Posted tagged ‘wet snow’

Tuesday Before the Lights Went Out!!

March 14, 2018

This storm is horrific. Branches banging against my window woke me up. I ran to look out and to check the backyard and the deck. The snow is so heavy it has the tree branches on the huge oak tree in my yard bent and hanging over the deck to my window. If any tree goes down, it will be that one, and I think it will be a catastrophe given where it is hanging. My electricity keeps going out. It has come back on each time, but the frequency of the outage is getting more intense. My cable, internet and phone go down. My cell phone had no service. I think in this world of instant communication, I have never felt as isolated.

We don’t have much snow yet. When I went to bed at 2, it was pouring, loud rain on the roof pouring. That was as predicted. I don’t know when the rain turned to snow, but it is a wet, heavy snow. According to the predictions, the biggest amount of snow has yet to come. It is snowing around 3 inches an hour. I don’t mind the snow so much. It is the wind which is scary.

The combination of wind and the rate of falling snow have caused this storm to be rated as an official blizzard.

I don’t know if the papers were delivered. I’m stuck reading the Globe and Cape Times on line, if I can. I don’t find that satisfying at all.

J. R. Rowling needs to sue Betsy DeVos who has usurped the characteristics of Dolores Umbridge, a character from the Harry Potter books. First of all, their positions are much the same. One is the Secretary of Education. The other was the Headmistress at Hogwarts who had enormous power over the students, teachers, and the curriculum. Like DeVos, Dolores had no background in education. Both are protected by men in power: DeVos has Trump while Dolores has the Minister of Magic. DeVos is probably the most disliked of Trump’s cabinet members, and Umbridge was detested by not only the students but also the staff. In the 60 Minutes interview, DeVos smiled at every question and her own answers. I found that creepy, and that’s when Umbridge came to mind. She smiled when exacting painful consequences on the students and when enforcing new, Draconian rules. That too was creepy.

DeVos, though, is the scariest. She’s real. She didn’t know the answers to questions asked by Leslie Stahl; instead, DeVos gave vague, often off-topic, answers and smiled every time. When asked her opinion, DeVos deflected and smiled. The worst was when she had no opinion. My favorite answer was when DeVos was asked if she had visited underperforming schools. Her answer, ” I have not — I have not — I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.” Did she visit a few by mistake?

I know this is sort of an off-beat Coffee, but I was an educator for my entire professional career. Listening to DeVos makes me cringe. It makes me afraid for the future of education in this country. Dolores Umbridge was taken by centaurs into the forbidden forest. Where are centaurs when you need them?

“The gaunt limbs, and stark, rigid, death-like whiteness of winter.”

January 4, 2018

The rain pelting the roof and windows is heavy and loud, and the wind is a freight train blowing its whistle. Pine trees have notoriously shallow roots so they bend and sway in the wind. I watched one tall pine in my backyard bend so much it should have split and fallen. I thought I saw a bird furiously flapping its wings while trying to land on a branch. I couldn’t see the sort of bird so I put on my glasses. It wasn’t a bird. It was a brown leaf hanging from the end of a small branch being tossed and spun by the wind.

The snow will be here later, a wet, slushy sort of snow which will freeze overnight when the temperature drops from the 40˚ it is now to 12˚. The deep freeze will continue tomorrow with a high of 17˚ and a low of 1˚. It won’t get above freezing until Monday.

The only room left to de-Christmas is the living room where the tree still stands filled with lights and decorations. I need to haul from the cellar the plastic tubs which hold my decorations. Three smaller boxes are filled and waiting to go downstairs, but they will be last as they sit on the tops of the big bins. I also have a laundry leaning against the cellar door making me feel a bit guilty as it has been there a few days. I figure I’ll be spending the afternoon hauling up and bringing down bins and more bins.

I did a bit of shopping yesterday but not the usual pre-storm bread and milk. I bought shrimp cocktail and sauce at the fish market. Their sauce is tangy and delicious with lots of horseradish. I bought freshly made chicken noodle soup from Spinners, cinnamon rolls from the bakery and prepared pasta with sausages from Nada’s Noodles.

I’m watching Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase. It was the first Nancy Drew I ever read. The movie differs from the book in any ways. Characters have changed while others have disappeared. I like the book better.

I watched a bit of the news this morning. Thee newscasters were giving advice about how best to handle the storm. Drive slowly but stay home if you can. Uncover outside vents, and my personal favorite, don’t touch live wires.

The rain is slanting from the north. That alone is scary.

“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.””

January 26, 2015

Naming hurricanes is a long time tradition, but now we have to name blizzards. Juno is the one we’re braced for now. As for me, I espouse keeping the snow at a distance. Giving it a name seems to personalize it too much.

We have been told to prepare for the probability of losing electricity. The last time that happened during a snow storm my house got down to 37˚. I can’t think of many more ways to prepare. I have food which doesn’t need to be cooked, and when Gracie and I do a couple of errands, I’m going to add tomatoes and avocados to the larder. Everything is charged though the charges won’t last all that long. I have a lantern but I need a few more batteries. Burning wood to keep warm is almost futile as most of the heat goes right up the chimney though I love the look of a good fire. My father always called a strong and long-lasting flame a Hollywood fire. I still do. The snow won’t start until late this afternoon, and by then we’ll be home, warm for the meantime and the bird feeders will have been filled, my only other chore for the day. I’ll turn up the heat to warm the house as much as I can. It will be tropical for just a bit.

When I was a kid, snow like this was perfect to build forts and caves. The forts had protective walls to keep the snowballs at bay. The caves had rooms, but we used to have to crawl in and out the door. We’d bring something to sit on between us and the snow, and we’d pretend the cave was a house of sorts. I remember bringing my sandwich and having lunch in the dining room of our cave. The best cave we ever made was huge. It was built in the pile left by the plows. We used water to ice the ceiling and walls so they’d be firm and last a long time. Eventually snow melts, but parts of my cave lasted until almost spring. It was the only snow left.

If I don’t post tomorrow, you’ll know why.

“Dear beautiful Spring weather, I miss you. Was it something I said?”

February 16, 2014

It was quite a shock when I looked out the back door last night and saw branches from the pine tree hanging over the deck and scraping against the house and door. The snow was heavy and wet, and though there was a forty mile an hour wind, the branches barely moved loaded down as they were with piles of snow. I got worried about the huge branches near the door and went out with my broom and started whacking the closest branches with the metal part of the broom. The snow was knocked off the branches onto my head and down the neck of my sweatshirt. Of course it was. The branches were right over my head. I have no idea why that shocked me. It was inevitable. As I was whacking, I nearly fell a couple of times because the snow on the deck was so slippery. I did the best I could and then went inside. Twenty minutes later I looked and the branches were again drooping on the deck so out I went with the broom and whacked the branches yet again, and I got wet, again. I was Sisyphus with snow and a broom instead of a rock.

We got about 8″ of heavy, icy snow. I walked across what used to be a lawn to get my papers though walking doesn’t quite describe the trek. Plodding and tiring do as the snow had drifted and was just a bit below my knees. I had to slam the snow top with my feet to make a path. On the way back I walked in the same steps I had made and thought of Danny in the maze in The Shining doing it to hide from his crazed father. When I got into the house, I couldn’t see. The sun on the snow is so bright I was blinded for a bit. I called Skip and warned him about the branch resting on my deck. He didn’t sound enthused.

Only half of my street is plowed, that would be the other half, the one not near my house.

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”

January 26, 2014

Today is sunny but really cold. Last night when we left the restaurant, it was snowing, that heavy wet snow you know will be trouble when temperatures drop later at night. Now the old snow has a new top layer, a crunchy layer because those flakes became ice, and all the surfaces are slick making walking potentially dangerous, especially for me, prone as I am to falling. It is going to be 40˚ on Tuesday. These changes in weather are making me crazy.

When we were in the Peace Corps, conversations often revolved around food, usually the food we didn’t have and missed. Cheese was big on the list. Ghanaians don’t drink or sell milk so nobody makes cheese. We had to make do with evaporated milk from cans and eave cheese to our imaginings. Mostly, though, we missed vegetables. We could only get tomatoes, onions, garden eggs, FraFra potatoes in September and yam all the time. Back then even the lowly green pepper reached an exalted status. Bill, Peg and I ate dinner together every night. It was generally beef which had been cooked in a tomato-based sauce or roast chicken and both were served with mashed yams, a far drier version of mashed potatoes, or rice. One year the rains were late so the crops were late, and we ate so much rice that when I got home I didn’t eat any rice for a couple of years. I had had my fill.

All of us have been back to Ghana recently: Bill and Peg this last September and me in 2011 and 2012, and we were all surprised by the foods we found in the markets: exalted green peppers, watermelons, avocados and even pumpkins, some of the foods we dreamed or talked about over dinner, the same dinner we had night after night. Accra has pretty much anything you want for food, and you can even find cheese in the obruni (white person) stores. All you need is lots of money.

Bill and Peg just left to go back to New Hampshire. The weekend went far too quickly. I will miss their company, the laughs we had and the memories we shared. They are old friends who are among the best of my friends.