Winter is Coming with a Body Slam

signThe winter had been pretty mild.  We’ve had a fair share of freezing my butt of cold days and nights, and some days my eyes froze.  But, nothing severe like 2-3 feet of snow in 12 hours or a sudden avalanche from the nearby mountain.

Deep inside my rather shallow body, I had a suspecion that we would get absolutely creamed and dumped on.  We couldn’t just get a mild winter with a few inches of snow.  I needed to use my snow blower, and at least 100 lbs of road salt (from my 1000lbs stash), to proudly be able to say “winter is coming!“.

When they decided to consult with a rodent, the annual groundhog day, I was not surprised when the furry critter predicted another six weeks of winter.  He too knew winter was coming.  I must admit, asking a small furry dude to predict the weather is rather odd, but hey, stranger things happens.

It was rather pleasant when we had a 62F winter day, and I could drive with the windows down.  Little did I know that winter was indeed coming.  The weather guys did warn the population, but when you sit in a t-shirt, listening to Shakira, you can’t really take them seriously.  Surely winter is over!

Later that evening, snow did cover the night sky, and temperature dropped.  By 4.30am we received a call from the school, saying school would be closed – followed by a number of emails and text messages.  All stating “winter is coming!“.

dayaftertomorrowEarly morning and first light, showed how busy Mother Nature had been.  Everything was covered in a thick layer of snow, and it did not look like stopping.  It just kept coming and coming.  As if Mother Nature wanted to make a point “it ain’t over until I say so”.

Mid afternoon the snow finally stopped, although a rather brisk breeze kept blowing snow around.  Winds were howling and my eyeballs got frostbites when I peeked out the door.

I knew I had to deal with it.  I prefer not to engage in cardio exercises when it is this cold, but when you have a 200 feet driveway, and it is not electrical heated, someone has to clear it.  AND, that someone is obviously me.

All three kids had “sudden” symptoms of fever or coughing, and informed me they were unavailable for child labour.  My wife had to work (new job and trying to impress the boss) and my loyal brown Labrador was pretending to be paralysed.  All in all, a sorry bunch of heroes.

I dressed up for my arctic experience and started my 30″ snow blower.  This beast could take on anything; jaw crunching snow eaters and strong caterpillar track.  We were going to conquer this together.

clarkThe size of the task became apparent when I opened the garage door in best Clark Griswold style.  The snow was about a foot deep, and had completely erased my landscaped garden and driveway.  It was there somewhere.  I just had to find it. … mission accepted!

Snow was flying all over as my snow monster was eating through all the snow, trying to find the surface.  We were in this together.  The red paint was gradually being covered with snow and icicles, and so was my beard.

2 hours later and I had cleared the driveway.  Well, there was still a thin layer of snow on the tarmac, which at this point was starting to freeze.  A few times I almost lost my footing, but mostly recovered while letting out a few yelps.  It was manly yelps in case you wondered.

As I was preparing for one final turn, a small pivot with my snow blower, my legs literally disappeared underneath me.  It was like watching a movie in slow motion, and felt even slower.

I made a few graceful attempts to recover the inevitable, only to suddenly lift off the ground and body slam into the ground.  Not a hope of bracing the fall with my arms, as I for some reason decided to hold on to the bloody snow blower.

The wind was knocked out of my chest, and as I laid there looking at the tarmac, I melted the ice with my breath.  I couldn’t even call out in pain and was stuck for several seconds.  It was pretty clear that body slamming 200lbs of Scandinavian bacon does some impact, and the pain quickly shared that observation as I could feel a shooting pain in my chest.

I’m not a doctor or expert, but it was obvious that I had fractured or bruised a rib or two.  But, in true manly spirit, I got up, and continued my work … at least for a further 23 seconds.

At that point I did what all men does.  I walked to the porch, sat down and waiting for anybody in my family to notice me and give me some sympathy.  That failed, and after 12 minutes of self indulged suffering, I went back to spray salt on the fecking ice.  That’s how you deal with it.  You spray salt on that shit.

Now I’m praying and hoping that winter is truly over.  I’ve had enough of this white stuff.  Winter did come! Mother Nature kicked my arse, and big boys do cry.

wintercame

Blowing Snow

Much to the amusement of some NSA snooper, the title of this post has nothing to do with doing a few lines on a mirror in the back room of the Area Nightclub in NYC in the mid 80’s.  I’m obviously way too young for having partied in that nightclub, but I’m certain it was fulfilled nights.

Anyway, back to the actual point of this story, which does not involve massive amounts of coke, while Tony Montana shouts “say ‘hello to my little friend!

snow tunnel
Commuter Tunnel

As a matter of fact, this post involves large quantities of snow that suddenly got dropped on the North East of the US recently, which shouldn’t really surprise many people given we are in the middle of the winter.

I think what shocked people the most was the amount of snow we received during the last 4-6 weeks.  As much as one foot dropped over night one weekend alone.

Imagine how we felt, being half Irish, when the most snow we’ve seen in the past decade (before moving to the US) was about an inch, and then entire country shut down.  At first the snow was wonderful and had a fairy tale feel to it.  Once a thick layer of snow had covered the area, it muffled all sounds.  I felt like running into the snow-covered landscape in my bathing rope, twirling while singing “Let it go!”.  Dropping into the snow making snow angels and build a snow fortress.  All the stuff any grown man was longing to do – right?!

Alarm bells should’ve gone off when we bought the house some months ago, and the owner proudly said he was leaving the industrial sized snowblower with the house.  He was moving to Florida and had absolutely no use for it.  We have an amazing long driveway, just short of 332 feet, times two as we actually have two roads leading to the house.

I was excited about the possibility that I would be operating my very own snow blower and got dressed for battling the snow; the day after we received the foot of snow.  The beast jumped into life and I slowly started the caterpillar tracks and blower.  It was super hungry and spewed snow well into the forest, clearing the driveway.  Let me tell you, it still takes a long time to clear a 320+ feet driveway.  And, despite having a monster snow blower, it is still a lot of hard work.  Sweat was running down my forehead, turning into ice crystals and I had icecaps forming in my beard.  Damn you Queen Elsa!

2 hours later, 4 lbs lighter and sweat soaked, the job was completed.  Like any man and husband, I turned around, placed my hands on my hips and looked proudly down my 320+ feet cleared driveway.  Awesome!  Kudos to me and my machine.  Surely my wife would be equally proud.

…then it started to snow again!

This whole “Frozen‘ obsession has to stop.  Even the weather Gods are joining this strange trend and have covered Boston in a new ice age.  When will this madness end?

frozen-car
No parking!

Hope you are staying warm!

I’m preparing for another snowmaggedon in late February, and early March, as Phil the fecking Groundhog had predicted another six weeks of ‘Day After Tomorrow‘ syndrome.  It still baffles me to think that we rely on a groundhog to predict winter these days, but given the recent Y2K of weather mis-predictions, it’s probably a safer bet.