Saturday, November 5, 2011

Snow in October?

At work, it was rumored that there may be snow coming the following weekend.  Well, it was getting colder and there was rain that same week, but snow, in October?  I guess it's happened before, it is New England after all.  

Saturday, the 29th of October, comes and the snow was expected to start at 1:00 PM.  I figured I had enough time to make it to a local plumbing supply store to see the latest bathroom vent models for our master bath.  Driving home, empty-handed (out of stock), it started to snow.  As I pulled into our driveway I saw the left over mounds of leaves that I lazily did not finish raking the previous night.  So, in the snow I raked.  My wife thought I was insane and took a photo of me raking snow with some leaves. 

I honestly do not mind the snow.  I like it actually; however, this snow came at the wrong time.  The trees haven't leaved entirely and the snow was quite sticky.  With so much surface area to cling to, the snow just overloaded many trees in our area.  With the overloading comes "snap...krackle... and POP!".  It was a disaster.  Our property was hit with several broken limbs, toppled tree, sagging branches, but other areas had greater problems.  Huge mature trees lost massive branches cutting powerlines in two.  We personally lost power that Saturday afternoon around 1:00 PM.  Power was not restored until Wednesday at 4:45 PM.  As long as we were without power, we were lucky.  Others in this state are still without power as of this blog posting!

video 

During the night of the snow storm and the following morning, a constant crackling sound could be heard echoing throughout the valley.  The video above is a quick 13 second clip of what it sounds like.  This was one large branch falling just feet from our rear porch.  The sound heard was repeated thousands of times everywhere in the state.  This was mother nature at her best (worst?).  It was her way of pruning her deciduous trees. 

Take a look at the photos of our property, and believe me, we fared better than others...






All plans are on hold now.  I was going to get the bathroom vent installed as well as trim back some trees and rake some more leaves.  But when you have no power (which means no hot water) and no food (all rotten), your priorities change.  My wife has a short term medical condition and a lack of heating and food compounded it.  We couldn't get food.  Well, we could, but it all required prepartation.  With no power for our electric stove, that was rather pointless.  So, I got some Sternos.  I used them to make ourselves a quick pasta dinner, that my wife hated yet ate.  Now, the thought of pasta makes her cringe. 

Not to be gross, but I could not shower for three days.  Freezing cold water in a drafty home is not a good combination for a cleansing shower.  Luckily, my wife was able to shower at her work where they were not hit as hard and had showers for the employees.  I, unfortunately, do not have that luxury at my place of employment.  I sucked it up on Monday night and showered by candle light... in a cold bathroom, with a drafty window, with no heat and COLD water.  They say that when you get really, really cold, your body numbs itself and the brain starts to make you feel warm... "so cold that you get warm."  I believe it's true.

Speaking of priorities, what does one do when the heating system is out?  When you have plenty of oil, but no power to start it up?  Well, the only alternative is to get a generator, which escapades I'll save for another post.  Imagine trying to get something that is worth so much in times of need, but worthless the rest of the year.  Stores never stock enough of them and desperate people do desperate things during trying times. 

This event makes you think of how the original owners lived in this home back in the 18th century.  My wife and I can truly appreciate the modern conveniences that we all have today.