In case you have completely missed it, we’ve been enjoying a record-setting streak of weather here in Massachusetts. The amount of snow that has fallen over the last three weeks is a truly unbelievable 84.2 inches of snow! This is officially the most snow we’ve ever received in a single month, we are now the third snowiest winter on record.
More, our snow blower is broken. Dom came in to tell me the belt was gone and he was a broken man. All fight had just gone out of him. So I kissed him and put on my long underwear and an extra pair of wool socks, a couple pair of gloves, and a scarf and coat and boots. And together we went and shoveled out the end of the drive behind my car. But the mounds on either side of the driveway are more than five feet high. Eight feet at the street end. We simply had nowhere to put all the snow so I argued that we should focus on getting my car out so he could take it to get the part for the blower and pile all the snow behind Dom’s car. So that’s what we did. And we had to shovel twice because, of course, the plow came by just as we finished.
We got at least a foot in the storm that blew through last night and today. We’re supposed to get more snow on Tuesday. Estimates are for 4-8 inches. What do you want to bet we get the high end of that? If not more!
I love watching the snow swirl. I love looking out the window and marveling at the chest-high drifts and the one against the fence that is higher than my head. I love the way the icicles come down to touch the tops of the snow drift and make a little cage between the snow-filled yard and the house. I love the bleak whiteness, unrelieved by any color except the flash of cardinal and bluejay’s wings. And the buff on the undersides of the chickadees and tufted titmice and the gorgeous ruddy brown of the wren. Even the evergreens have such a dull shade of green it might as well be grey or brown, it does nothing to relieve the monochromatic feel of the landscape as the blizzard makes little snow devils dance across the yard.
But I do not love the frustration of trying to find a place to put the snow, the narrowing of our street to one lane between two high walls of white until it feels like an endurance challenge. I don’t love the frustration on my husband’s face, the noise and mess and noise of five children who have been cooped up in the house for too, too long. I don’t love the fear of ice dams and collapsing roofs and that terrible panic when the child you thought was climbing the snow mountain in the front yard decides to go to the back yard but you don’t realize it and your heart leaps into your throat as you imagine that she’s buried somewhere in a mountain of snow that is twice as tall as she is.
I’ve taken to keeping the camera at the dining room table where I can grab it and fire off shots when my favorite birds strike a charming pose at the feeder that’s suction cupped to the slider or perch on an icicle while they wait for another bird to finish. I’ve got some really good photos, I’m quite happy with them. And my kids are all learning the names of the birds and their calls. We hear the chickadees calling as they land to snatch a seed: “chickadee-dee-dee, chicka-dee-dee-dee.” I echo it back and the kids echo me.
I stay up too late, reading and writing and thinking or trying to think. During the day I’m tired and cranky and the kids are too noisy. The noise is really getting to me and the kids’ high energy. Anthony especially is getting wild because he’s really too little to enjoy being out in the snow and has so much excess energy. He picks fights because no one will play with him, he natters at Lucy because she will at least fight back and not ignore him.
When the weather isn’t too bad Bella and Sophie and Ben at least will go out in the snow and play and wear themselves out. Lucy’s too little to care. But Anthony just needs to run. He’s all boy. He starts destroying things not out of malice but just high spirits and excess energy. He climbed onto the changing table and pulled down the light in their room yesterday.
The house is a mess and I can’t bring myself to care enough to clean it right now. They’re just going to mess it up again anyway. The kids do a half-hearted job tidying up and I don’t have the wherewithal to do the last ten percent, so it’s in a constant state of not quite tidy enough to keep me from being annoyed.
I wish I spent more of the day reading something worthwhile instead of looking for amusement on Facebook. More poetry, more novels, more Shakespeare. Maybe that should be my Lenten goal? In addition to more prayer. And finding a way to get everyone out of the house!