06DEC2020 – OCF Update

Sorry if things are a little slow this weekend with the posts, I’ve been enjoying the New England weather.

This weekend we have been blessed with an early December snow storm.  And even though it’s not the first snow of the season this was the first legitimately annoying snow of the year.  That’s because it was one of our trifecta storms.  It starts with a typhoon of rain, then it shifts to sleet and ends with a good think layer of snow.  When you get that combination it is delightfully heavy and certain to cause back ache, heart palpitations and exhaustion.  And it requires two separate removal operations.  Once the sleet ends and the snow begins in earnest you have to remove the slushy layer before it turns into a bottom layer of rock-like ice.  So you spend several hours (depending on the size of your driveway and parking area) shoveling and slinging slush and that is the heaviest snow there is.  And unfortunately snow blowers really don’t handle slush very well so this has to be done with the good old snow shovel.

Then you wait until the storm is over and remove the snow.  But unfortunately there is always an ice layer at the bottom even after the initial slush removal step so this is never as easy as a dry snowstorm.  It rained here on Friday through to Saturday morning.  The sleet started early and the snow began at 10 am.  I spent about three hours on Saturday slinging slush.  The snow was over by Sunday morning and I got to work again and finished up by 2 pm today.  Global warming, my foot.

So I’m behind on my writing but I haven’t heard about anymore snow coming anytime soon so I’ll catch up pretty quickly.  Maybe the lousy weather is why New Englanders are such perverse creatures.  They want to share their misery with everyone and being experts they do a thorough job.

End of Summer Blues

 

In New England, the end of summer is akin to how it must have felt to the pyramid-building slaves when their break period was about to end.  A wonderful but horribly short respite was giving way to endless unimaginable agony.  And this cycle would repeat itself until merciful death interceded.  It’s just like that.

Summer is breathtakingly beautiful because of the contrast to what follows.  It was less than 40F here this morning.  On the second day of September.  Still summer!  And it goes rapidly downhill from here.  Sure, we’ll have some warm days.  Over eighty sometimes.  But it’s just a cruel tease meant to highlight just how bad things will soon be.  In the last decade or so New England has unleashed a new and terrifying alternative to winter storms.  This is where a freezing rain or snow descends on us in October while the trees are still full of leaves.  The trees in this condition hold onto much more snow and ice than normally and therefore huge branches and limbs can break off the trees.  And that’s how millions of people end up without power for days or even weeks.  So, what you have is houses without heat, some without a stove, some without water, which means without toilets.  It’s such a joy.  So, installing an emergency generator really isn’t an extreme decision.  It’s sort of mandatory if you want to eat and drink and stay warm and go to the bathroom and, you know, live.

So, why am I writing about this?  Well mostly to let you people living in other parts of the country know how lucky you are.  Sure, they have hurricanes down south and earthquakes in the west and tornadoes in between but those only very infrequently effect you.  Here we know as sure as night follows day that we will be wet, miserable and cold for eight months of the year, every year until we die or we have the good sense to get the hell out of this purgatorial region.

And why don’t I leave?  Ah, I am bound with the strongest and most adamantine of chains, the grandmother/grandchildren bond.  If a woman is possessed of an industrial strength maternal instinct (as, sadly, Camera Girl is) then no power in the ‘Verse short of a strategic thermonuclear strike will pry her away from these rugrats.

So here I am.  The rollercoaster is at the top of the lift hill and the slow ratchet up is done.  We’re staring down but the bottom has not yet dropped out of our stomachs.  Here we go.

End of depressing preamble.

So, I’ve got this cool three-day weekend.  Some relatives are coming up.  I’m going out to take some seasonal photos and I’m bound to hang out with the grandsons too.  Plus, the mystery of the disappearing quail needs to be answered.  I’ve put out a game camera and hope to catch some photos of them gamboling around in the woods and thickets.  And finally, I’m finishing up the available Cowboy Bebop discs from Netflix.  I decided to try out another anime title (Ghost in the Shell 2.0) and it just arrived.  All in all, it sounds like I’ll be having a very good time.

A very happy and relaxing Labor Day Holiday to all you good folks out there reading OCF.  I’ll have more serious stuff right along soon but today just enjoy a good rest and do something fun.