Well, it’s not as if we weren’t warned, as if it would make any difference had we not been. It’s going to happen regardless. You can’t change it. You can only prepare to sit it out. It was still clear when I got up this morning, but they were already getting a light coating south of us. Another Nor’easter. The third in as many weeks. By mid morning, we began to see a light dusting. By noon, we were in a blizzard warning and visibility was zero. The weatherman says that we can expect snowfalls of two to three inches per hour for periods throughout the day. But, that’s the way it is up here. If you don’t like it, you probably live in the wrong place.
Eighteen to twenty inches he said. It’s a slow moving storm and probably will be around for about twenty four hours, moving out sometime tomorrow afternoon. At least it is going to be a light dry snow, unlike the wet heavy snow we got last week. I guess perspective is everything when you are in a blizzard and the prospect of a light dry snow is probably the only good news you will get.
This afternoon, the winds are supposed to pick up. They are only about thirteen MPH at the moment, but could build to forty or fifty MPH gusts later today. That is the real threat believe it or not. The risk of a power outage looms large. If there is anything we have an abundance of, it is trees, and they can be very fickle in the winter. Branches are brittle and subject to breaking under heavy snow loads and high winds. As power outages surge, so does the longevity. Power crews from other areas and states have already been moved up through New England in preparation.
The dogs are getting restless. They usually go out about this time, and it is probably a good idea. This is the part of the day when you start marking time in inches instead of hours. So, I throw on my parka, boots, and gloves and grab the leash. The snow in the back yard has remained too high to put them out on their leads, so I have to walk them. Exiting the garage door, we are met by a curtain of soft pregnant flakes and, as we walk down the driveway, it appears there is already about four inches on the ground. Both dogs love the snow, so my problem is not getting them out but getting them back in. To them, this is just a game and I have to admit watching them lightens my heart as well.
I will spend some time this afternoon preparing for later. I will add fuel to the snow blower and the generator. I test both monthly, so I know they will start. I brought in some wood for the fireplace last weekend. We have an insert that minimizes the heat loss from a fire and incorporates a blower to distribute that heat throughout the downstairs. We will also plan meals that can be prepared if the power goes out. We did our shopping earlier this week. Under generator power, we can do many of the things we normally do. It assures that the water well pump, the furnace and the refrigerator and the freezer will still operate. It also supplies power to some overhead lights and at least a few wall outlets in most rooms. Although the microwave and the range don’t work, we can still cook on electric griddles and in the toaster oven.
I know I am not going to be able to wait out the storm before clearing snow. At a minimum, I have to clear an area for the dogs to go. However, by this evening, I suspect the town snow plow will have deposited a rather sizeable berm at the mouth of the driveway, so late today or tonight I will go out and clear the driveway and front walk before the snow gets deeper then the snow blower is capable of handling easily. I would much rather do it twice then fight with it tomorrow. Plus, I have to make sure the mailman can get to the mailbox. Yes, even though all the town offices are closed, our U.S. Post Office has trucks on the street, however, if it gets too bad, they may be recalled.
Well, they were right about the snowfall. It has been about an hour since I took the dogs out and we have been the beneficiary of about another two inches although the weatherman is quick to offer that even with another twenty inches or so, it will not set any records for the worst snowfall in March. However, what they aren’t saying is that for the year, Portland, about twenty miles south has had over seventy five inches year to date.
So, nothing much more to do except stand here and watch my deck disappear. Soon it will be spring, or what we refer to as ‘mud season’ and instead of cursing all the snow we got this winter, we will be bragging about how we survived it. And years from now someone with say “do you remember the three Nor’easters we got within three weeks back in ’18’?. And of course, we all will. Fondly.