Friday, February 14, 2014

SNOWMAGEDDON









The south has been has been overwhelmed by Snowmageddon.   Two inches in Georgia brought traffic to a standstill – people abandoning their cars – families were separated and the routine of normal life interrupted.  



In the Carolinas three to four inches of something resembling snow (the suspicion is that the military, on the orders of President Obama, is experimenting with a new weather weapon) caused traffic crashes, stranded people in their cars for hours, and sent the fundamentalist Christians streaming to church to plead with God to forgive them for not opposing homosexuality more stridently.

Up here in western Maine I watch the TV weather with fascination.   Any snow that I can measure with my dick I don’t consider as a storm of note.   I don’t even bother to clear my driveway if the snowfall is less than four inches.    It is not until I hear that mystical word Noreaster that I get the least concerned.  

A Noreaster occurs when a low pressure system skirts the southern coast of Maine and the counterclockwise rotation of the low pulls moisture from the Gulf of Maine and drives it across the state with high winds coming out of the north east. 

A Noreaster came through yesterday dropping about sixteen inches of snow here in western Maine by eight-o-clock this morning.   It took me three hours with the snow blower, the shovel and the roof rake to finally dig out from the storm. 




The problem with this storm was that the temperature rose to thirty-two degrees making the snow thick and heavy to move.   Being in my mid-seventies I was pretty much exhausted by the time I got the area secured.    However, a pizza, two glasses of wine and a short nap – along with a BC powder when I got up has the Ol’Buzzard back flapping his wings again. 



We are pretty comfortable with snow storms up here in Maine.   It is the ice storms that take out power lines that most people fear.   Having lived much of our married life in the wilderness, my wife and I have prepared our cabin for all contingencies.    Loss of power, to us, is an inconvenience but no big deal. 

Needs a new mantle.


Gas lamp upper right.


  We have propane gas lamps mounted in the living room and kitchen; we have a wood stove for heat, a gas range in the kitchen and we keep six gallons of water stored in the bathroom cupboard to flush the toilet.   When we hear an ice storm in imminent we break out the flashlights, put oil in the oil lamp, check our firewood supply and kick back for a time of reading and playing games.  



And we still have our solstice tree to brighten the dark and dreary winter days.  We will take it down at the Spring equinox.  

18 comments:

  1. I finally took down my wreath on the door...the only ones who see it are the cows. I'm ready for snow, if it ever comes here...we had perhaps a centimeter all winter long and it melted as soon as it hit the ground. I saw a few weather maps that illustrated how the cold weather of north america is the impetus for our warmest and wettest winter on record. Everything is flooded, one incredible storm hits the Atlantic coast after another. Yesterday we had 70 mph winds and torrential rain all day long...today it was almost 70 degrees with on sun, but for one day, no rain. Now it's raining again. If it actually gets cold, we are screwed because all the trees are setting buds already. One day, the sun will actually come out and the fog will lift! Until then, I'm ready!

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    1. I would hate to see the vineyards effected: wine is a pleasure of life/
      O'B

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  2. We have 5/6 gallons of water on hand too, but it is for cooking and making coffee if the power goes out. (We have a gas stove for cooking and a woodstove for heat,) We can always melt snow for toilet flushing water. It takes quite a bit of snow to get enough to flush, but you only need about a gallon if you hit the toilet right with the water. With the fluff we got yesterday and last night it would have taken multiple buckets full to get enough to flush the toilet.

    Our roof on the south side looks like yours, but on the north side there is about a foot or more of snow even tho it's a 12/12 pitch. Hasn't been warm enough for it to loosen up and slide off.

    For lights we have candles and a kerosene lamp. I grew up here so power outages were just a fact of life, but the ironic thing is that I've been without power for longer periods when living in cities than I have here.

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    1. We lived in a Native village in Alaska and during the winter everything froze and we had no water for three months. We melted snow and distilled the water to drink and once every two weeks road fifty miles to another village to wash clothes and haul back four five-gallon jugs of water.
      The four years we lived in the woods in Maine we had no water or electricity - we hauled our water from a creek behind the house and during the winter we kept the hole in the ice we dipped through covered with plywood stacked with snow.
      O'B

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  3. Here I sit in sunny Portland with no envy in my heart.

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    1. I know you are glad to be back in Portland: enjoy.
      O'B

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  4. You are well prepared! Snuggle in and enjoy Valentines Day while you're at it!

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    1. another snow event coming tomorrow.
      O'B

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  5. I would laugh at the woes of the South this winter if this had been a rare occurrence. But this winter, tough climate has been the rule, not the exception down there.

    We only got about a foot of wet heavy snow this last storm. It was enough though to bust the aging auger belt on my sno-blower. Glad I keep spare belts and such on hand.

    We are prepared fairly well for loss of power also. Water on hand, two fire places, a wood furnace, and I traded some bike parts a couple of years ago for a small generator that is enough to run the oil furnace and the sump pump.

    I think the advantage folks up north have is we are so used to cold weather and the crap that comes with it, we don't panic. We might get pissed, but we don't panic.

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    1. Had to replace the belts on my snow blower last month: it quit pulling. The thing is fourteen years old and so it needs some maintenance: Will go over it this summer and also replace the friction wheel.
      O'B

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  6. Found out this morning that we've apparently set some sort of record locally for consecutive days in a row without the temperature ever going above freezing. It dropped below 32 in November and has been there ever since. To me it just feels like a normal winter so it struck me as odd the local TV weather guy was making a big deal out of it on Facebook.

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    1. Upper Michigan not far from the highest point in the state.

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  7. Yesterday we were forecasted to get 1-3 inches - I actually seen a run on the grocery store when I went to get the trout I cooked for dinner. All we got was rain. Now, it is 13 degrees outside at 6:30 am. But high forties by late next week.

    Ron
    Evansville, In

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    1. Lived south of you in Marion Kentucky for six years: you do have moderate weather - couldn't ask for a better climate - a little snow in the winter and moderate summers...and the bugs aren't bad: except for ticks. But, we missed the northern winters and all its glory.
      O'B

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  8. And here I sit bitching about the six inches we got last weekend...and the not above zero temps for the last week or so, as relates to my "mature" bones. But, I can say, you are a better man than I, Ol;B!

    Oh, yeah btw...supposed to be 50 degrees manana. WTF...but I'll take.

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    1. It is all relative. I do like living in a place where nature reminds you of your of your insignificance every year. Makes me feel more humble.
      O'B

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  9. 'holding my thumb and first finger apart by about 3 inches ...this is why women have dept perception problems..all our lives we have been told that is 7 inches by men..

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COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."