Posted tagged ‘crusty snow’

“Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, Their beards of icicles and snow…”

February 6, 2014

The snow came early yesterday morning starting around four. It covered the trees and the roads and was pretty for a while then the rain came, and the snow wasn’t pretty anymore. Under the trees the snow was pock-marked. On the streets and the walkways snow became slush. My plow guy came, shoveled the snow and pushed the slush to the side then spread Safe for Paws De-icer on the tops of the steps to keep them from freezing overnight. During the snowstorm I went out and filled the feeders. They were popular all afternoon.

The snow is crusty from freezing overnight. My paper had skidded down the driveway so I had to walk through the snow to get it. The top of the snow was slippery. As I stepped, cracks fanned out from my footprints. I was cautious. On my way back up the driveway, with papers in hand, I stepped in my footprints.

The sun is now trying to break through the clouds, but it won’t be a warm sun. It will be a bit of light on an otherwise grey day.

This will be the third day in a row I haven’t left the yard or done much with any purpose. I put away my laundry and did some frantic furniture polishing, but mostly I’ve been idle. I read and even took an afternoon nap. Falling asleep warm and cozy under the down comforter seemed an act of defiance against winter.

I generally accept the weather. It isn’t as if I have any control over what happens. Getting grumpy and cursing it only frustrates me. It’s winter. Snow is inevitable. It will be cold. That’s what winter is: snowy and cold. Every now and then we do get an unexpectedly warm day. I always think of it as Mother Nature fiddling with our heads. She’s probably sitting somewhere laughing and planning the next big snowstorm. That woman has no heart.

“It’s not a destination, it’s on the way to someplace.”

February 4, 2014

The sun is beautiful and bright and the sky is a light blue. Snow is melting off the roof, but the snow on the ground is crusty and slippery. Weakened by the sun, snow melts off the pine tree branches. From my window I can see blobs of it falling to the ground. Spawns of Satan are busy jumping from branch to branch then to the deck hoping to find seed there. They’ll be lucky later as I have to fill the feeders, and I always drop seeds. When I went to get the papers, I walked gingerly. I noticed my car windows are covered in crusty snow. They’ll have to be scraped. I won’t need to shovel. My steps are clear and the walk has little snow. The car will easily ride over the small pile of snow in front of it. It is just another winter day.

I have an empty dance card today and the rest of the week. The weatherman says snow again tomorrow, but we are getting very little, only 2-4 inches. I’d call that a dusting worthy of a broom, not a shovel.

I miss Howard Johnson’s. My town had one right on Main Street, and I remember another one on the Expressway just before it split. A HoJo’s on Route 3 was a signpost of sorts for me. When I was in college, I’d take the bus from Park Square to Hyannis and always fell asleep not long after leaving the bus station. I usually woke up just about at the Howard Johnson’s, more than half-way home. The building is still there and is a restaurant, but I haven’t ever stopped. There was something comforting about a Howard Johnson’s. You always knew what to expect no matter where you stopped, and it was a real restaurant with a hostess and waitresses in uniforms with handkerchiefs in their pockets. I usually ordered a cheeseburger and fries which came with cole slaw, and I never could leave without an ice cream cone. I remember they used to have 28 flavors, and I’d pore over the choices. Most times I tended toward mocha chip, but the chocolate was delicious, creamy with a deep flavor. The cone was crispy and sweet, but you had to be careful of the hole which sometimes appeared on the bottom. By the register was a counter with Howard Johnson’s candy. I loved the fudge bars. 

I still stop at real restaurants when I’m on the road. I take the time to relax and enjoy a meal, usually a cheeseburger and fries.

“Nothing burns like the cold.”

January 7, 2014

Last night the wind and the heat blasting competed for noise. I woke up around 3, read until 5 then slept in late. My friend who has been hobbling for days with a bad knee called and asked if I wouldn’t mind doing an errand. Her husband, her go-to-it guy, has the flu. I’m thinking the house needs a quarantined sign, but I was more than happy to do a mission of mercy. I put Gracie’s coat on her and we went outside then ran to the car. The cold was pervasive. My car temperature gauge said 17˚ but that didn’t take into account the wind chill. I can’t remember when last it was so cold. My house is nice and warm because the heat seems to be blowing constantly. The back door is closed so Gracie has to ring her doggie bells to go outside. She’s not out for long. Gracie is no dumb animal.

I used to walk to school all the time. It didn’t matter how wet or cold the day was. The walk wasn’t all that long, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but we had to pass by a field where the wind swept across in the same way I figure it blows on the Russian steppes. Our clothes billowed in the wind and our faces felt as if they were frost-bitten. I remember trying to fight that wind by walking backwards. I was bundled. We all were, but sometimes it just didn’t seem enough. I can’t imagine walking to school on a day as cold as this one.

Most of the snow is gone, melted by yesterday’s warmth. Piles left by the plow sit by the sides of the road and snow lies on lawns sheltered from the sun. The snow is crusty, and I crunched my way to the driveway to get the papers. It is one of my favorite sounds.

The birds must be sheltered somewhere as there are none at the feeders. Usually all four feeders are filled with birds, some holding on to their spots, like the gold finches at the thistle, and others flying in and out. Yesterday there were many.

I am going out this evening to have dinner with friends. The paper says it should be around 10˚ once the sun goes down. I’m going to bundle even though it’s house to car and vice versa. My phone is charged just in case. Knowing my luck sometimes, I like to prepare for any contingency.

“Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.”

December 30, 2012

The snow started around 11 last night. The flakes were big and wet, the sort that doesn’t seem to have much future. I went to bed really late, around 2, and was awakened not long after by the beep beep of a plow backing up. By then I think there were only a couple of inches. Sometime during the night rain mixed with the snow. This morning I expected a winter wonderland; instead, the snow is pockmarked, crusty and hard. I had to beat the snow to get it off the back window and the trunk so I could bring in the dried dog food. The weatherman says sun later. It’ll take a lot of sun to melt the crusty snow still on my car windshield.

This first storm of the season was a bust though I suspect if it weren’t I’d be complaining about shoveling and extracting my car from behind the tall heaps left by the plow. I think I can just drive my car over the small mound in front of it. I know I don’t need to shovel as I walked out and got the papers without a problem. Looking out the front door is keeping Gracie entertained. My neighbor across the street is shoveling his driveway, a quick, easy task with so little snow. He just pushes his shovel down to the end then back up the driveway again. Voila! The driveway is cleared.

Birds have been swooping in and out of the feeders all morning. A couple have tried to drink from the bird bath, but it is frozen. I’ll have to go down to the cellar later to find the heater. Yesterday I filled every single feeder and put out the new ones I got for Christmas. The birds should be pleased with the variety and the plenty.

Yesterday I really didn’t do a whole lot. I finished The Panther by Nelson DeMille. I liked it enough, but 900 pages was daunting as the book didn’t read as quickly as the other DeMille’s I’ve enjoyed. I started a new book, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. My iBook is filled with lots of books to read so I’m happy! Winter is a great time to stay comfy curled up with a book; of course, summer on the deck is also a great time for reading. The breeze is cooling and a good book is enthralling. Then again, we can’t forget spring or fall. each of those seasons lend themselves to reading as well.