Snow Day Number Two

We had another snow day today. The snow fell all last night and most of the day today. It is hard to tell just how much snow fell. The wind blew hard. We may have gotten two feet. We had “blizzard-like” conditions. A blizzard needs to have sustained winds of 35 miles per hour for three hours. We did not quite meet that definition. A severe blizzard also has temperatures of 10 degrees or lower. We started the day at 14 degrees. So I guess we just had a snowstorm.

I stayed inside for a while, although the kids did get out early. They didn’t last long in the cold and wind, but they went out several times throughout the day. I figured I would start with breakfast. Since I did not have to drive anywhere I used what would have been my commuting time to make home fries.

I paired these hot crispy potatoes with a hot omelette

I paired these hot crispy potatoes with a hot omelette

The snow did let up eventually. I took a walk in the afternoon when it was falling lightly, although the wind was still pretty fierce.

The town road crew got the road passable, but wind kept the drifts coming

The town road crew got the road passable, but wind kept the drifts coming

There's a river under there somewhere

There’s a river under there somewhere

By the end of the day the sun came out for a bit, the light low across the white landscape. Before the sun set the world turned pink. After a dinner of soup and hot sandwiches, we all headed back outside again. We fell backward off the hill into a huge snowdrift and flipped upside down into the pile the plow had left. We tossed snow at each other in the dark. We came inside red-faced and a little soggy. After some reading together the children headed up to bed. Two days off and they are back to school tomorrow. I worked a bunch from home today but I am back at it myself once the sun comes up. It was a great couple of days in our house. We have to enjoy the snow when it comes, and we did.

Late day sun on Camel's Hump

Late day sun on Camel’s Hump

 

Not Spring Now

Snow coming down hard

Snow coming down hard

It started snowing early in the day. School was cancelled. Then the snow let up. I went to work. Luckily I only was in town half the day. The drive home was slick and slow. Then it really started to snow. By late in the day it was coming down and the wind picked up. And the temperature dropped. We had ourselves a snowstorm.

I went for a ski around the field. It was fine when I had my back to the wind but heading into the wind–ouch! Those little crystals of ice are painful when they slam into one’s face. My hood was a handy tool. By my second lap my ski tracks were almost filled in.

Skiing in the blowing snow

Skiing in the blowing snow

This morning the snow was still falling. Drifts piled against the house. I could only see out half the bedroom window. No school today. I will get some work done from home. First, however, I plan to rekindle the fire in the stove and to brew some coffee. And to appreciate being warm inside.

Weather This Week

Is this really going to get washed away by rain?

Is this really going to get washed away by rain?

Anyone can talk about the weather. It is a universal conversation. In New England it is more of a conversation topic than in some other places. Santa Barbara-ites probably don’t have as much passion about the weather as we do here in Vermont. They still discuss it, I am sure, just not as much. But is hard not to talk about it when it gets so crappy changes so drastically. So here is my mini-conversation with you and me about the weather, only I am doing all the talking here.

I love weather. One of the things I love about living here is that it does change. It is sometimes hard to believe that the same landscape that has bare trees and gray skies and brown fields can host singing meadowlarks and blooming daisies and puffy cumulus clouds, that a stinging sleet can be replaced a few months later by a gentle warm rain. I mean, how could I not be amazed by that when it is so amazing? Winter, however, is the hardest season. I don’t mean to say that winter is difficult because it is cold, or the days are shorter, or the sun doesn’t shine as strongly. Those things are a challenge to some degree, sure, but it is the snow that pulls out the emotions in me.

We had a snow day last Friday. This is a huge hassle for me. I work in schools, so with school cancelled I had to call it a day as well. This means I have to reschedule things when I have few, or often no, days to reschedule them. It means more work and missed work and generally a nuisance all around. But we had a snow day. A snow day is the coolest, most awesome thing around. Lots of snow falling and making things beautiful and brightening the world and filling in all the cracks and crevices so we can play in it? That is just the best. So it is a pain but it is the greatest thing ever. That is what I mean by pulling out the emotions. Love and hate it, that kind of thing.

Once the snow is cleared from roads and walkways and doors, things get back to normal for the most part, but then we still have snow on the ground. This means snow forts and skiing around the field and snowballs tossed at the kids walking down to meet the bus and, again, the beauty of it all. I love the snow, and so does everyone else in our cozy house. When we have snow we are all happy about it. But guess what? Tomorrow or the next day it is going to rain. Now, I love rain. I love a warm summer rain or a cold autumn rain or a good thunder shower. But I do not like rain when it threatens to soak into and wash away my precious snow. It means first slush and then ice and no more snow forts or skiing around the field or snowballs. It means brown crust and slippery walking. I do not like rain after snow.

Winter is for snow, not for rain, at least around here. Rain in March, I can handle. I mean, winter has to end sometime and I can deal with that. But it is February. We should be getting more snow. I want to be able to ski out my door every day. The forecast calls for rain and then freezing temperatures. Ouch. No snow on the horizon.

Until another day. I am sure we will get snow again. I can’t really complain. Weather is just weather, not something to gripe about. I can dislike some of it and feel OK with that. It is a waste of energy to complain about the weather. I am just letting you know how it makes me feel in this case. Most of the time I love the weather, whatever it is. When it gets to 10 below zero I say bring it–if it is going to be that cold then why not 20 below? Wind is an audio delight, lightning is exciting, heat makes the tomatoes grow faster. But rain on top of snow, followed by a freeze? That just shouldn’t be allowed.

Waiting For Snow

Giant Snowballs Waiting for the Big Storm

 

We might get some snow tomorrow. We’ll see. In one scenario, it falls heavily just as the morning commute is humming. Could be messy. Could be a snow day. In another scenario, we get a little snow to make things pretty, then done. Like I said, we’ll see.

The last almost inch we got the children rolled what they could into giant lumps and made a wall. Once we get more snow it will be a great place to sneak behind when tossing the fluffy stuff back and forth. Or so they think. They are not as tall as I am, but still, it isn’t very high. But those are some awesome giant snowballs and don’t try to argue any differently. They do, however, look a little lonely on the lawn.

I need to drive about 50 minutes tomorrow morning. At least it takes me about that long on a good day. Could be longer tomorrow. Or we get a snow day. That would be great except for the rescheduling hassle. Either way it will work out. I will take what I get.

No matter what I look forward to some snow. It has been lacking. Bogus, if you ask me. Someone pointed out to me the other day that it sure saves on the plowing bill. Truth, that. And you can’t get stuck in a snowbank. But shoot, what is winter for? If we have cold, we might as well have snow. That is the attitude in our house. And that is not changing any time soon.

I hope those giant snow lumps get covered in the morning. It sure would make them look dandy. And who doesn’t like dandy?

Snow All Day

We got the call yesterday afternoon. School would be closed. Work was closed. We weren’t going anywhere. And we stuck to that. And it snowed all day. OK, it did stop for a brief time, maybe an hour, but otherwise it fell and fell. It falls still. The stuff is deep. Typically we get the “January thaw,” a period of warmish weather above freezing. That is when the basement floods and the snow turns to slush and all the dirt starts to show. But not this year. It stayed cold and we got lots snow.

We kept the fire going in the woodstove and cozied up. I made pancakes for breakfast and zucchini bread for the afternoon. I took the failing produce in the refrigerator and made some soup stock. I made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner. I kept the house warm by cooking.

We skied in the field and sledded on the hill and dug tunnels. We made roads for toy trucks and fell backward into the poof. We had a good time, outside and inside. My gauge for the depth of snow is the snowman my son and I made recently. Here is how it played out:

The Benchmark: Four Days Ago, Just Born

1:19 PM: Snowing Like Stink

4:20 PM: Still More Snow

5:32 PM: Snowing Like Stink Again

And it is forecast to snow all night. Sleep tight, Snowman!

Update 2/3:

8:11 Next Morning: Good Thing He Has That Pipe

Update 2/5: More snow is forecast for today, but our snowman, in the meantime, has some sun to take in:

February 5, 8:22 AM: Melting Has Begun But More Snow Coming

Update 2/6: Lots of snow last night again–snowman buried after I found the hat blown into the trees:

February 6, 8:06 AM: Put Your Hands in the Air...

Zero and Snow

The temperature is, right now, zero degrees. It was cold today, high of eleven, but it is colder now. Below zero is what we will get tonight. I don’t want to harp on the weather. I mean, people talk about the weather a lot. It is a topic we all have in common. Strangers talk about it with each other. People with strained relationships talk about it. Long time friends talk about it. Of course, more people complain about it than talk about it, but still, I love weather. When it gets down to zero, I get excited. Below zero? It’s like a party at our house.

We also have some snow on the way. My wife is a weather junky. She doesn’t just check the forecast more than most people; she reads the detailed forecast discussion. This discussion is the chatter amongst meteorologists. They have their own language and she understands it. Here is an excerpt, referring to Tuesday into Wednesday:

AS OF 348 PM EST MONDAY...WK BOUNDARY MVS EAST OVER SOUTHERN NEW
ENGLAND DURING THE DAY TUESDAY. EXPECTING SNOW TO OVERSPREAD CWA
FROM S TO N BY MIDDAY. HEAVIEST MDL QPF TOTALS REMAIN TO THE
SOUTHERN ZONES IN PROXIMITY TO PASSING FEATURE. GOING FOR 1-3"
NORTH AND UP TO 2-4" SOUTH...WITH MAIN FOCUS OVER HIR TRRN. MDLS
TRENDING TOWARDS BREAK IN PRECIP BY MIDNGT WED BFR MAIN SURGE OF
SNOW BEGINS FROM LARGER LOW TOWARDS 09Z-12Z WED. THIS LOW WILL
TAKE SIMILAR TRACK AS PREVIOUS FEATURE...OVERSPREADING CWA BY 18Z
WED WITH LARGE QPF PLUME.

See what I’m saying? She gets this stuff. That is why I rely on her to keep me in the loop. The forecast changes enough that I think I know what is going on but I am often relying on old (like several hours old) predictions. She updates me when I have no idea, which is more often than I should admit. I do keep up on the forecast quite a bit, mind you, but I’m can’t say I’m sure what a “QPF plume” is.

The actual forecast calls for 8-14 inches of snow where we live over the next couple of days. That would be pretty sweet, if you ask me. Could be a snow day. Of course, a snow day for me is a hassle, as I have to rearrange my work schedule, but I’ll take it anyway. And it won’t be quite so cold. No blizzard for us, just plenty of that fluffy white stuff to keep things beautiful and to play in.

It is sometimes hard to believe that spring is only a couple of months away. I ordered seeds yesterday. At some point all this beautiful snow will melt and I will turn the soil and plant spinach and peas. Until then, however, I am going to slip on my ski boots and enjoy it while we’ve got it. Although, admittedly, I will probably wait until we get at least into single digit temperatures before I head outside.

Snow and Camera Practice

The forecast called for snow and we got it. It just came too late. It’s like this. I woke up at 5:30 and looked out the window. It was not snowing. “Oh well,” I said to myself. “No snow day today.” Then I suited up and strapped on my headlamp for an early morning run. By the time I got out there, about 5:50, it was snowing. At mile one it was snowing hard. At mile two it was snowing so hard I could see only about ten feet in front of me. After the turnaround point I was surprised to see, or not see, that my tracks had disappeared already. My thinking by the time I got home? It would be insanity not to have a snow day.

Alas, the decision had already been made. The school to which I was headed to day had decided by about 5:30. So instead of all of us staying home together–family time by the fire, baking cookies, playing outside, reading holiday stories–we all headed to four separate schools. Driving was iffy but we all made it to our respective centers of learning and back without any scratches. That works out better workwise–no work to make up–but a day at home, even if I were working at least part of it, would have been a gift with this head cold of mine.

We got a good deal of snow. Of course, it is now raining, but one can’t ask for too much now can one? On another note, check out these picks my daughter took this afternoon. Maybe you might say they look fuzzy or odd but I say she has a good eye.

Macro of Technology

Self Portrait with Dad