’s window.

Morning came, and with it two extremely excited kids and a few extremely tired adults. Did I mention the no coffee thing? Also, there might have been some hot buttered rum the day before and a fair amount of red wine. (Hey, we had to keep warm!) We had our work cut out for us.

My nerves were fried and I was too frazzled, tired, and busy to take the pictures I should have. Like the picture of the huge old tree that fell down at some point in stealthy silence, about 6 feet from our house. Had the tree’s trajectory been a degree or two different, L’s room would have been crushed. I did take a couple on my phone though.

Back deck, sheltered from snowfall, in the morning

Pumpkin-Head Snowman after we unburied him in the morning

Holy Sh!t

I did learn some things though. Like just about anything, the crappy stuff related to an October snowstorm can be broken down to a top 5 list. So, here I give you:

The Top 5 Craptastic Things Caused by an October Snowstorm:

5. One is not prepared and has not yet removed the snow blower from its storage space under the back deck. It took lots and lots and lots of shoveling to get to that thing.

4. One is not prepared and has to dig out winter clothes from their storage place in the dark basement, by flashlight, helped by super-excited-to-play-in-the-snow-and-bonkers-wildly-excited-to-be-in-the-cold-dark-basement-with-flashlights kids.

3. No electricity means it’s dark. Very dark. Darkness and flashlights at bedtime with small children causes exceptional hyperness, excitement and fear.

2. No heat. It’s cold. Turns out our fireplace is purely decorative and supplies no heat to the house whatsoever. Last I checked on Sunday afternoon it was 55 and dropping inside.

1. The worst thing about it by far was the lack of running water. We have our own well, so no power = no water = no flushing, no washing. That expansive dinner we made on Saturday before the power went out? Hello piles of dirty dishes, bowls, pots and pans that can’t be washed. Those giant poops that my kids make? Still in the toilets waiting for a flush. YUCK!

By late afternoon on Sunday we had enough. We packed ourselves up and escaped to my parents’ house a couple of hours away. Our power is due to be restored at 11:45PM on Thursday, November 3rd. Until then we’ll stay here where it’s warm. On Friday, I will have to face a house full of old dirty dishes, a fridge full of rotten food, and those toilets.

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Let Me Out of Here!

For now the snow is finished. That would be good news except that ice is falling at a steady pace. Not sure if it qualifies as sleet, hail or freezing rain. Does it make a difference? Whatever the F it is, it’s falling fast and hard.

This one is from yesterday afternoon. L and I were outside playing and S was watching and crying to come out. (Which does not speak well for her intelligence.)

Here’s what it looks like this morning:

It’s hard to gauge the depth since it’s just all snow. All I can say is that’s a regular height table that’s completely buried.

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This is Getting Ridiculous

I remember back when I posted these pictures and thought we had a lot of snow. How cute. Little did I know, this was in my near future!

 

Those formless lumps are a table, a barbecue and an up-ended children’s picnic table. It’s still snowing and is not expected to stop until about 1AM on Thursday. In between now and then, the forecast is for another 1-2 feet. Yes, I said feet.

 

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S is Suited Up

The high today was 16F (-9C). Unfortunately, we were outside anyway.

 

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Just What We Need

It’s snowing again. We’ve already gotten a few inches on top of our (compacted) original 2 ft. We’re home-bound and L is literally bouncing off the walls. His new game is to run at a wall as fast as he can, and bounce off. Unfortunately, S is learning from him.

One would think this is the last thing we need. But, in truth, the last thing we need is the ice that’s going to come later on today, on top of the snow.

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In the town where I grew up there is a park with a great sledding hill. The hill is wide enough for dozens of sledders, has some pretty steep parts, sections with a more gentle grade, and a huge flat area at the bottom where a sled can safely come to rest. I have vague memories of sledding here once or twice. We only went once or twice because we had hills in our yard. Although not nearly as fun, they were right outside. I didn’t understand why my mom didn’t take us to the park more often. I mean, it was clearly so much more fun. And she could sled too instead of being stuck inside watching us out of the kitchen window.

Now I get it.

My town is currently under 2 feet of snow. I can’t put S down in it for fear she’d drown. L can’t walk through it, and when he falls he is unable to get up since pushing himself up with his hands results in sinking to his armpits and face-planting. Nevertheless, L and I have romped around in the snow at our house, and S even seemed to enjoy herself on my back as I went snowshoeing. So, with much stupidity, I took the kids to the park to go sledding.

I should have turned around at the gate when I discovered that the parking lot had not been plowed. Previous sledders and x-country skiers had furrowed a narrow winding trail to the hill at the far side of the parking lot, perhaps the length of a football field away. Both kids are bundled up, how bad could it be?

S started crying the second I took her out of the car. I considered buckling her into the baby sled to pull her along, but the trail was too narrow, and so deep that she’d certainly tip over. So I carried her, screaming, dragged her sled and encouraged L along. L fell down every 2 or 3 steps, complained that pulling his sled was too hard and basically moved about as slowly as a person possibly can.

Finally we meet our friends at the top of the hill. There is no place I can put S down. She continues screaming with enthusiasm, and my arms begin to ache. L makes his first attempt down the hill, sliding about a foot before getting stuck. See, with sledding, the depth of the snow has to be proportionate to the steepness of the hill. This hill is great with 4-5 inches of snow. With 2 feet, not so much. My arms are full of screaming, miserable S and my blood pressure is seriously on the rise, so when L finally reaches the bottom and begins to throw a fit about having to come back up with his sled I have no patience and am ready to go home.

I let L take 3 runs. Each return trip requires some “encouragement” (yelling and threatening) to get him back to the top. S never stops screaming. I’m wishing to be anywhere else than out in 2 feet of snow forced to hold a slippery 20 lb screaming child. I’m torn between embarrassment and who-the-fuck-cares as I yell at and threaten L and try to make light of the fact that S is crying harder than she has since she had colic as an infant.

Miraculously, L agrees to depart and we begin the long trek back to the car. This time I’m in front setting an unforgiving pace and each time L cries that he can’t keep up I shoot him a look that lets him know he’d better. Apparently, I’m very good at this look. Afraid to cry full-out, he whimpers and does his best. All in all, the walk to and from the hill take significantly longer than the actual sledding. We were out for about 45 minutes, 9 or 10 of which were spent sledding.

Between the hell of the outing itself, the process of getting both kids dressed for it, undressed from it and the sheer volume of wet clothes to contend with afterwards, I can easily guarantee that we will never do that again. So, like me, L might have vague memories of a sledding hill in his town; and I’m looking forward to many years of being stuck inside watching from the kitchen window.

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