February 13th, 2014

I have grown used to…

…the fact that I’m now living in the Arctic.

It’s been that kind of winter. It’s snowing now—snowing along most of the eastern part of the country, I think. We here in the north actually have gotten less snow than some more southerly places, but we’ve still gotten plenty.

Plus, it’s been cold, bitter cold. I now think of 15 degrees during the day, and zero or below zero at night, as the new normal. It’s not so bad, really, if you bundle up. Long underwear if I’m going to be out for some time, but even if I dispense with that there’s the obligatory down coat, earmuffs, down mittens, several scarves, boots, and a face mask if the wind has decided to blow.

The funny thing is that it’s not bad. Granted, I don’t have a lot of auto commuting to do; I do hate driving in the snow. But we haven’t (knock wood) had too many ice storms this winter, and ice storms are the thing I fear the most, in part because of the driving and in part because of the power outages. There’s something about a real winter, an authentic, old-fashioned, snow-cover-and-freezing-all-the-time winter, that’s invigorating and even beautiful in New England.

Not that I won’t welcome spring.

36 Responses to “I have grown used to…”

  1. Ymarsakar Says:

    Snow’s clearing up, the Sun has shined its rays of death upon the white stuff.

  2. Jamie Irons Says:


    It’s this sort of weather that makes me pine for a lengthy ex cathedra declaration from Al Gore that “the science is settled.”

    We’ve had no snow yet (even though where I live is labeled “Snow Flats” on USGS topographical maps!), but we had a beautiful rainstorm over last weekend that gave us fully a half-year’s worth of much needed precipitation, or “moisture,” as the Bay Area weather burros insist on calling it!

    Jamie Irons

  3. Ann Says:

    There’s something about pushing through a snowy, cold New England winter day that puffs up the endorphins, or something. Anyway, it always left me feeling I’d made a big accomplishment, and really wasn’t worthless after all.

  4. Gringo Says:

    There’s something about a real winter, an authentic, old-fashioned, snow-cover-and-freezing-all-the-time winter, that’s invigorating and even beautiful in New England.

    As a country boy, I spent a lot of time outdoors during my New England childhood and early adulthood. My most vivid memories of the NE landscape are from winter, at sunrise or after midnight.

    An acquaintance from my home town wrote a memoir about growing up there. His only mention of the landscape is from winter. Yes, there is something about a New England winter- at least in the countryside. Boston or Cambridge did not have any winter allure for me. Slush and dirty,piled up snow didn’t give me any warm fuzzies.

    Not that I won’t welcome spring.

    From Buffy St. Marie: Winter Boy.

  5. Lizzy Says:

    I went to Quebec City during (outdoor) Winter Carnival one year and it was refreshing to see how easily the locals handled the cold weather. Puts things in perspective, especially in this age of treating winter weather as some sort of menacing anomaly.

  6. Don Carlos Says:

    Heh. According to a link on Drudge earlier today, 49 states have at least a touch of snow somewhere. In Hawaii, on a mountaintop. Only FL is snowless.

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    Florida is like Marin. Both will be underwater if a tsunami hits. But the weather will stay moderate through out.

  8. physicsguy Says:

    Well, here’s one New England resident who wants this winter to be long gone. I used to like winter, but 30 years of only having the trees with leaves for barely half the year, and dealing with the constant cold and snow, has cured me of any romantic notion about winter.

  9. Liz Says:

    I grew up in Michigan, lived in upstate New York and now I am glad that I live in OK!

    We’ve had the extreme cold this year with more snow and ice than in recent years. But, it is nice that the winds shift, the southerlies bring in the warmer temps and everything melts. We are already up into the 60’s, but it’s funny to see snow and ice in sheltered areas.

    I’ll send the warmer winds to you if you send some of that “moisture” down to us!

  10. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I rather loved some aspects of winter, when we lived in Utah. Seeing the slate-gray wall of the Wasatch Front patched with snow. How the fat snowflakes looked like feathers and rustled faintly as they fell. The look of Christmas lights shining on fresh snow, and the unearthly appearance of a ‘white night’, when the moon was full behind the overcast night sky, the snow on the ground seemed to reflect it, and it all looked nearly as bright as day …

    But shoveling out the drive on a Monday morning to get to work, navigating on hard-packed snow and ice, scraping ice off the windshield, wearing the same parka to go outside every day for four or five months. Don’t miss that much at all.

  11. blert Says:

    I’m becoming very alarmed at oceanic collapse, for on present trends (72 hours) the world’s oceans will suffer a catastrophic fall in elevation making oceanic transport impossible — and even ground our navy.

    Worse, drought stricken Oklahoma and Texas figure to be absolutely flooded this Spring. Who will survive?

    Frankly, I’m terrified.

  12. parker Says:

    We’ve had a cold, snowy winter in my corner of flyover country. More than 20 dawns with temps ranging from -5 to -27 and the worst of the wind chills at -55 a few weeks ago. The snow totals for the winter are far higher than average. But its all a matter of perspective. Average doesn’t mean much out here because extremes of temperature and precipitation are normal. After the deep cold of this winter we will inevitably have 100+ days during summer.

    Winter is a time to cultivate quiet pursuits. One of my favorite hobbies is pickling and fermenting. I started my second batch of mixed vegetable kraut of the winter this morning. Yesterday I pickled 3 pints of mushrooms and put up 6 half-pints of mango/craisin chutney.

    I walk the dogs 3 times a day for about 20 minute per walk and feel the better for having a task that requires getting out into the cold. I also walk downtown with my next door neighbor once a week no matter what the weather to have lunch at our favorite diner.

    To everything there is a season.


  13. kit Says:

    Sgt. Mom, that was a beautiful post.

  14. Tonawanda Says:

    Yes, Sgt. Mom, that was a beautiful post. So well put ….

  15. Sgt. Mom Says:

    Thanks, guys – I got the gift!
    Blert – I’m on high ground in Texas, so I’m not worried at all.
    I guess that it would be cruel of me to say that it’s seventy-ish outdoors this afternoon, the window is open and the muslin curtains blowing in a balmy breeze and the birds are flocking around the feeders, to the great interest of the cats, sitting on the windowsill? Yes – but we did have sleet and some patchy snow-sprinkles three days ago…

    And I have lived for a year in the Arctic. Thirty miles north of the Arctic circle and it was … cruel. Cruel, dark and very, very cold. So cold, the air would freeze your lungs if you took a deep breath of it without a muffler over your nose and mouth.

    I can manage Texas, even if we will be gasping for air by July, when the heat scorches, or August, which comes back and double-scorches everything that hasn’t been well-crisped by then.

  16. Beverly Says:

    I’m sitting in my eyrie in New York City, waiting for another 6″ of snow tonight, after our 10″ this morning. Rainy slush this afternoon.

    But I can face it all with intrepidity, thanks to my NEOS overshoes (yes, that’s their real name, and they are the Bomb, baby!).

  17. Richard Says:

    Was 65 degrees here in 7000 feet elevation Flagstaff, AZ today.

  18. rickl Says:

    I used to live in upstate New York for a few years as a kid, so I’ve always liked winter. Of course back then, all I had to do was play in the snow.

    Nowadays I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, and I’m close enough to the coast that storms that bring heavy snow further north or west often just bring rain here. Most winters we only get a few snowstorms of a couple inches here and there. For me, winter has mostly become a welcome break from yard work, and also there are no bugs in the house.

    But boy, this one has been something else. I got some snow a week or two before Christmas, but it melted just before Christmas. Since January I think there has been snow on the ground more days than not. Last week I lost power for 30 hours after an ice storm, and indoor temperatures dropped into the mid-40s. I was one of the lucky ones. Some people didn’t get their power back for 4-5 days.

    It started snowing again late last night, and by the time it changed to rain this morning, there was about 8″ on the ground. I cleared the driveway and made it to work on time, although I came close to getting stuck a couple of times.

    Four of the five people where I work made it in, including the owner, but many places didn’t bother opening today. Even the McDonald’s where I usually get breakfast was closed.

    However, when I arrived home this evening, I got a reminder of something I really don’t like about winter. I was greeted by a three foot high wall of snow and ice at the foot of the driveway left by the snowplows. I had to park on the street and spent about half an hour chopping and shoveling before I could get my car in the driveway.

    As I write this, two snowplows just went past. Great. Guess I’ll have to get up early again tomorrow.

  19. rickl Says:

    Wow. I just heard on the radio that the current rain will change back to snow later this evening, to the tune of another 3-6″. Followed by 1-3″ more Friday night.

    Thank goodness for global warming or I’d really be in trouble!

  20. gs Says:

    Central MA here.

    At present I have no alternative sources of power/heat. I don’t like being at the mercy of the trees and power lines. Extreme weather was more of an adventure and less of a nail-biter back when I had those alternative sources.

    My power was out for twelve days in the 2008 ice storm. Fortunately I was driving past a motel just as its power came back and snagged a room. Even so the time was stressful. After my power was restored, it took a couple of days for the house to feel normal.

    Although I know that a power outage, if it happens, is likely to be a few hours at most, the memory of 2008’s cold, wreckage, and desolation colors my attitude.

  21. Skullbuster Says:

    My theory, and I have lived all over the country:
    People in the north spend about an hour a day putting on and taking off winter clothes. People in the south don’t. Therefore the northerners have to talk and do things much faster than the southerners do, to get the same things accomplished. A southerner can take his time in speaking (thus the drawl) and move more slowly than someone that has to waste 1 hour a day getting dressed.
    In the past while negotiating with someone from the north, I would exaggerate my southern accent. Since knowledge is power I had one up on my adversary. You see, I had more knowledge than them. Because of the slow speech they felt I was a little stupid. but the knowledge that I had that they didn’t have was that I knew I wasn’t.

  22. Nick Says:

    10 is the new 30.

  23. GreyBeard Says:

    Enjoying the cold, is all well and good, until, you get stuck, have to walk a mile or so, and get frost bitten toes.

  24. Mr. Frank Says:

    Not much talk about global warming as of late. According to the greenies the warming trend is taking a fifteen year pause, and all the excess warmth is hiding in the oceans.

  25. J.J. Says:

    Grew up in the mountains in Colorado. Loved snow. After wandering about the country for 20 years I returned to Colorado and lived high (9,000′) in the Front Range. Still loved the snow and cold even though I had to drive fifty miles to the airport.

    Retired to the mountains of Washington State in a location where the first snow usually began in November and melted in April. We were far out of town and had a quarter mile driveway to the plowed county road. Eight years of plowing and shoveling nearly everyday of the winter and I decided, finally, that snow and cold were not so much fun anymore.

    Moved to the west side of the Cascades north of Seattle where it rains incessantly, but you don’t have to plow or shovel it. This winter we have had a stationary high blocking our usual storms. They are getting shoved north into the polar regions where they then funnel south into the central U.S. Our winter has been somewhat colder but far drier than normal. The sun was shining for a few hours today and the temp got up to 48. For this time of year that’s a day at the beach.

    So, the weather is wacky this winter. It’s similar to weather patterns of the late 70s, early 80s. For a discussion of the causes Joe Bastardi is the guy:

  26. waitforit Says:

    Seems everyone is hurting.


  27. waitforit Says:

    speaking of cold, here’s a “frosty” reception by the progressive shitblows of a great artist:


  28. waitforit Says:

    Can we all just (get along, hate Letterman, eat-drink-and be merry).

  29. Matthew M Says:

    My friends and I in the Detroit area coined the phrase “ten is the new thirty” (degrees). The snow and cold have had surprisingly little impact on anything, only one or two days of school closings. The greatest hardship has been the potholes in the roads.

  30. Memphis Steve Says:

    Somehow a flurry of snowstorms have bombarded the southern United States and yet completely missed the state of Tennessee. So here I sit in Memphis reading endless Facebook posts from friends all around about their sledding and snowmen and fun, fun, fun in the snow and I look outside and see sunshine and kids on skateboards and not a spec of snow. This is so unfair.

  31. Richard Saunders Says:

    Beverly Hills is lovely this time of year. Of course, it’s lovely just about every time of year. That’s why we stay, despite the state’s communist government. My brother, who lives outside of Philadelphia, wants to organize a demonstration to demand that Global Warming be brought back!

    Now do you get it, Mr. Frank — Global Cooling proves Global Warming!

  32. Sergey Says:

    If this is actually new normal, you should seriously reconsider reliability of the grid and invest real money in its redesigning to fit more harsh climate. We have dozen snowstorms in Moscow region every winter, but power outages are almost nonexistent.

  33. Ymarsakar Says:

    All the real money is going into the pockets of Democrat governors, politicians, and Obama lackeys.

  34. Rich Says:

    The older I get, the more I hate the winter. Here in Southern NH, life is like a cold, black and white movie for 6 months a year. I’m 53 now, and can’t wait to retire and get the heck out of here.

  35. Charles Says:

    Yes, I’m sick of winter and the snow.

    However, I’m still a little grateful for it as I used to (in my much younger days) live in the tropics which only had 2 seasons – rainy or hot and humid. Neither was very nice.

    So, it is nice to live back in an area which experiences changes of seasons. There is nothing like a bitterly cold, icy and snowy, bleak and dark winter to make one truly appreciate the joy of Spring as everything comes back to life.

    As they say: you cannot have a rainbow without the rain.

    P.S. Beverly, what do you think of the New NYC Mayor? I couldn’t stand Nanny Bloomberg’s press conferences when there was bad weather – De Blasio is driving me up the wall with his insane pontificating at these press conferences. The guy just doesn’t shut up.

  36. Ymarsakar Says:

    De Blasio is just enforcing liberal social equality, which is what people want. They shouldn’t complain about what they want though. That would be unfair.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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