Friday, September 30, 2011

Winter.... Definitely NOT an Old Man this Past Year....

Fortunately, I suppose now in retrospect, winter actually took its time arriving in 2010. Having not bought the place until the end of August, I definitely needed the Indian Summer that happened that year, giving me time to do the repairs and do a good portion of the tree work prior to those first snows came drifting in....

Unfortunately though, once the snows came drifting in, they... well, they did not stop. With the luxury of final snow reports, I can tell you that the region broke 20 and 30 year records for snow fall -- it was in the top 5 of snowiest winters on record, which includes a massive snowfall winter at the turn of the past century that buried houses and towns.

We were completely unprepared.

We had plenty of wood, thank God, for the new wood burning stove insert I had installed, thanks to the tree cutting -- but otherwise, we were no better than the pioneers.

Snow removal took days of back breaking work, only to have the snow start falling again once that clearing effort was completed.

It piled up on the lower decks and back deck, and I finally gave up on them. It melted and refroze under the deck at the cellar door -- creating a slick patch of ice 6 inches thick and 10 feet wide, causing repeated falls getting in and out of the cellar, and repeated head blows against the newly lower deck bottom.

It piled up on the roofs, outmanning incorrectly installed "snow breaks" and came avalanching off -- taking bathroom vents, gutters, and portions of the upper deck with it.

It caused a "massive avalanche" (highest category on the ratings scale) just a mile away, wiping out a large swath of 100-year-old pine trees and a commercial power tower that runs electricity up the mountains to the towns nearby.

But goodness was it beautiful, and quiet, and awe-inspiring.

Until it snowed 6 inches on June 20th, the day before Summer Solstice. On that day, I cried. On that day, I opened up the bottle of bourbon and poured at glass at 11 am. On that day, I almost called "Uncle"....

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