That was what my Mamaw told me years and years ago. And the older I get, the more I see how right she was in her assessment.
I swear it was the first of February just yesterday and now March is looming on the immediate horizon. With it, one living up north would hope that that means the ending of winter and the beginning of a glorious spring.
Yeah, not getting my hopes up.
As I've mentioned before, this winter has been brutal. Or as a friend of mine in Michigan said, it's been cruel. (And she's one of those crazy people that loves snow and everything winter.)
A few years ago, we got a hell of a storm one December weekend. It made national news due to the Metrodome roof collapsing due to the snow. (If you've never seen the footage, click that last link. It's surreal.)
During that storm, the plows destroyed our mailboxes, the buses stopped running, the post office was closed, and it was all out hell for a few days. Due to that, I knew that 1) plows were dangerous and 2) winter could really suck when it wanted to do so.
Fast forward to this winter and we seem to be back in that suck.
Last Monday, February 17th, we got a bit of snow. (A bit being near 8 inches.) And just like that storm back in 2010, our mailboxes met with an untimely death:
In case you are wondering, that a solid 4x4 on the left that was literally twisted in half from the weight of the snow being thrown from the road. We didn't get mail for a day or two until my husband was able to rig it back up temporarily.And of course, the best way to fix it will have to wait until the Big Thaw. (Steel pipe will be a better post but since there is about 6 feet of snow on the ground that we don't want to dig through and due to the ground being totally frozen, it'll have to wait.)
Our trash cans didn't fare too well against the plows either but they just got thrown about 10 feet from their starting points. This was after the regular trash can was already kicked over (after being emptied, thank god) and the recycling bin was righted once before:
But that snow wasn't terribly heavy. Granted, I wrenched my back shoveling out driveway but I think that was user error and not bending my knees enough.
The next day, I was having one of those days where it would have seemed like the perfection solution to my problems was to run away or hide in bed for a month. Really, I was a basket case for multiple reasons. But that night, I tried to get to the normal side of life. I made my macaroni and cheese and planned to experiment with a new way of eating it. (Think hamburger meat and hamburger toppings.)
Well, sadly... I used the wrong cheese and it was a giant, clumpy mess. When I went to throw it away, it fell out of the bowl and onto my boot. My UGG boot. My ugly, UGG boot that doesn't do well against grease and cheese. Or water. Or snow.
Look at that shit. You can actually see exactly where those elbow noodles landed.
On any other day, I'd have cursed a bit and then started over. But that day.... that was the day I didn't need one more thing to go wrong. So I lost it. I broke down and bawled my eyes out. Like I said, it was a rough damn day.
The next day, however, was a blessing from the Gods of Better Weather. All of a sudden, our temps shot up to 40. 40!!!! And when I looked out the window midday, I saw something I've not seen since October.... PUDDLES!
As you can see, the mailboxes were still wonky.
But there were puddles!
I went outside and also for the first time in months, I could actually feel the sun on my face. I could feel that warmth and it warmed my heart as much as my body.
To let spring know that I was really looking forward to it's arrival, eventually, I called out to it:
But alas, the warming trend ended with a vengeance.
Within just a few days (Last Thursday to be exact), a snow storm blew through, preceded by about 3 hours worth of rain.
Rain. In February. If the temps had stayed elevated, that would have been all right.
But the temps don't cooperate in Minnesota. Not in the winter.
My husband and I went out Friday afternoon to shovel the driveway. (luckily, we'd already cleared out the snow from Monday.)
The snow was super heavy due to how wet it was when it was falling. The wind had made sure to blow more of it around and stack it up higher than average. We actually had to get out the power shovel which made it easier but still took a few hours.
This was taken halfway through. I made my husband plant a foot to get a better idea of how deep the driveway was under the Evil White Stuff:
Luckily, the temps hadn't bottomed out yet and after shoveling, Peanut came out to play for a little while. I think I had to dig her feet out of the snow in the yard 5 times. If she'd tried to pull her foot out without help, her boots would have stayed behind. (It's happened before.)
As much as we weren't happy about more snow, we just went back inside and stayed in Friday night.
But Saturday, oh what a level of suck.
I went out, briefly, to go to the store. Our road looked clear enough so I thought it'd be okay to drive. But I ended up death gripping my steering wheel because 48 hours after the snow had moved on, the roads here were beyond awful. EVERYONE on the interstate was doing 40 mph or less. The overhead road signs that usually tell you how much traffic is going to suck, or if DUI patrols have been increased, simply said "Icy Roads. Slow Down."
(Sorry, no picture for that. I value my life too much to be taking pics while driving, especially in those conditions.)
I kid you not, the ice on the road was at least a half inch thick in most places, even on I-494. In some places, it was as if I were driving on a washboard.
Now, I can drive in snow. During my very first trip up to MN, I drove up in a blizzard. I know that slow and steady will keep you safer in snow. I learned to drive in the snow in Colorado years ago.
But this... this was something that freaked me out a bit. I just wanted to be back home and off the roads. Thankfully, I made it home safe and sound, after sliding and losing traction only twice.
72 hours after the storm, which was Sunday, the news reports said the roads were doing better. MnDOT had upgraded the ratings to Fair and there were 200 crews out working 24 hours a day laying down salt and deicing stuff.
Also on Sunday, the Metrodome met with its planned end when 84 charges of explosives imploded the old stadium to make room for the new one. Watch this video to see the implosion and make to watch for the road shot in the second half of the video. It'll give you a good idea of what every road looked like on Saturday.
The drive in from St. Paul is going to be super weird not seeing that Dome rising up.
It's been a week of destruction, planned and unplanned.
I have never wanted to see signs of spring so badly. I haven't seen grass since my trip to Disney in early December and I miss it. I'd take winter brown grass over covered in white grass any day.
Although, I'll admit, watching icicles form and watching them grow to sizes taller than my kid is amusing. This is a before and after of Hell House and the icicle that has been growing on the side of the house facing the sun:
I'll leave you today with 2 drawings that have made their way around the internet quite a bit this year. I know I've posted the first one on FB before but the second is new to me this year.
|Appropriate every winter in MN|
How's the weather where you are?