Winter makes my nose hairs ache

dr-beachHere we are again in the grips of winter. Most of the past weekend and for the next couple of days the Great Lakes bioregion has been in the grips of lake effect snow. For whatever reason, snow totals aren’t  nearly as easy to find as I had thought they would be. What I can tell you is that the ground temperature is sore enough to have melted the snow we got from the bottom up. A rough guess would put the total at over a foot, maybe more, with another 8-12″ incoming tomorrow (up to 18″ in snow belts). What I KNOW is the Leah and I (and a couple of good friends yesterday) have shoveled the driveway 5 times with never less than 2″ (more like 3-5″) of what turned out to be wet heavy slushy snow. The kind of snow that a snow blower can’t deal with. The kind of snow that has to be lifted off and away, one shovel load at a time. Like I said above, it’s wet and heavy because the warm ground turned the bottom layer into slush. In it’s way, this is one of the few saving graces about winter. In it’s way. By that I’m referring to the mandatory exercise it entails. If you’ve ever been here, you know the size of our driveway. For those who haven’t, it’s a long oval. More like a teardrop with a projection off one side and the bottom thickened to allow for parking. This tear drop is at least 200′ long and because it is split in fat end, the total goes close to double that. We have a decent snow blower. One that has taught me on too many occasions that it hates the wet heavy stuff. This means that after I spend 30 minutes fighting the machine, I surrender and we do it by hand. Lift with the legs, knees bent, pivot and sling. About as good a workout as it gets. Back shoulders arms abdominal core legs. To the point that the coat almost always ends up on the side of the drive after the first 30′. The dogs are NEVER any help. Not even a little. And I say this with the experience of having had 5 of them here over the past 11 years. (3 at most, 1 now) There are moments when boredom has gotten the best of them and they come by to investigate what the stupid monkeys are wasting their time on. This usually ends with them getting a face full. Panama was so devoted to me that I could get away with dumping entire shovel loads on him. He loved the snow more than any of the others. Maly won’t come near the shovels so we only get the enjoyment of watching him catch snowballs. Good times.

Once upon a time, having a clear driveway was almost mandatory as I needed to get out at a moments notice to answer ambulance/fire calls. Now we keep it clear in case Leah has someone coming by. That and I will turn into a pudgy blob if I don’t do anything all winter.  That’s pretty easy regardless. Come on. Once there is more than a dusting of snow on the ground, most everything stops.

Here is the “sticks in my craw” part of it all. I went down to Athens Ohio yesterday and once we got out of the county, THERE IS NO SNOW.  None at all. Along I-77 and I-71. Not really any in Cleveland either.

good times

In case you are wondering, the beach with moonlight picture is not from here. My sister took the weekend in the Dominican Republic and sent that LAST NIGHT!!! She lives in Central Ohio where it is grey and cold but not snowy.