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Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by duceditor, Feb 9, 2017.
Unfortunately that darned groundhog saw his shadow a few days ago....
Oh, is there a contradiction in the above? That I can love much that Winter offers, but still look so forward to Spring?
No. Not to me. I try to find the good in every season of life.
(Even getting to be an "old man.")
Not here. Instead he seems to have interested himself in the smell of french toast and busied himself making tracks for our porch door.
Jan just missed him... but caught his tracks.
I did get a snap earlier though...
One real week of real winter here in east Tn. Its kinda like waiting for the storm. Its pretty there as long as you can deal with it.
Boy seeing all that snow that Don' got kinda makes me glad we don't have it here..A little bit I can deal with but that much makes me want to hunker down and hope for spring..
"Hunker hunker!" (Another foot on the way!)
Another inch or so last night. Four to six expected today, and then again tomorrow.
Still, with nowhere to run and the woodstove blazing I've no complaints.
Took this through a kitchen window this morning as Jan cooked up blueberry griddlecakes. It is the view towards the badminton/basketball court and the guest cottage -- now long-term occupied by a navy (submarine force) vet who has become a dear friend to Jan and I...
So, last night we got almost another foot. And more is still falling.
In years past this was a "normal" New England winter. But the last several have been usually mild.
Here's a couple of additional pix. First of the meadow in front of our main house as it looked upon my awakening this morning, seen from the porch...
And here's a less "scenic" shot. Ugly maybe even. Taken out of the dining room window.
Facebook friends from warm climes react "OMG!" to shots like this. But the fact is the house has gone through over a hundred such winters. And dare I say it? Jan and I not too, too many fewer. Yes, we are warm and comfortable. Enjoying it really!
Part of the joy is a ritual from times past. Keeping the fires fed; the wood stocked, warmed to room temperature and ready to burn.
We keep a two day supply always in the house -- and a full winter's worth and then some dry on the porch.
I awaken, typically, at about five and my first chore (apart from turning on the espresso machine!) is to clean the hearth and get the day's fire going. An art form going back, I expect, to the days of cave dwellings. And to me a true pleasure.
You are a lucky man, Don. You seem to really be enjoying your August years. Nice crib. It must be beautiful in the warmer seasons.
I was born and raised in the NYC area. We had to move out of there after I got paralyzed. Wheelchairs and snow don't mix well. After getting rehabbed we moved back down to Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg where I did my time in active service. I got retrained in computer things relating to the military and went back to work for the military as a civilian until having to retire for health reasons in 2006.
Down here one inch of snow literally shuts down almost everything. Even the Army. The auto body shops must dig it because of all the work it brings them from so many fender benders. No one seems to understand how to drive in even a light snow flurry.
Up north I worked as a civilian for the local water supply, so there were no days off for snow. We were out in the worst snow storms every day, fixing broken water mains, fire hydrants that get knocked over regularly when it snowed, and trying to keep people supplied with drinking water through the frozen winters. I ran the back hoe, so I plowed up what I could an Lord have mercy, I shoveled more snow than one could imagine. Between shoveling my mom's, aunt's, sister's and friends houses and cars out, it seemed like there would be no end to it. Carrying and using snow chains seems like a lost art today.
Ya'll northerners know what I'm talking about. You know how to dress to keep warm (I was partial to union suits) and how to drive in the icy white stuff.
I have gotten used to the moderate climate of NC. I am, after all, a son of the south. My father was born an raised here and most of my surviving family still live in NC and the adjoining states. I just have not fully lost my Bronx accent yet. And I'm gettin' old...
So true. But in fact technology has moved way beyond things like chains. (Yes! Yes! I do remember them. And the sound they made!)
Today there is something called an "ice tire." Absolutely amazing technology.
It looks like a "snow tire" -- having that kind of tread. But the "rubber" is super high stick, even when cold, and there are throughout the depth of the tread (so that they do not disappear with wear) millions of small equivalents to suction cups.
Even a regular front wheel drive car can go through almost anything with a good level of control with these. And when put on all four wheels of an SUV the traction and control is stunning.
Add to that 4 wheel traction control -- where a computer monitors and applies either forward drive or, when needed to compensate, breaking force to each wheel -- and winter driving is something totally new.
My wife has been driving now for almost fifty years. She learned on a standard in snowy Massachusetts, taught by her dad who was very skilled with all the old techniques.
She loves plain old-fashioned "4 wheel drive" with a standard shift. But about 8 years ago I bought her a then new X-Terra -- her then dream machine - with an automatic transmission and advanced 4-wheel traction control. Jan's work schedule had her driving over Temple Mountaim every night just after midnight -- a road that was not rarely viewed as impassible with lesser vehicles. But with the X-Terra she never got stuck.
Then about two years ago she traded in the X-Terra for the then new iteration of the Rogue -- a fancy schmancy version with all the goodies. That, with 4 ice tires is pure go. Absolutely amazing.
Jan's problem is she still prefers to trust herself rather than the computer. When I'm with her I listen to her mutter when she can't force the machine to do this or that.
But in fact that car drives better than even she can. "Just learn to trust it" I tell her. As does my son who is a skilled instrument rated pilot who knows the good of auto pilot, and who comfortably trusts his self-driving Tesla under any and all circumstances. (Yes, even letting it park itself in the garage after he has gotten out of it!)
Old habits are hard to break.
30 hours nonstop snow here as I type this.
They say about 20 "
All I know for sure is even though the wind has been blowing steadily, we have 14-16" on top on our vehicles right now. And that is "drifted". Means we actually got more than stayed on the vehicles.
About to go back out there and put in a couple more hours shoveling
Already got 6+ hours shoveling in this week......
I'm getting too old for this.
You're getting, I think, the same storm fronts as we. But if you are near the coast maybe worse.
Hope you are using care. Shoveling can be such hard work!
OK, I'm way behind in motor technology. I still live in a points, plugs and carbureted state of mind.
Yes, being about 100 miles east as the crow flies, We get the same storms for the most part.
And yes, I am within about 3 miles of the coast where we generally either get a bunch more, or it turns to rain... no rain this time.
Last night was for some here in New England, another whopper. But we here in the Monadnocks got off easy as the storm swept a bit north of us. (How you'd do DJG?)
What's left here is pure beauty.
Unlike in cities snow here remains white. And when the temperature is just a bit below the freezing point -- or even a bit above for short periods -- the snow glazes over with just enough ice crystals so that it catches the light like diamonds, making the views not only yet more lovely to behold, but ever changing along with the direction of the sunlight as it streams through the trees.
Here's a shot taken through my music room window this morning...
More rain than snow this time!
Glad of it too.
Only about 6 more inches here after the rain changed to snow.
Shoveling time again and its going to be wet and heavy
Glad you weren't buried!
You are killing me. I am in Enfield CTR, a little north of you. Well over 2 feet in the past 3 days. My snow plow guy is running out of room to put the stuff. Snow banks are literally 6.5' high. Reminds me of my winters here in my childhood. Alas, now it is up to me to clean it up! Much better when I just played in the stuff!
Okay, that entire front has now passed. Today it is clear and still. And as the new week commences the weather is expected to be well above freezing.
Is this the last of serious Winter? It is far too early to say that for sure. But maybe, just maybe.
Anyhow, here are two pix from today. This first one was taken through the "glass wall" in the master bedroom just as the first rays of the sun burst forth over Mt. Monadnock and fell on some of the trees across the meadow. Struck me as rather pretty. -Enough to make me grab a small camera I keep nearby on the side stand for just such mornings.
This second I just took -- upon my walking back to the main house from having dumped the ashes and picking up the mail.
I had YaxTrax on my shoes -- walking's equivalent of old fashioned tire chains. That and a sharp tipped walking stick -- both to assure against a slip and fall on the ice that can be hidden under the top layer of snow.