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Wednesday, February 23, 2011  

Ka-FWUMP

I remember last week well. We were having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave. On Sunday I'd gone out on a fast-food run without my coat. That was only the beginning of a series of days with the temperature over freezing. Snowbanks receded and long-buried pavement reappeared, exposed to bright blue sky for the first time in months. Almost overnight, the experience of driving through our neighborhood -- which until then had been like negotiating the narrow back alleys of an old-world European city in big, dumb, American and Japanese cars -- became a liberating experience, with as many as two cars able to traverse the same block at the same time. I wore my spring coat. Trash wore no coat -- and this was on a walk around the neighborhood. It was glorious. Perhaps we'd broken the back of this long, punishing winter at last. Punxsutawney Phil had seen his shadow, March was on the horizon, and the narrow green fringes starting to peek out from the sunward edges of people's lawns would soon sprawl into meadows stretching to the horizon. I decided that my recent decision to buy a roof-rake to keep snow off the house could be put off until the spring clearance sales, and I made a mental note to make sure I started up my snowblower and run it out of gas, because it's not good for it to sit there with fuel in the tank until the next big snowfall in December. Trash opened a window. This winter had been rough, but at least it hadn't been long. Or, it had, but it could have been longer.

Which it proved by becoming longer.

As you may know by now, this weekend it started snowing again in our region, and kept snowing. It began right on schedule at 10:00 on Sunday morning, slowing down my errands. That afternoon, we all went to clear what had fallen thus far, on the theory that after we'd done that, it would take less time to clean up the inch or so still expected to fall. What ended up happening was that we went out later to clean that inch off the sidewalk, but we left it on the driveway because there were more inches to come.

So then the next morning, which luckily was Presidents Day so nobody had to leave the house, I went out to snowblow that additional inch, as well as the other inches that had fallen over the course of the night. AND THEN, at about M. Edium's bedtime, the snow was just starting to slow down. Trash wanted me to go out a fourth time. I protested that it was a waste of time.

"It's going to stop soon," she said.

"You've been saying that for 24 hours," I said.

But I went out anyway, and did another clearing of the driveway and the sidewalk and the steps and the deck and the patio and the cars. And it was still drifting down, sparkling fakely under the streetlights. Seriously, if I saw snow like that in a movie I'd laugh at it. Oddly, in real life, it wasn't as funny.

The good news is that it must have actually stopped soon after that, but it still ended up being one of the few February snowstorms in history that gave us a foot of snow without stopping.

But it's okay. We're over the hump, I'm sure. Before we know it, those fringes of green will peek out again, however briefly. Trash and I will take another walk, we'll open a window again, and April will be on the horizon.

The view from our front door, 2/23/11

Or May. Either way.

posted by M. Giant 4:56 PM 1 comments

1 Comments:

Yeah, we had the Spring's a-comin'! fake-out thaw here last week too. Followed by enough snow to push this winter further into the record books (we're now 29 inches above our average snowfall to date for the season). Then, today, we had sun. We had temperatures that started with a "3" and had another digit following it with no decimal! (Granted, that second number was lower than 5, but still... I took my hat off while walking through the zoo today. Whoa nelly.) Tomorrow, the weatherpeople have been promising we'll see 40. FORTY!

..............and then there's the winter storm warning that goes into effect tomorrow night, with 6-10 inches expected back on the ground by Friday morning. It is things like that that remind me about how we had snow falling on Mother's Day last year.

So yeah, May sounds about right for Spring. I hope.

(But at least this means your piece on sledding hills will remain relevant that much longer, right? Silver lining?)

By Blogger Heather, at February 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM  

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