Nemo Finale

Looking down our street
Looking down our street

This morning we woke up (late) to a bright, sunshiny, monochromatic world. And a house with no heat. But the bright sunshiny world and temperatures in the upper 30s made today a much better day to have the furnace on the fritz than any other day of the storm. We’re actually not sure what the issue is – the furnace spontaneously began working again about 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the furnace guy. But all this was minimally inconvenient – the sunlight streaming in kept some rooms warmer than the furnace does!

Adam stands on the drifts on the house-side of the driveway
Adam stands on the drifts on the house-side of the driveway

So where did Nemo leave us? According to the National Weather Service, our friend dropped 22 inches of dry powerdy snow on Stoneham. 65 mile an hour winds sculpted those inches in to massive drifts and clear-swept sections – an inequal distribution that was exacerbated by the labors of homeowners with shovels, the suddenly popular owners of snow-blowers and the profiteering-but-slightly-lazy shovel wielding teens.

I thought, as I luxuriated in bed this morning (the covers being even more enticing when there is no heat in the room) that today would be a nice, quiet, peaceful day. We were snowed in enough to intimidate us from making the 20 mile trip to church. But then the furnace happened. Once that was resolved, I had to go grocery shopping. That was epic. The produce section of the store looked as though locusts had descended upon it. I’m guessing that bit didn’t get restocked. Either that, or everyone else in Stoneham also found a pressing need for bananas. This was even more epic because, starting on Ash Wednesday after service, I’m going to join my husband in attempting a Slow Carb Diet. I’m rather unconvinced of my ability to stick to this. Cutting out carbs and dairy is like, um, cutting out bread and milk from my diet. So while at Stop & Shop, I attempted to find slow-carb-compliant foods so I can at least make it a single week. We shall see.

Post Nemo: Locusts attacked
Post Nemo: Locusts attacked

And then more shoveling. Hours of effort yesterday + a borrowed snow blower + a pair of neighborhood teens got the first car unburied and the second car half unburied. Another 2+ hours of snowblower + shoveling and we can use our entire driveway again. These are things you don’t think about in October when you buy a house: where are you going to put the snow for your driveway? When it’s nearly two natural feet plus massive drifts, this becomes non-trivial. Two years ago, I had to walk each shovel full across the street. Fortunately, the next 7 days have highs above freezing, so we should lose a lot of the snowmass. As it is, it’s very difficult to turn corners driving due to lost visibility with the drifts.

If I had to rate this blizzard, I would give it an A for the following reasons:
1) Life time memory: the “boys” spending hours sledding down our street, followed by pancakes at midnight. These are the times you remember in your nursing home.
2) Actual vs. predicted snow: absolutely on target. This snow storm came precisely as billed
3) Loss of life: while there were a few tragic losses, there were fewer than usually accompany weather like this. Partially this is due to the precautions (draconic as they were) taken by our elected officials to shut everything down for an extended period of time.
4) Fellowship: I spent so much wonderful time this weekend with my neighbors and friends – all a stone’s throw from the house – that it was a joy. We played, ate, shoveled, laughed, watched movies, and enjoyed our time together. This is one of life’s great blessings.
5) Inconvenience: we kept power and only lost heat after it was no longer critically needed. It was a liberating inconvenience for us.

So Nemo: would recommend and do it again!

I give persective to the wall-side drifts. A "Before" picture would have shown the tips of the wipers as the only visible parts of the cars. (Due to drifting)
I give persective to the wall-side drifts. A “Before” picture would have shown the tips of the wipers as the only visible parts of the cars. (Due to drifting)

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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