I was wondering when Winter was going to get cranked up. Until a week ago or so, we had been treated kindly, gently, like the State of Maine somehow moved 500 miles to the South. I remember wearing shorts and a Tee into the first week of December. Damn odd weather.
Apparently someone was asleep at the switch. One of the minions left in charge of firing off that first salvo of Winter's assault dropped the ball and is now in charge of any weather conditions involving a blue moon. Naturally as these managerial snafus go, someone higher up was probably responsible. But they managed to create the impression it was a middle management issue. This could not have been something Ma Nature overlooked on her own.
When it was discovered that Maine had somehow missed out on what was due, lost time was made up with a brutal ice storm a little over a week ago, and then 12" of snow in back to back storms this past week. I guess we are still not caught up yet. Another 10" to 18" of snow is due today. A classic Nor'Easter.
I remember back in the day when my father was still predicting weather. He would say if you can smell SD Warren ( A paper mill about 45 miles to the Northeast), bad weather was on it's way. Unfortunately there are always negative side effects to what people call progress. Once SD Warren was forced to clean up the emissions coming out of their stacks, our best warning system for bad weather shit the bed. Of course the quality of life for those folks living outside SD Warren's gates has improved immensely. Positive change for some is never positive for everyone.
As much as I hold most weather people in low regard and no matter how envious I am of someone who is paid to be wrong much of the time, I have learned that when all of them agree, what they agree on will most likely happen. There is also my own ability to predict weather. Live somewhere long enough and you get a feel for when new weather is approaching. Since it really hasn't stopped snowing since the last storm and the wind is still coming out of the Norteast when it is blowing, I can tell we are in for another round of crap.
All the locals can feel it. Everyone is pushing back the snow further than usual in anticipation of this next round. The grocery carts are full of staples like water, batteries and candles. Vehicles are being topped off at the gas pumps. Firewood is being stacked closer to the house. Everyone's day seems to revolve around doing something to get ready for the new weather.
I am really grateful I took the time to clean up the roadside damage from the last ice storm. I could have shined it on, but would now regret it. By cleaning up the downed branches, I have removed possible threats to smooth snow removal in the future. The town plows won't be driving the branches into my drive and yard. Which will then not be cause for snow blower jam. A condition that can make me homicidal. Nothing worse than a snow blower dying part way through a removal job. Being forced to shovel over a 150 feet of driveway will often leave me in a mood to find the first weather guy I can and ......well, let's just say a snow shovel is not my favorite hand tool.
I still have some prep work left to do. I have to rake snow off the roof. I have to dig out the shed. And I would love to set off a couple of more burn piles I have set up but not torched yet. I only burn one at a time now days. A neighbor once had three or four piles going and well he ended up almost losing his house. I am not so cocky to think that it would never happen to me. Especially as I consider my neighbor a smarter man than I. Burn one pile at a time, but burn it well. I don't care that a fire could only spread to my house through all this snow by me carrying it in and setting it up in the basement or one of the bedrooms. I don't get fresh with fire. Fire is final. It does not leave much behind.
And so it begins. At 9:19 AM, we have horizontal snow for the second time in three days. See ya on the other side.