Monday, January 30, 2017

Snow months in Northern New England (9 or 10, maybe 14)

Someone will mention that "yeah, but don't let your guard down, remember that nasty bout we had one  March, three blizzards, one a week?"  and someone else says, " hey, three years ago we had snow in February up to the wahzoo..."

and I have pictures showing both of those, not to mention the Halloween "light dusting" three or four years ago which left us with a foot of snow and no apologies for the mess.  Or two Thanksgivings back, we spent on our appointed roofs (rooves?)  roof rake in one hand,  shovel in the other, cleaning off a mountain of snow with the consistency of partially dried cement.

 Or the infamous ice storm of '97 where it rained ice for a week, took off the top story of forest down six feet all over New England, and left many of us without power for 8 days or longer.   Took us two days to clear our driveway so the line crews could get to the downed  power lines in the woods.

First year in this house the temps went down to 0 at Christmas and stayed there until January.. Then it got REALLY cold, down to -20, all month.  We were burning green oak chunks, and spent the evenings listening to it hiss in the stove as it dried out.

and let us not forget April 1st, mebbe 25 years past, in the days when mud season here was a reality and we left our vehicles at the end of the driveway--any food we needed we backpacked in, and when I shopped I shopped by weight as much as by need.  Just the night before we had  been discussing finally bringing the cars  up to the house, always a marker for us then.  In the morning there was a two foot coating of snow all over the place, and the neighbor had used his tractor  plow to clear our driveway at least to the top of the hill.

Define 'snow month' and get 15 responses, all of them accurate, all of them covering nearly every month except June July and August. Including the 8" dusting we had one early  may, with  sad eyed
jonquils blooming bravely through it.

"Well, " he says, leaning back, "at least that late it don't stay  long"  and he's right.  But it's the fact of it. That, and you learn to never turn your back on winter,  she's a mean bitch,  hates to be ignored.

Those of you who don't live here, you are probably asking yourself, WHY ARE THEY STILL THERE?  I wonder, too.  But that's end of  January talking. Come March and the first warm days with the wind pushing the warm fog up from the south, and the smell of mud instead of snow--well...then I'll remember why. 


  1. Yes, people love to bring up disasters, near disasters, and just plain bad things when winter weather is discussed. We get our share of snow in PA, but so far, January has been good to us. I am hoping that continues. During these months my husband likes to comment when we have rain. "If it was colder, Arleen, this rain would be 1, 2, or 3 ft., he will say smugly. "But it isn't" I'll say. "But it could", he says. I guess that is close enough to the real thing. He is the originator of alternate facts.

  2. well, in the middle of winter snow disasters is what it's about. If we were sailors we'd be reminiscing about the time Tad's boat sank,took the dog and the TV with it. Or that amazing high tide last spring...

    I think they're bench marks, ticks on the calendar, and shared misery is always a lot more interesting.

    My husband does the same thing, Arleen, "wow we got three inches of rain, if that had been snow we'd have been buried..."

    And to be fair, you do remember being without power for 8-10 days, forever.