Friday, February 29, 2008

Waiting for a little snow!

On Wednesday I asked, “Will new month bring an end to winter storms?” March begins at midnight tonight, and here I am patiently waiting for the month’s first storm. And a pip it just might be. The noon weather reports today indicated that our part of Maine could get from six to ten inches of snow and that snowfall will get deeper the further you go inland, up to a foot and a half way up north. There is a winter storm warning posted by the National Weather Service in effect with the storm to start in Southern Maine sometime around ten tonight. That warning will remain in effect in parts of Maine into Sunday afternoon.

It seems like we’ve had some sort of winter storm two or three times or more each week since the first of December. I probably don’t want to admit it, but I think I’ve reached a point where I’ve had enough. It wasn’t too long ago when I looked forward anxiously for some snow. Back in the 1940s and early 1950s a good snowstorm was a source of income for me. Several neighbors counted on my friends and me to shovel out their yards. I don’t remember that we had the power snow blowers back then. Perhaps some folk had crude ones. Most of my shoveling was done with a snow scoop. Oh those were fun times.

But that was then. I was a teenager. Today I’m no longer a teenager and have even reached an age when moving deep, wet snow is a threat to my heart. I really don’t have to do much lifting any more as I have a riding lawn tractor which I can convert to a snow blower in the winter. My driveway is more than 300 feet long and the parking area outside my house will easily handle 8, perhaps 10 cars. So I have a lot of black top to keep clear. A few years ago, my next door neighbor bought a plow truck to make some extra winter money. He parlayed that plowing over the years into a very successful home based business. And when the snow is especially deep, he makes a couple passes up my driveway to help me out. I like my neighbor. He takes care of this old man to help prevent another heart attack.

I’m not a skier or even an individual winter sports enthusiast, so all these storms are really beginning to make me irritable. This is not (yet) the snowiest winter our area has ever had. We’re a good 10 or 15 inches below the record snow fall. Tomorrow is Saturday so they won’t be affected by this storm, but I feel a little sorry for the young people who get school called off during some storms. I think these kids still look forward to a “free” day off, even though most know that after a certain number, a no school day has to be made up. I think it was only yesterday when I used to live by the weather forecasts myself.

I’m betting Maine businesses are loving this winter season. We’ve had a few recent winters when the sales of winter equipment and toys have been really bad. Without snow, people couldn’t snowmobile or ski or do other winters sports. Sales of snow blowers and the like were scarce. But we’ve had a lot of snow this year. I haven’t seen any reports for this year, but I’d guess ski areas are ecstatic and sales of the winter toys must be right up there, too.

I’m writing this during the early afternoon today. As I look out the window, it’s hard to believe we’re in for the kind of storm that is forecast. It’s a beautiful day in Southern Maine even though it’s rather cold. The sun is shining brightly, but way off in the distance the milky omen of what’s heading our way is becoming evident. The wait continues.


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