I love the snow, especially at the start of winter, when a cold snowfall is bracing and exciting. The snow quiets and softens everything, slowing down our routines. All this, I generally welcome. Yet this recent storm, our first of the season, has beat me up. It snowed almost four days, a total of about fifteen inches at my house. Here’s the view looking up my driveway yesterday morning.
During all the storm, the temperature hesitated back and forth across the freezing point. The result was four days of sticky, heavy snow. I shoveled the driveway four times. My driveway is about 110 feet long, and clearing it is a chore. Still, for the average storm, this is a one-time task, a brisk strenuous hour with hot cider and a fire waiting at the finish. Four times is rather a lot, worsened by the timing: the snow fell during the week, leaving me outside, after each workday, laboring in dark.
Each day brought bad tidings. The first night, with the thickest snow, snapped a tall cedar tree in my yard, and bent its neighbors to the ground. The tree broke perfectly in opposite directions, as if cleaved by lightning. There had been no lightning, not even much wind.
The next day, snow continued gently, another three or four inches which I shoveled upon my return from work. Then I went out for dinner. With crews continuously plowing and salting, the roads were clear, and I drove slowly. Yet as I rounded a gentle bend, my car swerved out of control, first sliding through the opposite lane, then back to the proper lane, then spinning some two-hundred degrees so that I slid backwards on the road, then slamming into a snowbank. Had there been another car or truck, or merely a telephone pole, rock wall, or roadside ditch, my car would have been wrecked and I might have been killed. As it was, I backed slowly onto the road and went home. I refrained from shoveling the driveway that night.
Snow continued intermittently for the next day. When it stopped and the sun shone, the distant mountains suddenly glowed white. Then more snow came, on and off into the night. I had a busy day at work, then home to shovel the driveway. I actually do own a snowblower, but it performs poorly with this heavy wet snow.
This third day brought another bad event. Looking from my kitchen at the back porch I saw what appeared to be a mound of snow, fallen from the roof. Instead, it was the roof itself. Here’s the view the next morning, after clearing more snow:
Snow sliding from the main roof snapped the awning above the porch door. The wounded wall exposed beautiful boards and wood pegs, cut nearly two hundred years ago. I covered them with a tarp. It will likely wait until spring for repair.
Broken trees, broken house, a car accident, and enough shoveling to last many weeks. I’ve had enough of this storm. There was another dusting last night. I neglect the driveway and instead enjoyed a bath.