Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten Inches And Other Ramblings

We got some real snow overnight. 

Last year it was snowing every few days and I got regular exercise just clearing the driveway.  It was a great training program as the pile of snow I had to throw the snow on got higher and higher.

This year we've only had a few snowfalls that barely covered the ground.  I was getting worried when the temperatures got down to zero and we had almost no snow cover to protect the plants underground.

In fact we had about three weeks of nothing but sunny days.

But that's ended for now.

Here's the tape measure in the middle of the driveway.

Shoveling snow is one of those times during the winter that you get to see your neighbors outside and chat about things.  We noted how the snow plow folks last year were moving the snow onto the sidewalks and into piles that blocked parking spaces.  And how we have replacement mail carrier who is regularly not delivering mail, writing messages on envelopes that the mailbox was blocked.  I've already called the post office about this.  We haven't changed anything in 35 years.  There was one brief period when they told us to move cars.  But we found out they were not allowed to drive over the sidewalks to deliver mail (which they do if there is space) and they stopped complaining.  In the neighborhoods nearby, people have mailboxes on their doorsteps.  And it's not like we don't want to cooperate, but there really isn't any place to park.  We have some duplexes on the street with driveway leaving almost no parking spaces - and they have lots and lots of cars and trucks they park on the street.  Even if I were to put my car in the driveway (blocking my wife's way in and out of the garage) someone else would park in my space anyway. 

So the snow is good.  It gives us time to compare notes on what's happening. 

This cleared space is the width of the shovel.  I tried saying 'hi' to you all in the snow, but it didn't quite work out.

And here's our Mt. Ash tree that tends not to drop its leaves until spring even some years.  The Bohemian wax wings have already been by once. 


  1. My experience was different. It snowed about that much in Wasilla too, maybe a bit more at my place. Your driveway is smaller than our breakfast deck, which is like a postage stamp next to our parking lot, let alone the 200 foot long driveway. My old snowblower had a catastrophic event that tore the main frame up, as a bearing came loose from a housing for the chains that power some of the drive mechanisms. From there it went downhill. Got it all done 11 hours later.

    I'm ready for a drink!

    It is quite beautiful, though, Steve, and I welcome the snow's return.

    1. Our driveway is just the right size to shovel by hand. And I love being out in the quiet snow. Fortunately, none of the neighbors had their snow blowers going. It snowed another inch or two after I finished.

      C St. from 36th to downtown last night (final film festival event) was as bad as I've ever experienced it. Usually the main streets get plowed and driven on enough to pack them down. Not today. It was like driving on a badly rutted dirt road.

  2. Having grown up in California and never seeing snow (feet of it) until moving to Montreal, then Ottawa, Canada -- it is still a wonder (even after all these decades. It has so many different ways to fall. Last week, the flakes were so big people coming into the show hall in their coats looked like they'd been white paint balled, the flakes big as little pancakes.

    Yesterday, the small-ish flakes were floating upwards around our highrise building, as mesmerizing as watching a log fire.

    On Tuesday, the flakes were like little shards of diamonds, twinkling in the sunlight.

    Today, it is so foggy, we cannot see the ground, 22 floors below. But not much snow on the ground. It may be a green Christmas, like last year. Climate change comes to Canada.

    In the 1970s, the snow piled up higher than my shoulders & we walked in trenches down the street. The city didn't remove it until spring (hoping it would just melt first).

    Now they have a very nifty way of trucks traveling in convoy, the first scooping and shooting it into the second's "bay". When that's full, he pulls out and the third truck in line gets filled up. In no time, the streets are passable. Huge mountains are made (on blank land) that don't melt until June, by then covered in black dust/dirt.

    Sidewalks are done with little trucks scooting along.

    Our own shoveling is non-existent. Our condo has an enthusiastic staff that do all that heavy lifting with plows and are out early to clear our ramps so people can go to work.
    With five floors of heated underground parking, we are a pampered people.

    But we still have mounds piling up in some areas of the city. A few years ago, a old woman's body was found under one of them, right downtown...

    1. Ah yes, I've had the snowless LA upbringing and the same fascination with the many kinds of snow flakes and the different sounds of sound crunching underfoot as the temperature goes down.

      We do have good neighbors who help out if we need it. and we do have the trucks and feeder trucks too.


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