Snow…Blagh!

It may seem ungracious to complain about the presence of snow in our landscape, not only ungracious but also uselessly whiny, but enough, already. Sure the snows are useful to keep vegetation from freezing out at the roots in the icy weather and the blankets of snow obscuring the less than aesthetically pleasing aspects of suburban life may seem to be a temporary boon for the eyes and soul, however its sudden record-breaking presence in a micro-climate best thought of as Mediterranean makes for problematic living, in the short term.
The past few days have seen unending deluge of rain, which reduces the snow-pack, but also threatens flooding. Our municipality has not been able to keep up with the snow-clearing. The plows have left berms almost 5 feet tall, and increasingly narrow roads. The local bus run disgorges its passengers onto our semi-cleared driveway, the only place people can actually get off the bus onto stable footing and without having to fall into deep snow. Once they get off the bus, they move with glacial slowness at the edges of the slushy road toward the relative safety of ankle deep slush on the sidewalk. At the corner, where the main drains are, a huge pile of snow blocks off the exit of the rapidly gathering melt-waters; the water keeps building up and up and cars turning the corner throw up huge tsunamis of water onto passersby. Walking about in my neighbourhood makes for comfortless, and even life threatening activity to pedestrians.
A couple of days ago, I ventured out onto our snow-covered lawn to test for myself the depth of the receding snow. I promptly lost my footing, slipped and took a header face first. The mouthful of snow I spit out was thankfully not yellow snow. I slithered my soggy way back to the relative safety of the walkway and tried to remove snow there. Man, was that snow heavy and water-logged! After digging for three feet or so, I threw in the shovel, so to speak. Visitors would simply have to wade their way into our place through the pile of slush.
Even Jessica, our Scottish Terrier, has a special horror of the current snow conditions. Whenever she goes outside to pee, she linger in the open doorway with a martyred expression on her pleading mug. “Do I really have to go out there to pee?” she seems to be projecting with heart melting glances. Heartless as I am, I order her to get out there and do her business. She bravely swims through the slushy snow, but doesn’t linger long out in it. She comes inside and makes dramatic shakes, as if she had braved sub-arctic temperatures ( in her ample fur coat, yet) and had trekked for unspeakably prolonged MILES, just to comply with her need to use outdoor plumbing. She does get a good rub-down with her towel afterward, and promptly heads to her perch on the back of the couch to sulk. Can’t say I blame her for her attitude as I am in complete agreement with her on it. We are two little old shut-ins, with raging cabin fever.
Yesterday, I phoned the municipality to complain about the rising waters on the blocked up corner, where the drain was completely covered by the snow pack. The woman on the other end of the phone suggested I or Rumpole go out and wrestle with the digging out. I told her, rather nicely, I thought, that neither of us wished to become part of the winter statisctic of older people dropping dead from shovelling snow, and that we had problem enough with extricating the car daily from its parking spot without having to tackle cleanup for which the municipality was responsible. A couple of hours later a Public Works truck parked in out driveway, and two stalwart young men schlepped through the sludge to the corner. In fifteen minutes they uncovered the plugged drain. (Reminder to self: send a letter to the editor of the local rag to formally and publicly thank the municipality for its prompt attention to what may have become a major flooding problem on our street.)
Today, the rain continues to fall, the snow keeps melting. At the rate of melt, Jessica and I will be able to resume our neighbourhood walks within a week. Only, the weather forecast threatens more snowfall in the next couple of days. Blagh!!! Whine!!! We can only hope the weathermen are wrong.

6 Responses to “Snow…Blagh!”

  1. guybrush57 Says:

    Poor little Jessica! We’ve had 38 degree heat for the last few days … it would be rather nice to be able to pee in the snow! A white Christmas would have been lovely – I suppose we were lucky it was only about 26 degrees on that day. Ah, the grass is always greener …

  2. Deborah Barlow Says:

    G, I used to have a healthy enjoyment of winter weather. Raised in sunny California, I found the east coast winters stimulating as if nature’s way of reminding us we aren’t all that significant in the grand scheme of things. I still hold the sentiment, but my patience with icy sidewalks and gummed up traffic from snow drifts and narrowed driving lanes has waned. It does tax my energy although I do like the concept of extreme seasons. Bear with my friend, and just keep writing.

  3. ybonesy Says:

    Wow, I’m impressed that the Public Works responded so quickly. Yes, a thank-you letter to the editor is in order.

    I loved your descriptions in this section. The words you used—disgorges, glacial slowness, tsunamis of water—it’s so fun to read and emphasizes the snowy and watery mess of it all.

    The local bus run disgorges its passengers onto our semi-cleared driveway, the only place people can actually get off the bus onto stable footing and without having to fall into deep snow. Once they get off the bus, they move with glacial slowness at the edges of the slushy road toward the relative safety of ankle deep slush on the sidewalk. At the corner, where the main drains are, a huge pile of snow blocks off the exit of the rapidly gathering melt-waters; the water keeps building up and up and cars turning the corner throw up huge tsunamis of water onto passersby.

  4. suburbanlife Says:

    guybrush – you are so right – the grass is always greener! In the hell of summer i long for crisp snowy days, and somehow conveniently forget about the slush that follows the fall of snow. About now, with these depressing overcast days i’d love to drop in on you and partake of your scorching temperatures. G

    Deborah – i know just what you mean – distinct seasons have their beauty and purpose and should be appreciated no matter what. Only now that i am getting a weebit creaky i do not take the same pleasure in what winter has to offer – am too scared to fall and break. This getting old is getting really old – it might be nice to enjoy the winter pratfalls, face-plants and other dramatic plungings into the elements which used to be so much fun way back. I shall quit my whining! G

    Ybonesy- Rumpole jokes about our municipality being able to extract maximum dollars from citizens without providing services- however, in this instance, it attended to our plaint, posthaste. it was really quite a surprise to see those young men attack the berm on the corner.
    Aargh, whine – it is the sixth day of constant rain, and the bloody slush is still with us – we really did get a record snowfall, and it’ll probably take weeks for it to all melt away. A good reminder of what it is about the west Coast that is a particular irritant – the winter weather, SADS. G

  5. dowhatyoulove Says:

    It is a challenge some times when you are immersed in the middle of something, and you are looking to the other side. The true challenge is to find the beauty in each moment. Thank you for the beautiful comment on my cloud post, very well writen.

  6. Christine Says:

    I agree with ybonsey. I doubt our city work crew would get to my neighborhood at all!

    You have convinced me not to wish it snowed more where I live. In Georgia we rarely get more than a one-inch dusting once a season.

    Great descriptions. I’m sorry you took a spill in the snow. Very disagreeable, not to mention hard on one’s pride.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: