As a child, winter is about Snow Days and sledding with the family. Children don’t think about who shovels the snow or deals with the problems caused by weather.
Even as a homeowner in my thirties, I was not too concerned about logistics.
So when we purchased our second home when we were in our late thirties, we didn’t think about snow and ice or trees falling down or wild animals from the woods. We saw a beautiful home in a hilly, wooded setting.
Now almost two decades later we’ve watched about ten of our lovely trees die, fall down, get hit by lightning, almost anything but being removed by aliens. We’ve survived snow and ice storms, including the great big pre-Christmas story of 2004. Two feet of snow came so fast we hardly knew what hit us.
Believe me, our next home is going to be a windowless hut on a flat surface surrounded by nothingness with a hole in the top for the U.S. Mail. And hopefully it will be located in Bora Bora.
Yesterday I had a meeting at the Newburgh library, about two miles from our home. When I went to the meeting, it was chilly but nothing was happening (despite the Armageddon-like predictions of the local weather prognosticators)
I went outside about two hours after I came in, and I could barely see my hands in front of my face, let alone find my car in the parking lot. White-out conditions, they call it.
I drove directly home, even though I needed to pick up some prescriptions and a few things from the grocery.
By the time I got home our driveway was covered with something resembling snow, except that it was loud and crunchy when you drove over it. Our driveway goes up a hill and then makes a ninety degree turn onto a steeper hill, and if you are lucky, you’ll end up in the garage. Three years ago we put in a new driveway and decreased the incline and removed a stone garden pit that was four feet lower than the driveway. (Not driving into the pit was always a special winter challenge.)
But you cannot entirely remove the incline. Newburgh is an Ohio River town, and we’re a village of hills.
I could not make it into the garage; I barely made it up the first slight incline to park on the pad that sits next to the walkout entrance.
I drive a small SUV, and it is a little top heavy and I haven’t mastered the art of actually getting it in the garage if there’s ice on the driveway.
My car sat out last night. Today I went out and ran the car for about an hour, and chipped the ice off the windows. I was fearful of breaking the windows, but the three-quarter inch slabs of ice weren’t coming off any other way.
I chiseled my way into the back of the car because that’s where most of the good scrapers are. I was terrified to shut the big back door, for fear the sound would bring two down very large limbs that have been swaying perilously above the car since last night. There is very little wind, and these two limbs slowly move from side to side. That doesn’t seem to be a good sign for their continued vitality.
With my oversized blue parka on and my warm black boots, I collected two days’ worth of mail (neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, blah, blah, blah) and retrieved the garbage can.
I decided to try again to put the car in the garage. I backed up and immediately slid off into the side yard, nearly taking out the mailbox.
I guess I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I have a nice chicken dinner in the slow cooker, and I’m going to mellow by watching the birds at the frozen feeders. My husband will be home in a few hours. His employer is one of the few that did not close today, perhaps because hell is only partially frozen over.
And I’m also considering why the heck we left Florida for Indiana in January 1988. Seems like a dumb decision today.