Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Major Snow Storm Is Moving Through

There is nothing about winter that surprises me any more. This is my 69th winter, and frankly, snow-blowing isn’t quite as much fun as it once was.

Today, after listening to the forecast yesterday and last night before going to bed, I woke up to a pale yellow sun and no wind. It made me optimistic all day, and then I looked out the window tonight.

The sight was unbelievable. Snow drifts starting to span my driveway, and it is piling up on my metal roof, and my deck appears completely covered at 6:45 p.m. It’s falling straight down out of a leaden sky. I’d planned a last-ditch Nov. 30 hunt this afternoon but the forecast suggest a bit more product use of my time. I’m happy I stayed home rather than climbing the hills and dales to one of my stands. It would have been a tough hike coming out.

My cousin called from Florida last night, and had never experienced the force of the wind and the power of wind-driven snow. I tried to explain it to him.

“You know how when the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic rolls in onto the beach, and then recedes, it leaves little tiny ridges in the sand,” I told him. “These ridges are like tiny hills, and they may be a half-inch higher than the rest of the sand.”

He knew what I was talking about when it came to sand and waves, but responded: “OK, I understand that, but what does that have to do with the snow and wind storm?”

“Those ridges of snow,” I told him, “may get to be four feet high by morning, and in between the ridges is the driveway with very little snow on the ground. All the snow is packed as solid as concrete, and it’s still coming down. I took the garbage out for pict-up and had to drag it all the way to the road. The wheels never hit the ground.”

There was a long silence on the phone as he absorbed that. He finally said that he decided to stay in Florida. He didn’t like shoveling, and I commented that one doesn’t shovel this kind of snow. One uses a shovel to carve off chunks of snow, and then the snow-blower would come through and blow it away, and the process is repeated over and over again.

I worked on it today for nearly three hours, and then spent two hours gets car doors open that had fronzen shut. It must have been a pitiful sight watching me climb through the tail-gate, over a tub of hunting close, and a spare tire that will no long fit in that Mickey Mouse bracket under my Jimmy. People who design such things for cars in the snow belt deserve to be strung up by their thumbs.

When the job was finally finished I was beat. Thirty-one years ago when we first moved into our home, we had the same kind of a storm except it lasted longer and the drifts were over our head.

We had a little walk-behind snow-blower at the time, and it was just one step ahead of shoveling. Back then, both of us were much younger, and it was a challenge. I no longer look at deep and tightly compacted snow as a challenge.

I view it as a bunch of very hard gut-busting work. Having said that, when the job was done I looked at it with a large measure of self-satisfaction but hoped that we didn’t have another storm like this again.

There is something about wild and savage weather that excites me. Perhaps it’s the Man against Mother Nature thing, but I’ve come close to losing to the old gal a time or two over the years, but I no longer feel like pushing my luck too far.

Messing with Mother Nature can make you a big loser. People die of heart attacks, exposure, and other ills, and I don’t want or need any more hassles.

Me and my John Deere and a snow-blower is just the ticket for this kind of weather. But this is enough. I’ve had my fill of digging out, and am ready for what may be a warm-up this weekend.

We’ve got more than enough snow to give us a White Christmas. It can stop snowing anything between now and bed time, and I’ll have plenty of snow to move in the more. More snow is something we don’t need.

Hurry up, Spring.

Posted by Dave Richey on 11/30 at 05:56 PM
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