You may have heard that we have some snow in the Northeast United States. We have rather a lot of it, in fact. This is now the snowiest January on record in my state. There is a base of 24″ on my front lawn. Out back, where there are slopes and nooks and crannies that collect drifts, it is much deeper in places.
Between days cancelled due to snow, early dismissals due to snow, delayed openings due to snow, and MLK Day, it feels like the kids are still on holiday break.
And, as my neighbor and I were saying the other day, we’re getting quite the workout from all the shoveling and ice scraping. My arms feel like it’s midway through the baseball season. I’m tempted to start pitching, which I don’t usually start doing until March.
I’m talking a lot to my neighbors lately. There’s been a surge in community spirit on my street as the snow has come and come again. Twice now, I’ve only had to do touch up work on my driveway because one of my neighbors has come by with their snow blower. It was a different neighbor each time. Another neighbor offered me the use of his snow rake, a tool I didn’t know existed, much less had used before this month. A 10-year old boy who lives across the street spent the whole morning shoveling his family’s driveway and then came over for half-an-hour to help me finish mine. In exchange for all of that, I’ve been shoveling out all of their driveways when the plow comes by at odd times and dumps a low ridge in the end.
This is all as it should be, of course. When things get hard, we tend to rally together. We look out more for one another. We’re more quick to lend a hand.
Here’s a quick spin around the site of my labors this day….
This is what my back patio and yard looked like from the dining room this morning before the sun rose above the ridge:
There are serious ice dams in all of our gutters. Snow winds up building up and overhanging them, like this:
The big mound used to be the kids’ snow fort (You know you have a lot of snow when your snow fort gets snowed in.):
Starting work. Looked like about 8 inches to me:
Clearing the patio. The pile that the kids use for a fort is almost as tall as me now. I’m 6 feet tall….:
What’s still visible of the compost bin, which is now full to the brim with frozen compost and topped with a lovely snow bonnet:
Starting to clean up the driveway after a neighbor came by with his snow blower. Note the fence visible in the neighbor’s yard for context on how big this pile is:
We all shovel. Even the boys. Our 8-year-old tells me he is the only 8-year-old in town who has to shovel. I hope that’s not so, but even it if was true, we’d still have him out there. The 5-year-old is doing volunteer work:
They don’t shovel all day of course. Lots of fun to be had. Like scaling the pile that has almost swallowed the mailbox:
It’s more snow than they’ve ever had to play in. And more is coming this weekend…which means more shoveling….
I love Winter. Really, I do. As long as I can curl up with a book and a drink at the end of the day.