Monday, January 23, 2012

Mother Nature's One Day Assignment

You might have heard that we had a little snow in the northeast on Saturday.

It was the first storm we've had since October, and back in October, we didn't even get the snow, but other parts of the state were hit pretty hard.   October is NOT the normal opening month for snow around here.  Late November is more like it.  I can't remember a winter when we went as late as mid January before we saw any real snow, though.  This was the kind of storm that is ideal in a lot of ways. 

1)  It was on a Saturday.  This is ideal for a lot of people because it didn't interfere with their Monday - Friday work.  It was also not a school day, so though we do love those surprise phone calls cancelling school, we do not love making the days up in June.  And it allowed for kids to sled all day Sunday.

2)  It was not frigid.  This is ideal because when it's super cold and snows, everything gets icy, things break and it's just a mess and dangerous. 

3)  It was not a super heavy snow.  Super heavy snow is never ideal, unless you are snowman builder.  Heavy snow breaks equipment and makes it really hard to shovel, thus injuring people in many ways.

4)  It snowed only during daylight hours.  This is unusual and I say ideal because when it snows at night, it gets really dangerous out there. 

5)  It wasn't a blizzard.  This wasn't a wind-howling blizzard that knocked out power lines and put ice all over everything.  Those are dangerous storms.  This was more of an inconvenience.

Don't get me wrong, we got about 8-10 inches of snow.  But since it was steady all day, it was manageable and everything was plowed by the next morning.  But when you have 8-10 inches from a raging blizzard, you get huge drifts, you get dangerous power lines down and you get icy conditions that are impossible to plow and sand.

I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to snow removal because, well, this has been the scene outside my door for most of my life:

I've even had to remove snow myself, a time or two.  It's not all it's glorified to be, especially for those who are short and don't especially love to drive.  And have very tiny bladders that need to be emptied on a regular basis from all the coffee consumed to stay awake.

I even went to the barn and rode in the middle of it.  We had about 2 inches when I got there and I was surprised to see the horses were all still out.

They all have blankets so they stay warm but I feel bad that their heads get wet.  They didn't seem to be too fazed by it and happily munched away on their morning hay.

Because of the indoor ring, we can ride all winter.  This is new for me.  I haven't ridden a whole winter before.

By the time I left the barn, we had a little more snow and then the fun began.  I'd say we had about 4 inches by then and it was sooooooooo slippery.  4 wheel drive does nothing for you when it's a slippery snow.  It gives slightly more grip to power through things, but when you're going around a curve and your steering wheel is turned one way and your butt is going the other, 4 wheel drive can't help you there.  I have never felt such slippery driving.  Never.

At least people were decent about driving.  Another thing I attribute to the fact that it was  Saturday.  Frogmama has a great post about the fury of people in her neck of the woods, just a few hours from my neck of the woods.    I'd say people were quite rational where I was driving.  They drove slowly, gave each other wide berths, didn't honk and freak out.  Had this been a weekday morning or late afternoon, I suspect there would have been more road rage, but at noon on Saturday, I think people were a little more at ease.

I like to imagine what it's like in Mother Nature's household after this kind of storm.  Mother comes home from a hard day at work, Father Time (cuz that's her husband, right?) has supper waiting on the table.  She blows through the door in a chilly wind and he says :

"Hi honey, how was work today?" 

"Oh fine dear, I gave it a good 10 hours at the office today, catching up on some work, making a few people happy.  I wanted to be home in time for supper, so I cut out a little early, made sure I cleaned up before I left."

Now let's make sure no one pisses her off for the rest of the winter and we might have a happy one!

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