Posted tagged ‘snow tires’

“Autumn bowed to place a beautiful crown on the Queen of Morning, and her velvet robes sway merrily in the chilly breeze.”

November 4, 2017

The morning was chilly. I took Gracie out into the backyard and sat and waited for her. I smelled a wood fire and all of a sudden my memory jumped back to Ghana and mornings during the harmattan. Those mornings were cold, as cold as I ever felt in Bolga where daytime temperatures often reached over 100˚. The morning air was filled with the aroma of wood fires burning in the compounds behind my house. I could hear muted voices and the sound of water from the tap filling my students’ buckets for their morning baths. Roosters still crowed. Those mornings were a delight.

Gracie has muscular degeneration. Signals aren’t getting to her back legs. The vet said it will get worse, but she is hoping we can slow the progress. Gracie is now getting a pain pill every day. In two weeks the vet will assess the value of her continuing to take them. After that two week mark, Gracie is going to start acupuncture. She’ll have two sessions and then an evaluation to see if it has helped.

I could barely walk this morning and my back pain was horrific. Yesterday I had to lift Gracie three times: twice to the car and once to the backseat of the car after she had lost her footing and couldn’t get back on the seat; consequently, I have ordered a back dog lift. I wish I had it yesterday.

Every time I look out at the deck, I feel a bit of sadness. All the furniture is covered. The flowers have been moved off the rails. The candles hanging off the branches are gone. Only the bird feeders remain.

When I was a kid, the preparations for winter were my father’s jobs. He took down the screens and replaced them with the storm windows. He removed the screens from the two doors and put in the storm doors. He went to the gas station and had the snow tires put on his car. Every weekend he’d rake the lawn, move the pile of leaves to the gutter by the sidewalk and then burn them. The smell of burning leaves is one of my all time favorites, and it carries memories of my dad. I can see him standing there by the flaming leaves while smoke billowed into the air. He held on to his rake and used it periodically to move more leaves into the fire. I stayed until the leaves were gone.

“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.”

February 7, 2015

I are prepared for the coming weather event even though it appears the Cape may be spared the foot or more of snow. The last forecast had us getting a mixture of snow and rain. I was glad at first but later I figured that just might be as bad as all snow, maybe even worse. I already live in an ice skating rink. My street is covered except for a couple of down to the pavement ruts. I have had to throw de-icer on Gracie’s steps several times, usually in the afternoon as it gets colder. Yesterday I had trouble getting out of my driveway and then the car had trouble getting up the small incline on the next street. I have to plan to stop when I’m on secondary roads so I won’t slide through the intersection. As it is I have to go half-way out into the main streets to look both ways, but today I am spared all that as I have nothing I need to do. I rejoice!

My father always went to work despite the snow though I do think he was home during a hurricane. I don’t remember him shoveling, but I know he did as the walkway was free of snow and his car was gone. My dad had a routine, and snow was no obstacle.

Back then sidewalks stayed covered and we mostly walked on the street. We’d go one by one as close to the piles of plowed snow as we could. When we heard the crunch of tires on the road behind us, we knew a car was coming so we’d stop to let it pass. The driver went by us ever so slowly.

The roads were never completely cleared of snow so sliding cars were common. My hill was so steep that it was easier to go around to the side road to avoid the bottom part of the hill then hope to get up the hill to our house from there. We were more than half-way up the hill, but the steepest part was still beyond us. I can remember the sounds of cars struggling over and over to get up that hill.

My dad always put his snow tires on the car sometime in November. That made winter official.

“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.”

January 21, 2014

Snow is coming. It will start this afternoon and go all night. The sky already has the look of snow about it. It is quite cold and will get colder. Yesterday I filled the bird feeders. Today I have a few things to pick up, and I assume I’ll be jockeying with the bread and milk crowd for a parking space. It always astounds me that everyone is out of bread and milk just before the snow falls. It must be a cultural phenomenon.

The weather men are hedging their forecasts. One station predicts between 8 and 10 inches while the other says between 8 and 12. The only thing they agree on is the Cape will get more snow than the rest of the state. Oh joy!

I remember when I was a kid hoping for a snow day. I’d watch the snow fall looking through the picture window in the living room. A street light was just at the bottom of the front lawn, and I’d watch the snow fall in the light. It was always so pretty glinting as it fell. In those days, the TV didn’t scroll the closed schools, but the fire station in town blew the signal early in the morning. When I was older, in high school in a different town, I had to listen to the radio to find out if my school was closed. It never mattered how old I was, a day off from school was cause for celebration. It was like an unexpected present.

My dad never let a snow storm slow him down. He always went to work. He’d get up early and shovel to the car then clear it to get it on the road. In the old days he had chains on his tires then when they went out of style, he had snow tires put on his car at the start of every winter. The other tires were stored in the cellar waiting for better weather. We lived on a hill, and it was tough going up and down. About in the middle the hill rose a bit, and that’s where cars would slide going up. Sometimes going down was so slippery cars would take the side road and avoid the hill altogether. For us kids, a no school day meant a day sledding on the hill. I can still remember the excitement of holding the sled, running, jumping on and speeding down that hill. We had the joy of flying.

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