Heavy Snow

Late on Sunday night, I could hear the snow falling.  That’s right, snow isn’t supposed to make a sound when it falls, but this time it did.  It turns out the with the temperature right on the freezing mark, what we got was not completely frozen, a mixture of rain, sleet and whatever.

Anyway, when we woke up on Monday morning, there was four inches of fresh snow on the ground.  School was cancelled, and officials were telling folks not to go anywhere if they didn’t have to, so I didn’t leave home that day.  In the afternoon, though, I went out and shoveled the driveway, on a chance that the ladies group from our church would come over on Tuesday night, like they normally do.  This time it took quite a bit out of me.  The snow was heavier than normal, and it kept sticking to my shovel, meaning I had to pause and clean my shovel constantly.  I got the job done, but it took two and a half hours (I believe it was one and a half hours, the last time I did it), and I finished shortly before sundown.

If the driveway had dried out, I could end this message here.  But we got some freezing rain Monday night, which refroze by Tuesday.  This meant I had a thin layer of ice covering everything I had shoveled – the driveway, the sidewalk, and the steps leading to the front door.  My feet threatened to slip as I walked on the icy coating, but luckily I kept my balance the whole time.

I called my pastor and told him we ought to rethink having the ladies group over, because it was unsafe to walk near the house.  He said he had some extra salt at his place, and came over and dropped it around the front door while we weren’t looking.  However, later it was decided to cancel both the ladies group and the men’s group I go to, because of driving conditions and because a lot of folks couldn’t come anyway.  Thus, except for the exercise I got, my work on Monday was for nothing, since I’m the only person likely to walk around on the driveway in this weather (Leive certainly won’t go out).

One thing I learned from this episode is that we get the worst kind of snow when the temperature is around freezing.  If the temperature is above freezing, it melts, and Leive and I know from our lives in warmer climates what to do about rain.  If the temperature is in the twenties or less, it is that much harder to stay warm, but the snow is light and relatively easy to deal with; it doesn’t stick to your snow shovel, for instance.  But freezing snow is heavy and may turn into ice, causing dangerous conditions or even an ice storm.  Let’s hope nature is done teaching us its winter tricks.

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