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Winter Comes to the Mohawk Valley

Perhaps I jinxed things the other day, when I mentioned I was pleased about the green Christmas. Nah, that can’t be it; people have been remarking about the lack of snow for a while now. Be that as it may, I thought Wednesday’s weather was worthy of a post.

I first encountered the winter Wednesday morning. I was feeling rather bah humbuggish as I experienced problems trying to wrap presents for Christmas II at my parents’ house that evening. I thought a little fresh air would help, so on went the sneakers (me) and the leash (Tabby), and out the door we went.

It was cold! Once again I had not put a scarf around my face, to my regret. Little white flakes swirled around us, then moved faster as the wind picked up and got mean. Tabby only wanted to go around the block, even taking the short cut through the apartment building parking lot, which was OK with me. At least it blew the bah humbug out of me and I was able to complete my Christmas preparations with equanimity and even a little joy.

As the day wore on the snow kept falling. Perfect weather for a cup of hot tea (I had finished most of my chores by then). Then I thought I would take Tabby for a more lengthy perambulation (we avoid saying the “w word” in our house) before our drive into Rome (about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on traffic and how seriously I take the speed limits). I struggled into my army winter boots and we set out.

It was a little warmer since the wind had died down. I was glad of the boots, as the snow had started to drift across the sidewalks. Not too deep yet, but a preview of things to come. One man was out with a snow blower, blowing out the driveway and walk of the apartment building. I encountered some iciness crossing the streets, but no mishaps. Tabby went about two blocks down German Street, then turned around without fanfare or even an inquiring look at me, and led me back home. After we turned around the wind picked back up, and I was once again regretful I had forgotten a scarf (will I ever remember that scarf?).

After we got back and I had gotten Tabby inside and cleared the caked snow off her feet, I went back outside and shoveled a little. Just the end of the driveway and the sidewalk in front of the house. It was really quite easy. Not much snow had piled up and it was light enough to push.

A check of Facebook revealed a couple of cancellations in Frankfort and Utica, and some comments by people of how some roads were getting bad. Oh dear. I called my Dad and asked how things were in Rome. After some discussion, we decided I would start the drive and turn around at the Frankfort bridge if things seemed bad.

When I got ready to load the car and go pick up Steven, I put on my other boots. I had been delighted to get these boots for 50% off at K Mart last year. The army boots are excellent for dryness, warmth and traction, but they are a royal pain in my rear to get into and out of. The K Mart boots are slip on and perfectly warm.

As I brushed off the car (another joy, because it is my height, which the truck is not), I questioned my delight in the slip on boots as a big clump of snow fell right into them. Never mind, I told myself, I can borrow dry socks from Mom. Tabby eagerly jumped into the car and her kennel and we were off.

Village streets were predictably bad, but State Route 5 seemed OK. As Steven got into the car, I explained my plan. So far so good. Things started to get dicey as we neared the Frankfort bridge, but I suggested we give it to the four corners. Not the Historic Four Corners I blog so much about, but the ones near Dave’s Diner. From there it would be easy enough to get on 5S and go back home. 5S has the added advantage of two lanes of traffic. I can go slow, and impatient people can go around me at their own risk.

We did not get that far. We got as far as the Market Place Deli (formerly the Snack Shack), and that seemed to me a very good place to turn around. Snow was accumulating on the highway, and I felt a skid or a fishtail could easily happen. We went back home and called my disappointed but understanding parents.

I suppose some would call me a wimp for such behavior. These people would shake an admonitory finger at me and ask me how long have I lived in the area, and don’t I know what to expect in December? Apparently I do. After all, I own two pair of boots and a snow shovel. And I know that sometimes plans have to change. Maybe I can plan something more exciting for my next blog post.

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