Friday, 28 January 2011

Pile it high....




Long Islanders are used to snow and cold weather. The streets are generally ploughed soon after a snowstorm, and after a day when school might be cancelled or delayed in order for everyone to get their shovels (or fancy snow-blowers) and dig out, life usually returns to normality very quickly.

But not this year. Firstly, there has been a lot more snow than usual this January - around 36 inches in New York, as opposed to an average of 7, I believe. The other problem is that the snow is falling so frequently - around every four days since the Boxing Day blizzard that kicked it all off - that there hasn't been enough time for it to melt in between. So snow is piling up, and up, and up....

The Doctor remarked to me yesterday as we were clearing our driveway yet again that 'we're now living in a sort of hole'. And it's true. The snow is banked up around several feet high around our cars, and up the sides of the drive (see above). Our normally wide street has been reduced to a narrow lane, which the schoolbus can barely negotiate; the pavement is a narrow track amid walls of snow and ice. People are having trouble backing out of their drives, because the banked up snow from their opposite neighbours is jutting out into the street.

Walking up the town's Main Street is hardly better. Outside shops and businesses, people have ploughed, but what do they do with the snow? They pile it up. You can just about make it up the pavement, but actually crossing the street is another business. Last night I walked into town (not daring to get the car out, in case the sides of our driveway avalanched into it) and within minutes had completely soaked my feet, despite snowboots, from the huge puddles of slush that had to be negotiated at each street corner.

We like winter sports, and in general we've enjoyed the snowy winters here - it's very beautiful, and the boys love sledding and playing in the snow- but my enthusiasm for the white stuff has started to wear just a little bit thin. School and work are being disrupted at least once a week. I'm working full time at the moment (from home); however, I seem to have to spend part of my working day running outside with a shovel to make sure I can actually pick up Littleboy 2 from preschool. The other day, I got stuck halfway up the drive on the way back from dropping him, because over an inch of snow had fallen between 9am and 10am. I am seriously starting to see the benefits of a 4x4.

Every day brings a new phone call consisting of a recorded message from the town's police department - the one I just listened to started off, "As we are all aware, this has been a very harsh winter...". It's either that or the school district, phoning at 5.30am to inform us that there's no school that day (thanks, you just made a long day with the boys even longer...).

A look at next week's forecast is hardly cheering. More snow is forecast on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. No end in sight. There is only one consolation to the winter onslaught - a fantastic ski season. We're going again this weekend, this time to the Catskills - and (providing we make it up the mountain) the slopes should be perfect......

14 comments:

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

my siste rused to get pretty fed up with it . She lived in Canada for 7 yrs & had to dig her car out most mornings in winter. But likewise the skiing 'locally' (ish) is a sweet compensation! Enjoy yr weekend!

Calif Lorna said...

I can imagine it would get very frustrating having to deal with that amount of snow everyday but how great that it's so different from living in London. I love it when you can have a totally different experience. Plus you know you won't be dealing with it for years to come.

Enjoy the skiing!

Nota Bene said...

Don't buy a 4x4. Buy a snow plough and charge the neighbours for clearing their way...

Knackered Mother said...

So funny, we LOVED the snow here in week 1, were so over it by week 2...enjoy the sledding y'all x

Iota said...

It's not even very pretty after a while, is it? Just dirty grey heaps of the stuff.

Enjoy the skiing!

Almost American said...

It definitely has not been an average winter. Weather.com has a long article about it here.
I'm very ready for winter to be over - and it's usually the end of February when I start feeling like that!

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Do you have a snow blower? If not you have to get one. Glad that the job panned out for you, though sorry it is getting disrupted in the snow! Hope you all have a fab weekend skiing! xx

A Modern Mother said...

Have you read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Long Winter? Sounds like that is what you have. I'll send you warm thoughts.

Mwa said...

That does sound like too much of a good thing.

And seriously 5.30? That should be illegal. I'd turn my phone off. Actually, I always leave my phones downstairs so I couldn't hear them anyway.

ritz said...

Sounds, erm....annoying! After reading your post, I promise not to moan about the freezing weather in London we're having. Snow definitley looks lovely the first few days but anything after that, well I can do without it. Enjoy your ski trip though. Seriously envious about living in new York.

geekymummy said...

wow, that must be quite difficult to deal with on a daily basis! Happy shovelling, at least it tones the triceps!

Julie said...

Spare a thought for us here in Northern Sweden-we've had snow since October, and it'll be here til around May. Plus we expect temperatures of minus 30 and lower pretty soon. As a Brit spending my first full winter here, it's a pain in the arse :-(

nappy valley girl said...

PLIT- thanks, we did! Canada must be another whole story...

Lorna - we'll be taking our snow shovel expertise back with us, that's for sure (and judging by the British climate at the moment, we might need it).

NB - do you know, that's almost exactly what my husband said...

Knackered Mother - it just loses its novelty after a while. But I still love looking at it after a fresh fall.

Iota - it's totally grey around the edges of roads - makes you realise quite what filth our cars belch out....

Almost American - yes, I am already longing for Spring.....

nappy valley girl said...

Tanya - if we were staying here permanently, we would definitely get one. But they are really expensive, and I can't see that there would be much call for one in SW London....

A Modern Mother - I know that book very well. Well it's quite that bad - I guess they didn't even have heating!

Mwa - I'm a really light sleeper so it always wakes me. Perhaps next time I will just switch it off....

Ritz - I still prefer the winters here - it's just not so grey and dark in NY.

Geekymummy - it's definitely good exercise. Although it does your back in .....

Julie - that makes me feel like I'm just moaning. Minus 30 - wow that is seriously cold. It's been more like minus 13 here.