It has been a very unusually mild winter on the East coast so far, with Christmas day hitting 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). Most days in December had blue skies and we didn’t even start the oil furnace.
I seriously considered preparing the Christmas feast on the BBQ, light the fire pit and then do some insane Marshmallow rice pudding creation for dessert. In the end I opt’d for the traditional dinner in the oven.
People really enjoyed the mild winter and I was careful not to jinx it. But, deep inside I knew we would get snow, and it would be back to snow clearing the ridiculous long driveway.
The news started to report about strange weather behaviours and snow was falling in Nashville. Our local weather-guy forecasted the arrival of a Nor-Eastern storm, bringing a lot of snow.
Stage is set for the arrival of Jonas (aka Jon-Ass)
Not sure who comes up with these storm names, but Jonas Brothers were indeed an annoying phenomenon … they came, stayed for a brief moment and left us with annoying songs. And, the equally Jonas Berggren who gave us Ace of Base. You get the point, Jonas is annoying!
Late Friday evening the first flurries were dropping, and by the time we woke up we had about an inch. Not much, but the sky was only getting started, and the intensity grew.
By 1 pm we had about 8 inches and the girls braved the blizzard to go hit the slopes (i.e. our silly long and steep driveway.
I stepped outside a few times, but each time my beard was filled with icicles, bringing back memories of my viking days sailing around the fjords of Alaska. Back then, we only went to shore to pillage and sleep with the locals.
By Sunday morning, the snow had stopped falling, and the total accumulation was closer to 16-18 inches.
It looked absolutely stunning. The white landscape, the silence and the powdery snow was only disturbed by the local wild life.
BUT, looks can be very deceiving, especially as we have a stupid long driveway. It’s paved, but that does not make it any easier to clear. Thankfully I have it almost down to a science.
Here’s the snow clearing recipe:
- clear 95% with snow-blower; this will cause you to be covered with snow all over, resembling the abominable snowman. It’s rather painless exercise, but wrists may become sore as you push engine forward.
- scrape the remaining layer manually, to see black tarmac; this is a painful activity, which will keep on giving for several hours after you are done. However, if the sun is out, this will result in quicker melting
- sprinkle the magic; by far the easiest job, and one you will have to compete for with the rest of the family. You simply sprinkle some snow/ice melting salt over the areas, to remove the remaining snow.
Although, it also make you feel like a retired WWII veteran. You back is killing you. Muscles you did not know you had will ache. Some exposed body parts will be numb due to cold and limited blood circulation.
Two hours of hypothermia, white knuckles, icicles in beard and eyebrows, can’t-feel’my-knees sensation and frostbitten eyeballs. It’s worth it man!
My driveway is now spotless. Pride of the neighbourhood. I’m the driveway-snowclearing-hulk … or just the ginger grizzly