Thursday, November 17, 2005

Winter Wonderland

I grew up in the North, outside of Chicago, so you could say that my blood was thick enough back then to withstand any type of weather. The winters there were Arctic in nature with lake effect snows (icy cold winds blowing out of the north from Canada picking up moisture as they blew across Lake Michigan and depositing mounds of snow on our house) . As I have mentioned before, it usually starts snowing in October or November there and doesn't quit until April or May. My father's favorite tool of choice was his snow shovel. He didn't actually buy his snow blower until we were grown and gone. You get the picture.

When we were kids, they never called school off because of snow no matter how much accumulated. I can only remember school being closed one time when I was in high school and that was because the temperature remained at 17 degrees F. below zero for a week. Talk about your nose hair freezing when you breathed! We walked everywhere and loved the snow. Our parents' store had a large stove in the middle to heat the place. When our hands became almost frostbitten, we would throw our gloves on top of the stove grate so they would dry out and warm our hands until we could go back outside and start all over again. We didn't just build snowmen -- we built huge snow forts that served as protection for our infamous snowball fights.

After we moved to Kentucky in the late 1960's, Husband and I were surprised at the temperate climate. We came to enjoy occasional big snows, but nothing like I was used to. Since living in Kentucky for almost 40 years, we joke about how they close the schools if there is even a dusting of snow on the roads. We are still amazed how people flock to the stores with the threat of a snow (no matter how big or how small) and empty the shelves of all stocks, including flour and yeast, just in case they can't make it to town for a couple of days. Most people around here don't do well when the roads become nasty.

We have enjoyed a fall this year that has been ideal. The temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s most days and the leaves on the trees didn't actually fall completely until after Halloween. For the past several days, we have had bad, nasty weather -- lots of tornadic activity, rain, wind, and falling temperatures. Most of the trees are bare now and our yard is strewn with lots of leaves. When I woke up just a little while ago, I happened to glance at the thermometer. The temperature outside read about 21 degrees and everything looked cold. The school buses across the road were warming up and were blowing lots of steamy exhaust. The cats are all in the house and they look warm.

I am reminded of last winter. We usually don't get any snow to amount to anything until the end of January or February. Last winter, however, we were surprised by a massive snow that kept us house-bound for a week.

The Big December Snow, 2004

This is a view of our back deck the morning after. Luckily, I had been to the store a couple of days before so we were pretty well stocked up on all the essentials. Both our vehicles were snowed in so we couldn't go anywhere. School was called off indefinitely, so we knew they weren't going to plow our street (even after I called the city and begged them nicely). So, Husband and I hunkered down and made the best of it. Our neighbors (there's only four houses on our street) were also stuck except for the guy next door who works for Kenergy and kept his big truck at home and the guy next door with the 4WD. They even stopped delivering the mail because they couldn't get in our street.

We really didn't care. After all, we had our TeeVee, our computers, our phones (both cell and land lines), and plenty of food, so we were okay with being trapped. But, as the week wore on, and nerves became a little frayed, desperate measures were taken. Husband actually bundled up and shoveled a path to the mailbox. Then he tried to shovel my car out (it was parked in front of the house next to the road). One day he even got it up the street about 50 feet before it got stuck. Eventually, however, by the end of the week I bribed the guy next door with the 4WD to drive me to town which he gladly did. I was able to run a few errands and was glad that downtown was shoveling out and coming back to life.

I decided, mostly out of desperation and frustration, that we were getting too old to be shoveling massive amounts of the white stuff any more and I certainly didn't want to become a snow widow before my time. So, the logical thing to do was get on the Internet and order a snow blower from Home Depot. I found the largest, prettiest red one I could find and, believe it or not, a large truck delivered it to our door within a week. We were so proud and happy. We were also confident that we were prepared for any snow no matter how big. We couldn't wait to use it. So, into the garage it went. We were prepped and rarin' to go.

And, that's where it still resides, still a virgin, brand new and never been used. That's right. It never snowed again last winter.

But, we're ready for this year. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. We are invincible. We can plow out our vehicles and our street. In fact, we can plow out the entire town. Huh? Let's just say that we hope we can plow out our vehicles and get us down the street, if necessary.

Man, I hate snow!


At November 17, 2005 6:57 AM, Blogger Alipurr said...

Very funny. Hey, do you still have those round red sleds in the garage? We "need" them to get ready for the snow. Hopefully you can christen your snowblower this year.

At November 17, 2005 4:26 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Well, you all can just keep the snow! Bleh, bleh, bleh. Florida looks better every day.

At November 17, 2005 9:10 PM, Blogger susan said...

Makes me cold just reading this blog. Sitting by the fire here in Georgia, it is 28 degrees outside now at 10 pm. Glad you told me your name, we had a mamakitty when I was growing up, black with white feet. Keep warm!

At November 18, 2005 3:34 AM, Blogger Motherkitty said...

Susan, that's so funny about your mamakitty. (I should probably write a blog entry about this!) We have had a Tuxedo cat (female) since 1993 that we found in the alley in Hammond behind my mother's house when she died. We brought her back to Kentucky and have had her ever since. Named her Alley Cat. The other day, when daughter,her hubby, and the girls were visiting after their trip to Nashville, I commented on how cute Alley Cat was peaking at us on the deck. I turned my head and saw another "Alley Cat" come onto the deck that looked exactly like our Tuxedo kitty. As Paul Harvey would say, and now you know the rest of the story. "Bootsie" has installed herself in our house (she is presently sleeping in my La-Z-Boy) and looks as if she doesn't intend to leave in the near future. Husband is insisting that I take her picture and run an ad in the local rag to find out who her real parents are, or else get her spayed. And, Bootsie makes six.

Thanks for your comments. Yesterday I went back and read all your entries in your blog and was impressed with your photography, prose, and good thoughts. I laughed and felt good by the time I was done. Keep up the good work.


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