Blogs by Hilary Hopkins

Closer to Home

Snowing, Again

February 15, 2015 / Snowing, Again

(images I made of snowflakes on my pink and black mitten)


It’s snowing, again.  This bit wasn’t even in the forecast when I looked at it very early this morning.  The flakes are large, and gently flying sideways.  Or, when they get near my window, they float up. 

My husband and I just spent an hour leaning carefully out a couple of third-floor windows, he with a kind of ice-breaking tool, me with a trowel, trying to dislodge some of the three feet of snow on part of our roof.  We sent bits and pieces of it cascading onto the second-floor deck below.  Some of it was ice, or chunks of conglomerate snow+ice.  Now there is a pile of about three feet of this on the deck, waiting for the shovel.  


On our deck there are four leftover Christmas trees, thick with snow; I always make a little pretend forest out there after the holiday trees are put out in the neighborhood.  I case the nearby streets and together we haul the best ones home and up the stairs and onto the deck.  We love the little forest and so do the birds, and the squirrels.  I have a feeder out there, and heated water, and a hanger with suet.  Right now though the suet has long since bit the dust, or snow I should say, as the constant avalanching of snow from the roof above repeatedly knocked it off its hanger and finally buried it.  The squirrels will find it when there is a little melting.

If there IS a little melting.  Nothing in the forecast now for the next week or so that’s over about 20 degrees. 

I am a little tired of this snow, and a little worried too, because of the weight of it on our house, and the forecast that calls for a bunch more in the next five days or so.  This is a lot of snow.  Yesterday the entire mass transit system was shut down in the whole Boston area.   My husband was supposed to go to the Museum of Science for one of his volunteer stints as an interpreter, and I was supposed to go to a lecture about Mozart.  The museum and my lecture were cancelled. 


It’s still snowing.   Pretty soon I am going to walk the mile to my health club for my water aerobics class.   Most people along the route have sort of shoveled their sidewalks, but then of course the city plows come along and in their street plowing shove snow back onto the sidewalks.  I will bring my ski pole in case I need it.  Only one person at a time can walk along the sidewalks.  I remember when I was poor and a single mother and had to put my two toddlers in a stroller—a rickety one since in those days they didn’t have these Humvee kind they have nowadays.  I would have to push the stroller with the two kids in the street, after snowstorms.   A tough way to do your grocery shopping.   Pile the grocery bags in the kids’ laps and shove the thing through the ice ruts.  As I recall I went through a stroller each winter while I used them—the little tires on them would just fall to pieces.  I feel for people who use wheelchairs, canes, walkers right now, ‘cause they are surely marooned at home.

Later.  It’s still snowing, harder now and bigger clumps of flakes.   I struggled my way the mile to my health club, only to find my class had been cancelled.   Well, I got my exercise I guess by creeping through snow-blocked intersections and narrow rutted slippery trails between five-foot high snow mounds. 


Later in the day we spent several hours shoveling the snow off the second-floor deck; there was at least three feet of it, some of it icicles firmly locked in frozen snow.  But we managed to heave most of it over the side, and now there are only perhaps six inches left.

Which is good, since there is a new prediction, for this weekend: another blizzard, with a foot or so to come.  At present, at 10 am, the temperature is 8 degrees, and the wind is blowing angrily.

Of course, I understand that this is—is not really that extreme, that there are many places in the world for which this weather would be nothing much to comment on.   I also understand that almost certainly within five miles of me right now there are people whose well-being hangs in the balance, who have not been able to get to their workplace and so have not been paid, and for whom that pay means the difference between having enough—food, heat—and not having enough. 


So I’ll just suck it up, keep the snow off the roof and the deck as best I can, and wait for the spring.    And thoughtfully observe the cat, who sets a good example.

Snowing, Again


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