It’s Winter, It’s a Snowstorm: Deal With It

Carolyn’s Online Magazine

IT’S WINTER, IT’S A SNOWSTORM:

DEAL WITH IT

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CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS moved to

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) in January 2015.

I invite you to visit the new site and encourage you to Follow it.

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Discover what the woly worm predicted for the 2014-2015 winter season:

Woolly Worm’s Prediction for Winter 2014-2015 & 11 Facts About the Woolly Worm

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100216 DSC05615ERays of warm light cast shadows on the light olive green walls, shadows shaped like long fingers that beckoned me to take a seat in the corner of my couch. The table next to the arm of the couch held a cup of hot tea, a bowl of homemade split pea soup, and a small dish with three artistically arranged homemade chocolate chip cookies.

DSCN2329eGentle notes of Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons drifted from the stereo. One cat, Little Dog, is curled up on the table at the window. As we gaze at the softly drifting snowflakes she’s probably thinking I hope I see a bird (as if I am foolish enough to put food out for it while housing with two hungry cats) and I, a writographer, think What a wonderful day to read and write. I’ll snap pictures of the cats later.

Our male cat, King, patiently waited for me to settle into the couch cushions and cover my lap  with a blanket, my protection from sharp claws as he paws at my legs while nesting.

I’m ready. I pick up the morning paper and focus on an article headlined In Boston, the Latest Big Dig is all about snow.

On January 28, 2015, The Blizzard of 2015’s snowfall of 2-3 feet closed transportation and many businesses. I wonder what they will name the next blizzard this year. The season’s only begun.

Boston is accustomed to big snowstorms…as is the rest of its state. Wooster got 33.5 inches, and the towns of Auburn and Lunenburg each reported 36 inches.

Meanwhile, Sanford, Maine (18 miles west of the coastal town of Biddeford) reported 33.5 inches. My thoughts momentarily roam to the mid-November snowstorm, Knife  ( Reports from Storm “Knife” in Buffalo, New York ) that deposited 70-80 inches of snow in South Buffalo, New York.

Photo contributed by Pat Polcyn in Buffalo

Photo contributed by Pat Polcyn in Buffalo

Finishing the newspaper, I shoved King off my lap, and replaced him with my laptop. Time to work on my novel. Strangely enough, part of my writing included a comparison of winter weather between Boston and Downeast (East Lamoine, Mt. Desert Island, Hancock County) Maine. Land speculators Gen. Henry Knox and Col. William Duer were each considering purchasing million acre tracts of land there (after their land speculation venture in the Gallipolis area of Ohio failed).  They hoped to sell it to French settlers who came to America hoping to populate Ohio, but who now had no place to settle while the Revolution swirled about their homeland. It was August 1791.

A potential purchaser of about 22,000 of those acres was a French émigré, a woman named Rosalie de Leval. The Knox-Duer discussion centered on a comparison of the winters between Downeast Maine and Boston.

     “In spite of the problems we had in Gallipolis, many of the French emigrants remain eager to settle in this country. I have been thinking…wondering…Massachusetts’s Maine Territory contains millions of acres the state is still trying to sell,” Col. Duer said. 

     “I’ve been told about the climate in Maine. Rev. Manassah Cutler described it as being the ‘northern frozen deserts,’” Gen. Knox said. “It’s reported that the country goes dead for six months and is often covered with snow for five. Rev. Cutler said it is a most dreary place to live.”

Lamoine, Maine (contributed photo)

Lamoine, Maine (contributed photo)

Lamoine, Maine (contributed photo)

Lamoine, Maine (contributed photo)

     “Even so, Rev. Cutler said people are constantly emigrating there,” Col. Duer said. “There seems to be an increasing interest in this land. And other reports say indicate that Maine’s winters are not much different from the winters experienced in other parts of Massachusetts. I don’t believe that the cold is any more vigorous in Maine than it is in Boston, or even New York or Philadelphia. Men who have lived for several winters in each place assure me that the winters are the same. And, they say, the strength of the sun makes you feel heat in spite of the weather.”

     “We can judge these reports by comparing observations made by thermometers,” Gen. Knox said.

Returning to the 21st Century, I want to thank Bruce of Lamoine, Maine (affordableacadia.com) for sending me the two snow-covered Lamoine photos. (In September 2013 I took the same photo of the chairs looking over the river—and the sunset photo posted in my photo article Deep Water Along the New England Coast).

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I recall being in the proximity of Downeast Maine in the immediate aftermatn of the 1998 ice storm. What is 2-3 foot of snow in comparison to the treachery of that storm system?

Boston airport January 2, 1998, after the ice storm

Boston airport January 2, 1998, after the ice storm

Across much of New England,streets were empty of cars and dotted instead with children who had never seen so much snow and were jumping into snow banks and making forts. Snow was waist-high in the streets of Boston. Plows made some thoroughfares passable but piled even more snow on cars parked on the city’s narrow streets.*

I no longer live on the east coast. I’m located southeast of Pittsburgh. Yes, we get snowstorms here. Drivers on our small community’s narrow gravel roads must drive cautiously in even a little wintry weather because the heavy tree coverage prevents the snow and ice from melting. Roads can be treacherous. But winter storms—or their absence—isn’t new here.

090617 DSC01915E

  • Jan. 5, 1940: The Ligonier district this week was put on a diet of snow and sinking mercury. The section was lashed by high winds and snows that went temperatures into a skid toward zero and further complicated highway travel…***

And then, again, sometimes we don’t get snow:

  • Jan. 5, 1939: Paradoxically, one year ago this week a warm sun sent the mercury soaring into the sixties and local residents enjoyed weather conditions typical of May.***
  • Jan. 8, 1965: Snow is a precious commodity. That’s the way Alan Patterson of Laurel Mountain Slopes feels. For Laurel and every other ski resort in the Eastern U. S. from here to Vermont, this has been a disastrous “winter.” There was a very light snowfall on Nov. 20; but since then it has been as arid as a frigid Sahara. Several times the thermometer dipped low enough to warrant turning on the snow machines; but by the next day the sun was beaming strong and the man-made snow trickled down the mountainside…ski maestros are praying nightly for a little bit of the white stuff.***

According to Leo Moody of Maine, in the ‘70s and ‘80s today’s weather was a typical winter. Now you get a couple feet of snow, and everybody freaks out.  Leo Moody**

Hey, it’s winter. We live in the north. Or you live where I’d like to spend a couple mid-winter months: the New England coast.

Yes, it’s winter. It’s cold. It’s blizzardy. It’s beautifully white. You have to shovel. Get over it. Be thankful you are not living the summer of 1816 when the season’s sport was ice skating and the season’s exercise was avoiding being hit by birds falling from the air.

And, if you can, stay inside and enjoy a good book, a nap, or even—haven forbid—time to clean closets.

DISCLAIMER: I’m well aware that many of you cannot stay home and enjoy the storm. You hold critical jobs, and without you which many persons would suffer. Please take care and remain safe while carrying on with life’s necessary tasks.

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SOURCES

*  New England begins the big dig-out after epic snow

** http://triblive.com/usworld/nation/7661247-74/snow-boston-inches#axzz3QGctX3Wf

***  Ligonier Echo,January 1, 2015, Looking Back, 75 years ago, Jan 5, 1940, and 50 years ago, Jan 8, 1965

 

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About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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10 Responses to It’s Winter, It’s a Snowstorm: Deal With It

  1. Grace ( & Fred) Wells says:

    Become a snowbird and head for the sunny south during the winter months !

    Like

    • And miss the beauty of the snowflakes drifting down, the expanse of white carpet covering the drabness of the environment, the rolling of giant snowballs into snowmen, the fun of being the first footprints in the fresh snow (akin to being the first footprints on wet beach sand as the tide rolls in or out), and the enjoyment of our cat King as his paws play in puffy snow? No way…will I head south and miss all this.

      Like

  2. Bruce says:

    I’m pretty convinced of the notion that Downeast Maine gets the storms wrung out of snow by poor Boston. I’ve seen it time and again: Boston two feet, Lamoine: ten inches. Also, we get more sun here in winter than most of the Midwest. Don’t forget those cool ocean breezes when it’s 95 degrees in PA next summer!

    Like

    • Bruce—do you have a picture of the snow in your part of the world you could send me? I’d post it on this article…thanks. Carolyn

      Like

      • Bruce says:

        Oops! It’s already dark before I saw this and the new “snow” is really rain. So it think tomorrow it may not look that impressive.

        Like

      • It’s likely you will get another snowstorm that will make nice pictures. Does the river freeze?

        Like

      • Bruce says:

        I doubt the river is frozen, but it’s not nearby so I don’t know for sure. Our shore is tidal ocean, neither brackish from the river nor influenced by its current. You’d have to go upstream until it’s a stone’s throw across before you’d get to water fresh enough to freeze. On a map it looks like a real river but the wide part is just a big ocean funnel. Having said that, out in front on calm days there are floating ice masses substantial enough to support the weight of a sea duck. They get recycled as soon as the wind picks up (the ice, not the ducks)! Bruce

        Like

      • Perhaps, then, I mislabeled a picture I used today in Deep Water Along the New England Coast, because I said it was taken on the Jordan River? It was taken when I went down the steps to the water when we stayed with you.

        Like

  3. I agree with Grace, Santa left New York and went to the South this year. PTL

    Like

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