The Winter of Our Discontent

Courier-Post
Courier-Post

Seems like it doesn’t matter where we live, this winter everyone has had an equal opportunity to feel discontented with our weather. The nor’easter that blanketed the northeast is just the latest of winter storms that has residents ready to surrender to the force of nature or “old man winter”.

As I am from New Jersey, I would like to express my discontent for not only my home state, but for the first state, Delaware, and for Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, DC while I’m at it.

Truly we are all ready to cry out in unison, “uncle, we surrender" in the presence of the mounds of snow growing by heaps and bounds.

What started out as a beautiful winter wonderland, quickly lost its appeal once we passed the 1 foot mark. Some two feet later and the clean-up has everyone suffering.

Even the nation’s capitol was not spared as February's 1-2-3 winter punch has shut down many of its federal agencies.

Most Overused Snow References

What would a winter blizzard be without a salute to the list of most overused words in referring to snowfall in all its many contextes.

A special shout-out to the weather broadcasters who worked the hardest to annoy us with the same ole tired words regardless of the day or time you switched on the television.

Thank you for burning into my psyche the following:

The blizzard of 2010, frigid, brutal, snowmageddon, all time highest snowfall in a single season, live coverage, digging out, clean-up, truck plows, snow blowers, ice build-up and the ever popular snow covered, snow banks, black ice, white out,snow mountains, salt, and cabin fever.

There’s Such a Thing as too Much Coverage

Live coverage of every snow flake that fell went on for so long that newscasters truly ran out of relevant things to say.

They were reduced to interviewing each other, and showing the inside of their vans. Filming the making of snowmen and snow-woman. Seasoned veterans laying out in the snow demonstrating how to make a snow angel. A moon-walking competition which was to demonstrate the slipperiness of the ice. ( A truly, we’ve-been-out-here-way-to-long- moment) Giving recipes for snow-cream, and practically holding captive anyone who passed by their camera to ask deep probing questions such as , “what brings you to this store?” What’s it like driving in this snow”

8 ft snowman created by Park Family, Burlington City, NJ-  BurlingtonCountyTimes.com
8 ft snowman created by Park Family, Burlington City, NJ- BurlingtonCountyTimes.com
John Lanzidelle of Medford, NJ  Rose Shields BCT Staff
John Lanzidelle of Medford, NJ Rose Shields BCT Staff

Where Records Were Set

Are you wondering just how much damage the blizzard of 2010 has caused? It is amazing how paralyzing the build-up of snow can be on populous areas.

71.6 feet is the new record for the Philadelphia area, breaking the old record of 65.5 feet. Delaware reached a record as well and so as not to be outdone, so did Maryland and Washington, DC and New York as some of the headlines below demonstrate.

Adults aren't the only ones tired out from the snow - Joseph Hayden, 12 taking a break
Adults aren't the only ones tired out from the snow - Joseph Hayden, 12 taking a break

Lift With Your Legs

Shoveling a foot of snow is hard work, shoveling feet of snow is a near death experience for those not in good shape or good health.

With my husband’s bad back and my bad health we were truly relieved that our new neighbor a young “kid” in his 30’s, took it on himself to go out and shovel our areas in common, as soon as the blizzard was over, late in the night.

For the very first time, we understood why we were shown so much appreciation when it was us in our 30’s, making sure someone our age didn’t have to shovel themselves out.

My husband personally thanked our thoughtful neighbor and commended him for his good deed. He truly has no idea what a favor he did us and we are so glad to again have a good neighbor living right next to us.

 

Downed Branches in Willingboro, NJ. Photo - Dennis McDonald BCT Staff
Downed Branches in Willingboro, NJ. Photo - Dennis McDonald BCT Staff

Kudos to the Snow Removal Crews

Those unsung snow-plow drivers, hand shovellers and snow-blower operators who worked 24/7 while the rest of us sat in our warm and comfy heated homes, surely are deserving of our appreciation and gratitude. I hope they are finally getting some sleep and resting up from their never ending service during the winter storm.

Preparing for a Snow Emergency

You know you have had too much snow when folks begin remembering to prepare snow survival kits.

I was shocked to see my husband getting things together just in case the high winds that had been predicted actually occurred and knocked out our power. Fortunately the winds were exaggerated and we didn’t even come close to losing our power, unlike the poor individuals in the Atlantic and Cape May counties of our Jersey shoreline.

Still, the threat itself was a good reminder to keep a emergency kit of some sort together, preferably one for the car and one for the home..

So the survival kit should include

  • · Water
  • · A radio
  • · Batteries
  • · Candy bars
  • · Warm clothing
  • · Flash lights
  • · Candles/matches

Of course the trunks of our cars should have all of the above in addition to

  • · Cat liter/salt
  • · A shovel

 

3 is Enough

Or is it? Reportedly more snow is on the way. It is called a clipper, fast-moving with 4 inches max. Needless to say, no one wants to hear the word snow, let alone see any more of the white stuff this month of February, 2010.

Hopefully, the next one will be the last snowfall of the winter. Although March is notorious for surprises, we are all hoping that will not be the case this year.

With 3 major storms in one winter season, the talk around my area is that we should now be good to go for the next THREE winter seasons . . . . if only!

Just When You Think It's Over We Have Storm #4

 It seems the month of February and snowfall walk hand-in-hand this year. Just when we were reminded there is grass underneath all this snow, just when the rain removed inches of the now ugly, dirty mess from the sidewalks and streets, here we are at the beginning of yet another snowstorm which could dump from 6 inches upward on the Delaware Valley.

Snow-fatigue is becoming the latest catch phrase and is an apt description of how sick we are of the white stuff.

By now the well rehearsed routine is automatic as everyone stocks up on milk, bread, eggs and junk-food. Buys shovels, salt, and sand. And accepts the inevitable chores of snow removal, plowing, and blowing that will commence once this storm leaves.

Why is this Nor'easter a Nor'wester?

This year it seems that every storm which hits the area is determined to distinguish itself from the rest. 

Storm #4 is no different.

As meteorologist try to make viewers understand that this storm is wrapping around and heading back in land to the west, instead of out to sea and to the east, all I understand is that it means we are going to end up with a slow moving mess that will not leave us until early Saturday morning, 2 days from now.

Once again it will fall, stall, stop, and resume. Starting to sound like a catchy dance step, maybe the snowfall shuffle! 

 The New England states, which usually get the greatest snow fall each year, have a piddling amount in comparison to this area. A fact that is truly unheard of and one more strange characteristic of the snowfall of 2010.

True to form, this go-round New England is to only expect tremendous rain totals not snowfall from this storm.

For all of us here in the Northeast, I have one piece of advice: Please don't forget to lift with your knees, not your back as you do the snowfall shuffle!

Did your area receive record level snow fall totals?

See results without voting

20 seconds from nancyghcmc

March Roars Like A Lion Caught in the Rain

 As to how a lion sounds when it is caught in a downpour, I know not, but seemed like a fitting way to describe yet another Nor'eastern which fell in the form of rain instead of snow. 

How much rain fell?  So much that our pump failed to work and for the first time in the 15 or so years we've lived in our townhouse, our basement actually flooded!

Had it been snow, we would have received FEET not inches. As it is, we received on average 3-4 inches in our area.

At least we didn't have to shovel this time!

More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

And I'm sooo glad it is over now, habee. Twas a really long winter. :-)


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Glad I don't have to deal with all this!


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Your welcome Micky Dee, the warmer weather has been a much needed and welcomed break! Thanks for your comment.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

It's been too cold too long. Today was about 70 I think. Free at last! We're not ready to store the coats and sweaters yet -but I can see the light! Thanks for a great hub.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

It truly is fun at the beginning Rose, the snow clears out the pollution and it looks so peaceful. Unfortunately all that beauty quickly turns dark and depressing when the snow gets dirty and the sun doesn't shine enough to brighten up the day and melt the ugly mess. lol


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

Oh dear, somehow after reading your article, I ended up wanting to be in the middle of a snowstorm. It sounds like a lot of fun to me, although I guess I can understand being tired of it after a while.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Thanks MFB, it is quite lovely until it has been around too long. Black on white isn't nearly as appealing once its been viewed for weeks on end. Glad it is gone now and greening is occurring.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

God's ultimate whiteout, it erases much of the mars of mankind on this lovely planet earth, it muffles the loudest moises, and hides the strip mines and junkyards in a clean canvas of white. But it is cold, and quite annoying when god decides to tone down the colorful world of men. Great hub~~~MFB III


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Sally's Trove, I couldn't believe Philly reached 59 and Atlantic City hit 61 today! Dare we hope the warm spell means winter is finally gone for good? Glad to read you have seen some buds coming to life, maybe this winter will soon be a thing of the past and we will be able to sit outside and soak in the Vitammin D! :)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Discontent it is. Now, with these couple of sunny days in the northeast, there is some relief. Snow is melting, but leaving behind piles that won't be gone for days.

Here in the Philly area, I am sure that we will have another mess before it's all over...Punxsutawney Phil says so. We are not done.

This is the worst winter I've ever seen, and true to your Hub info it's not my imagination.

I saw swelling buds on the lilac and pussy willow bushes today. God bless those plants...they are survivors, taking freezing as they have to. Me, I'm not so sturdy. I just want it all to end. It's all been a friggin downer.

Great title for this Hub.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Hi Cassidella, You have reminded me to make sure to read this hub again in the summer when it is sizzling hot. :)

Yes our neighbor was really amazing, something we talked about long after his good deed was done.

I can't believe how long the snow is hanging around, at least it isn't dirty looking yet so it is still nice to look at. Thanks for your comment!


Cassidella profile image

Cassidella 6 years ago

Hi Jen,

It's so interesting to hear different ones' take on the impact of the blizzard. I can see how it could really present a problem for people who have disabilities and the elderly, plus the hard-working clean up crews, but it was so encouraging to note that you had a neighbor who kindly shoveled your snow. Hearing about those type of kind deeds reminds me that there are still nice people out there. Be careful and try to enjoy the view! When those temperatures hover around 100 degrees this summer we may remember the blizzard with fondness! LOL


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

ethel I hope they just remain flurries, nothing more. The cold is hard enough to take.

Tammy you were one of the Southern States we heard about on the news. At least we are used to expecting snow, I can't imagine what it's like when no one is prepared for any snow, especially 6 inches! I hope you guys thaw out quickly. Be safe!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

we had a "snow storm" here in Mississippi yesterday. The entire city shut down and there were power outages plus we don't have snow plows. At most I believe there was 6 inches of snow dumped on us in a few hours.

I remember digging myself out in the morning to go to work and digging myself in later that evening. I sure don't miss the snow. Glad you made it through the blizzard of 2010.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

We have had nowhere near the snow that you are having now. We do keep getting flurries though and it is very cold. I agree. I am sick and tired of winter and long for some good weather.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Hi tim-tim. Yes Chicago was hit very hard and we have noticed that our old area of Shawneetown, IL down at the most southeastern tip of Illinois is even receiving higher than normal snow levels. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Jen, I used to live in NY and NJ. I am in IL and it is not better here. I am tired of snow! I am hoping that Spring will come soon! Thanks for the hub and the pictures! Stay warm:)


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Neither can I, we are due to have another storm the beginning of this upcoming week, Oh Joy! LOL


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

We've had a LOT of snow, too, in upstate New York, and we're all pretty tired of it, though we didn't quite get it as bad as you did. Can't wait until spring. It's coming...hopefully SOON!!!!


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Cydni as soon as read "California girl!" I thought about the mudslides and rain. Given a choice between the two, I think I'd go with snow every time.


Cydni Montgomery profile image

Cydni Montgomery 6 years ago

Well, I have to say, I'm a spoiled California girl! ;)

But we have had a lot of rain, which here means mud slides and flooding...

Thanks for the view of the other side of the country!


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Thanks for your insight travel_man. Though our area weather-casters pride themselves on doing more than just reading the news and weather. I guess that is why there are so many crazy exploits to "liven" things up.

I can see how snow would be appealing when you view it from afar. (smile)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

They're just reading the weather report Jen. As a broadcaster myself (was about 12 years ago), the same thing happened to our local weathermen. We have opposite weather, you're in temperate (right), I'm in a tropical country (Philippines). The aftermath of winter storm made you annoyed all the time, but Filipinos crave to have a 'White Christmas' here in the country. If they only know...


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

That is so true about the dogs BK. Never too cold and never too much snow for them. lol

You know before this year, Philly dropped all the snow into the Delaware River, then they realized it was not environmentally friendly, so now this year they have these heaping mounds of snow piling up higher and higher. I am beginning to wonder just how high they can get before they come crashing down on someone or some car.

Like you said, good thing this can't go on much longer. Thanks for the comment!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Too much coverage!!!! You said it Jen's Solitude. You would think this was happening in June. Good grief!

Well, here in NYC the schools were closed on Wed. - I sub sometimes - and was glad to have the day off and just look out the window. Every dog loooooved it! They were out there jumping and frolicking - wow! Even laughing if that is possible. Today - it is a mess out there with all the snow melting, the salt goes into the sewers and damage the electrical wires and yep, problems!!!! We go through this every year and the City just falls apart.

And we only had about 12 inches here in Brooklyn. When I was a child we often had 2-3 feet and lived!

On the bright side - it's February and not November so this can't go on much longer.

I enjoyed your hub!


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware Author

Sure, rub it in Lester. lol Tom's River? I know it well. We visited Sea Side Heights quite often. Thanks for the read and glad you enjoyed it.


openwater diver 6 years ago

Jen Very informative piece, kind of glad I did move to Florida now.lol Hey i didn't know you were in Jersey. I used to live in Toms River few years ago. well keep writing. Really liked this one

Lester

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working