Yes, snow. Stark and simple word for the white wilderness that circumscribes our lives here in the Northeast US. I can’t find adequate words to do justice to it. Maybe photos can convey some of our winter:
Our patio at the beginning of December — Chairs stacked and tarped, table with its own tarp. Not as neat as some might get it, but the best we could do.
The first snowfall held off until the beginning of January.
A delightful winter vista it provided, we thought, viewing the snow from our bedroom window.
Pretty on the patio, too, yes? But then came February, and the white stuff really hit the fan. Every Sunday into Monday, like clockwork it fell, until the joke made it to Facebook: Welcome to Massachusetts. Closed on Mondays. (Of course it’s contrived to snow on other days also, Wednesday being another favorite.) By now we are looking like this:
Recognize the vantage point? But it doesn’t show the icicles!
Here they are. We have icicles, and black ice on the roads, and ice dams on the roofs (don’t ask). Temperatures haven’t managed to rise to freezing for weeks now. We drop down to -13 and lower (that’s Fahrenheit!) at night, and struggle during the day to reach double digits. Often we don’t manage it at all. And the wind chill numbers are simply ridiculous.
As for the view from the bedroom window, here it is:
Well, minus the hunters and their packs of dog (even our hunters are out of season). But this painting of Hunters in the Snow by Netherlandish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder is what comes to my mind every time I look out the bedroom window these days, across the trees and rocks and little hills, with the sky an ominous gray and the snow falling —
And falling —
And falling —
And I also think of this line from, who else? Shakespeare: “Now is the winter of our discontent…”
You said it, William!
Judy you make the ordinary and real shine as the essential elements of a day lived like no other. Some things are said to separate the boys from the men, and the girls from the women. Snow, well, it separates the kids from the older folk. I am among the older folk. Last night, however, driving home from a dinner with friends the snow was magical, the white fat and fluffy kind. It wasn’t dangerous as it wasn’t icy. Ah tonight will bring a different story as everything turns to ice. Last week I put my jacket on opened my sliding glass door to go outdoors. “Iceland” I shouted, turned around, put my jacket away and watched a re-run of Law and Order. Things are improving with Netflix 🙂
Wow, you hit the nail on the head, Therese. Snow separates the kids from the older folk! My elder slogan: new snow, no go! And the ice aspect, unspeakable. Loved your account of last week — Iceland! — and back to Law and Order.
Netflix is a great asset in these perilous times. Have you tried Murdoch Mysteries? There’s a whole fan club up here in N’hampton! Give it a try — winter will still be around for a while.
And here I was writing love poems to the snow on my blog. We’re as different as snow and green grass 🙂 But I know you’ve been suffering. We don’t have quite as much (a mere 19 inches) of the white stuff as you do, nor anywhere near the 6’+ my son has in Andover. I promise not to sing paeans of praise to winter here in your comments.
Ho ho, Pauline! I saw your post of your snowy love poems early this a.m., and duly noted them to look at later in the day, when I had more equanimity. Snow and green grass indeed! Outdoor/indoor, country/city, poetry/prose — probably even more opposites between us. But I do love your writing and your sensibility and appreciate the fact that between us I bet we’re a Jungian whole! 🙂
(Except you start out more rounded than I do.)
Oooooooh. Poor you. I can’t even imagine – except for the cold which we are getting our share of, but the mounds of snow you are experiencing are ridiculous. Even by Mass’s standards. My step daughter lives in Chelmsford, MA and she’s been sending us photos. Lucky for her (and her beau) she has an incredible attitude and a great sense of humor. I’d be bitching the whole time!
Chelmsford? Then you know what it’s like, and even worse.
A very bad feature: there’s no one to bitch to! We’re all in it together.
Sadly, I’d don’t need anyone. I can talk to myself just fine. If I don’t, who will? 😉
Be careful out there.
Went out into town for the first time since the last snowfall/deep freeze combo.
Disorienting — mountains of snow, and ice underfoot in unexpected places.
Thanks for the good wishes, they’re needed!
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That is a lot of snow bucketing down your part of the world. On one hand the pure whiteness of it all looks very serene and pretty. But I am sure the cold is bitingly painful and hope you stay out of the those winds. We don’t get snow here in most parts of Australia, but we do get very chilly winds when winter rolls around. Hang in there, spring is coming your way 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Mabel. It sent a surge of Australian warmth this way — which is sorely needed.
Yesterday it went above freezing for the first time in weeks, but dropped during the night again, and so now —
ICE on the driveway!
Good on you for living in a SENSIBLE country. (I’ve had a soft spot for Australia since I was a child, although I never had the opportunity actually to visit.)
Oh dear, ice on the driveway. Now that is something that is hard to get rid off when it’s still below zero Hopefully the cold blast moves off soon – spring is knocking next week after all.
Sensible country? Sometimes it gets very hot here in the summer 😀
Zero this morning. No comment.
You’re in full summer, aren’t you? The thought makes me a little warmer —
But I hope it’s not TOO hot!!!!!!
We are coming to the tail end of summer. It has been a very mild summer. Last month we even had to put on jackets before we went out But at least our ice-creams didn’t melt so fast this summer 🙂
Zero? Oh dear. Less than a week to spring, hope it gets even warmer soon.
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Popping my head up to say how much I love the form and flow of the snow sculpture in your garden . . . . hoping it gets better for you soon Judith.
I guess we call this found art??????
Thanks for the good wishes, Patti.
Well, you couldn’t have picked a much better painting to depict your predicament, though the photos did a pretty good job of that! I hope you’re all able to keep warm and pray that the spring sunshine will come to you soon. I guess for now you’ll need all those books that you put away to read sometime!
Try – 13 F this morning! Crazy!
Coat, gloves, hat, scarf, boots — check list for nice days, ie, when it isn’t snowing. Teapot, warm robe, book pile — check list for snowy days. (Books dwindling fast.)
Trying your Double Bean Soup tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy – adjust the amount of fluid according to whether you want a stew or a soup! Look after yourselves 🙂
Oh my! I heard on the news just this morning that some areas of the Northeast have hit the 100 inches mark. I’m in southern NJ, and we have had more than usual too…but thankfully, it comes, it melts, and then comes back again. Blessings to you in the midst of all that winter white.
We “only” have about 3 or 4 feet on the ground here, although the mountain the plows have left in our front yard is over 6 feet tall. Unlike southern NJ, the snow comes, and it comes, and it comes. It skips the melting part!!!!!
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a WARM message!
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Judy – belated sympathies on your recent bout of the cold (re. last post) amidst the incredible weather – I wont call it awful – because well, I’d rather have snow than deal with tornados, earthquakes and volcano eruptions…. into each life some *snow* must fall? And the pics spoke volumes!
Re. Jane Austen (this should rightly be posted in your previous post…:)) : I was so amused that you picked up on the dissonance that I too had felt subterraneously somewhere in my consciousness but never let surface until you mentioned it – that Jane’s getting laid up with a cold at Bingley’s seemed on the surface such an obvious writerly manipulation of events….until I too remembered what it was like growing up, and what it might have been like in less densely populated regions and times when getting from one place to another took effort, when disease and ill-health did not have such quick potent remedies…
So I heartily endorse your asking of dear Jane Austen an absolution of sorts for your temporary lapse in faith in her.
But there’s still a small matter that a 21st century Austen might rewrite – colds are not had from getting drenched in english rain 🙂 – so who did Jane catch it from?
And for that matter you? How did you get your cold?
I have been working remotely from home for the past 3 years and rarely catch a cold, because I hardly step outside! If I do get to the city for a meeting or travel out of town, I can almost feel the assault of foreign particles – haha – into my system and make sure to wash and shower quickly – though I caught a recent study in Europe ( Sweden) I think where they found a strong correlation between lower allergy levels amongst children whose mothers handwashed their dishes (rather than used the dishwasher), likely re-confirmation that a little dirt and poor hygiene might help build immunity??…)
I haven’t the slightest idea where I got my cold, Mercy!
But the period before Christmas was intensely busy and social and stressful. I think all of that lowered my resistance.
My mother wasn’t one to get upset about a little dirt or a few germs. She said that everybody in their lifetime would end up eating a peck of dirt! So I had to chuckle when I saw the latest idea, that too MUCH cleanliness could end up in reducing resistance and being bad for one’s health. I’m pretty sure my mother would have agreed!
Having never lived in a region where snow is a standard menu item – although there is both English and Norwegian blood flowing in my veins – I cannot but admire and appreciate the beauty of the view from your bedroom window (both your “img_0208” and the painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder). As I write, it is the second day of our autumn, with an expected high in Wellington of 21 degrees Celsius (69 degrees Fahrenheit).
Wishing you good health and happiness.
69 degrees Fahrenheit, wistful sigh!
I’m not sure even your English blood would do it, I think you’d have to call on the Norwegian blood to cope with our winter. Yesterday’s snowfall was a lovely picture, fluffy white flakes gently falling. And falling. And falling.
I’m afraid it’s too late for much beauty appreciation, though. My eyes are fixed resolutely on the calendar, peeling away the days till spring. (Although here spring often waits a month or two past its due date before arriving.)
New Zealand looks gorgeous in photos, and your weather sounds as if it’s equally gorgeous to feel. Have a good first week of autumn!
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We have a great deal of snow. They declared State of Emergency for a while here. Emergency vehicles couldn’t get through, hardly anywhere. I looked at the enormous mountains of snow today, in the dumping places, wondering how long it will take for them to melt.
I think this whole winter’s been one big state of emergency!
HATE it. The Big Y supermarket has a mound of snow in their parking lot that’s like a three-story building.
I figure everything should melt by July. Sound about right to you?
I am so glad I made it to the whole post (cos many times I skim certain posts and then try and come back – ) but wow – this flowed and it ewas nice to see the snow increase… the fine art and shakespeare quote was nice too – and regarding the art
a while back I read a nice article about why Hunters in the Snow is one of the best paintings ever – and well, funny how this came to mind for you as the snow kept coming – I know I am late to this post – but hope you are staying warm….
It even looked like spring was coming for a while — but we were back in the deep freeze today, with high winds, although plenty of sunshine. Ah well, we take what we can.
The Hunters in the Snow is what we thought of since the first snows in December — it’s just exactly how the land flows outside our window! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
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