Friday 9 February 2024

All Bad in a Previous Life

My little corner of the world must be filled with sinners from previous lives. The weather gods have just smited us again.

Remember we had a hurricane eighteen months ago. Then we had wildfires nine months ago. And floods seven months ago.

Well, this time it's snow. Northeastern Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island were dealt a four-day, once-in-a-generation blizzard last week.

We got about a metre of snow where I live but the wind blew it into drifts five feet high in many places.. Those places were often the exact same places we puny little people had to shovel out in order to get to our vehicles and get our vehicles to the streets.

I just realized I mixed my metric and Imperial measurements in that last paragraph. That's what comes of growing up with one system of measurement and then having to learn the other system as an adult.


Some photos taken from my front porch:

Taken partway through the storm. Do you see the car to the left of the black SUV? By the end of the four days of snow, all that was visible of the car was the side view mirror. (In this shot, the SUV had been cleaned off and part of the driveway cleared out . . . temporarily.)

The snow was quite deep in front of our house because the wind was carrying it up and over the house and dumping it in the front yard and driveway. For context, there is a foot-high drop in front of that railing, so the snow is a foot higher than what you see next to the railing.

The front half of the car is freed from its snowy prison.

And this photo taken from the street in front of my house:

The towering mountain of snow piled at the end of our driveway by the machine that cleaned our street. (That bit of black on the left is the end of the driveway.) The kids next door love the mountain.

And the best part is . . . (drum roll) . . . there's another eight inches of snow in the forecast for early next week . . .

I'm so glad my son is living here again. I'd never be able to move all that snow myself, especially as I had my mother here with me for three of the four days of the storm. Her dementia is progressing, and I had to keep eyes on her most of the time she was awake. I couldn't give my son much help in the snow shovelling department.

I'm trying to be very, very good in my current life so maybe in my next one there will be no apocalypses of the weather kind.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?

And would you rather have a hurricane, a wildfire, a flood, or a blizzard?

I'm just thankful we don't tend to have earthquakes, tornadoes, or volcanoes here. Hopefully I haven't jinxed us with that statement. 😁



jabblog said...

I didn't realise you'd mixed imperial and metric until you mentioned it.
That snow is phenomenal. The slightest snowfall in UK sends the country into a tizz, apart from places accustomed to it and prepared.
The choice of weather you offer is difficult - I think blizzard,so long as I was safely indoors.

dinthebeast said...

That's quite a bit of snow. I grew up and lived within 50 miles of the ocean until we moved here, so I had very little snow experience. The first two years here had little snow (for here) but last year we got ten feet twice. Our house is a dome, so the snow slid off of it and covered the door to our room up past the top. Briana managed to crawl out of the window after about a week, and with assistance from a nice man driving a front-end loader, get the car dug out of the drift it was under so she could go to town for groceries.
Those were "atmospheric river" storms, and this week we had two more of them.
Until yesterday, they were all (or almost all) rain, but since then about two feet has fallen. The storm has supposedly passed now, and we got lucky.
The cat has decided that snow is bad, but now he just goes right out in it to do his business, unlike last year when that was in no way possible.
Last year we paid a nice man from the Christian Camp to shovel the path out of our door down to the top of the stairs leading down the hill.
Today Briana went down and shoveled the bank the plow pushed up in front of the car while the snow was still soft. We are learning.
I'm glad you had your son there to help with the heavy stuff. I can't really shovel snow, since I walk with a quad-cane, so Briana has had to get good at it, and I am quite thankful for her efforts.
Last year Zsuzs got me some spikes that slide onto my shoes, and they allow me to make it down the path and the stairs to the car when the ice and snow are on the ground, and they are very helpful. Last year I even walked up to the mailbox a couple of times with them, but I had to be careful because my cane tried to slide out from under me a few times.
We had hoped to be moved to a lower elevation before the snow hit this year, but that has been delayed and now we're hoping that the atmospheric rivers bring more rain than snow, as the car we have this year isn't all-wheel drive like the Mazda we had last year. The state needs the snow pack, but perhaps it can pile up elsewhere?
Anyhow, good luck!

-Doug in Sugar Pine

gz said...

Not much here, but we are in Ayrshire, 10 miles in from Prestwick airport and don't get that much snow usually.
More this afternoon across Scotland but probably staying above 200metres.
Perhaps with that much snow, cars are not a good idea!!

Andrew said...

I saw your reference to 'we' and remembered your son had moved back home. I saw a photo of a deeply buried barn in NS, with a path cut along one of its walls. The snow looks very challenging but as long you are stocked up on food and the power stays on, you are ok.

My mother stayed with us for a few single nights and that was bad enough. Three days would have been a nightmare.

Infidel753 said...

I think I literally wouldn't survive if I had to try to shovel quantities of snow like that.

About a month ago here we had one or two inches of snow. It shut down most of the city for a week. Of course we're not really well equipped to deal with it.

But between "a hurricane, a wildfire, a flood, or a blizzard", I'd take the blizzard, because it would do the least permanent damage.

Glad to see you're posting again. I hope better times will come.

baili said...

this is hell of snow i can see here dear Jenny

i can't agree with my poor knowledge that any natural disaster has anything to do with sins of inhabitants :)
i have hear about Canada being really cold with harsh snowy winters but still i see in summer photos how it turns into heavenly place :)

believe it or not no place exist without having it's own goods and bads as everything in this universe behaves similarly in many basic aspects .

we experienced better winters (cooler) after three years otherwise our warm clothing was stored away totally
wishing you peace ,health and joy in days ahead my friend!
great to hear about your son ,must be reliving !

Red said...

You are taking this event with some humor. I'm surprised how quickly snow has been cleared and some streets opened.

Steve Reed said...

Holy cow. You have had no shortage of excitement. I'm not sure I've ever seen snow that deep, even when I experienced blizzards in New Jersey. We're mild and boring by comparison -- gray skies and rain!

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Well I hope no more aberrant weather comes your way. I'd like a blizzard, thank yo. I always loved snow ad would be thrilled to experience the real stuff. Here blozzards are quite tame, and in my small part of anything, it seldom snows that much - it rains instead much to my chagrin so mini-floods are quite frequent. I don't like wet!

Marie Smith said...

Shhh…we don’t speak of the other types of disasters…I hope next week isn’t an eventful!

Janie Junebug said...

I won't tell you what the weather is like today in Florida. It would be cruel. Blizzards are lovely if you don't need anything and don't have to go anywhere until all the snow melts. I'm glad your son can help you.


Joanne Noragon said...

I remember dealing with that much snow back in the sixties, a mile from Lake Erie, a notorious snow producer. Since then, it's been some other person's responsibility to move.

River said...

Weather in my neck of the woods (ha ha woods, I'm close to the city) is hot and getting hotter. 34C today and 39C tomorrow. Not a cloud in sight. Being this close to the city, wildfires, (which we call bush fires), don't happen and I am not in an area that gets hurricanes, floods or blizzards.

kylie said...

That's a lot of snow!
I've only seen snow once in my life and the idea of a blizzard is just completely foreign to me. If i happened to stand on ice , I would certainly slip and probably do a lot of damage so the whole idea of snow and ice is really scary.
Flood is uncompromising in it's destruction and I don't fancy that idea.
Fire seems the most deadly (at least in my mind) but the thing about fire is that it's so ferocious that most people just get out of the area and abandon their home to it's fate. Sometimes the fire goes around and sometimes it devours everything. So it can be forgiving, in a brutal way.
My short answer is tghey are all devastating and how could anyone possibly choose ?
I'm so glad you're safe and you have help. It sounds like a very stressful event and one where things could get very bad very quickly

jenny_o said...

jabblog: I agree with your choice of blizzard; I'd also add "if the power stays on"!

Doug: Ten feet of snow becomes a new level of hazardous. I can imagine it - but only just. I was wondering if you had gotten moved yet. Fingers crossed for a moderate winter for you all.

gz: Cars and snow are not a great combination. Actually we cannot use our cars at the moment because the streets have a lot of ruts and ridges in the snow that was left behind by the plows; it has turned to ice and cars don't have enough clearance to drive through. Thank goodness we have the SUV.

Infidel753: I'd choose the blizzard, too. It's understandable that places that don't usually get snow have to shut down when they do get it. Here we have winter tires and annual experience in driving in snow and ice, and our municipalities have snowplows and literal barns full of salt and sand to put on the roads. Many people have backup systems for heat if the power goes out. The cold and snow becomes deadly when you're not equipped for it. As for posting, I haven't had the heart for it. Or the mental energy. I hope that changes.

baili: We do have a bit of every kind of weather here! It's one thing I enjoy about living in a temperate zone. I think I would be bored if there was less variety. And of course our heat is not like your heat, and our cold is not like the cold in more northerly areas. Also, maybe we get used to what we have grown up with :) Hugs to you, too, my friend!

Red: Our government asked for and received help from parts of NS that weren't affected by the storm and from neighbouring provinces. They also hired private contractors. My only concern now is the streets between our house and the main streets of our town. The snow wasn't cleared well from the asphalt and now it has frozen into ruts my car can't navigate! My son and I have to share the use of the SUV. I'm just thankful we have that.

Steve: I'd take mild and boring right now!

Charlotte: I would take the blizzard, too, as long as the power stays on. I have no alternative source of heat at the moment, so I do worry about that. I am waiting for chimney repairs this spring, so next winter should be less of a worry. I wish you could experience a big snowfall (safely!); it can be quite interesting and it certainly has a wild beauty.

Marie: Indeed! (And you're right about not mentioning such things - a person can get superstitious real fast about things like that!!)

Janie: Exactly. I was very happy that the power stayed on for us. With my mom here, plus four cats who can't mingle, it's a real concern. As for Florida weather, that would be worse for me because I'm not used to it! And I'm afraid of large bugs and reptiles :D

Joanne: Living near to water does tend to make snow in cold areas, doesn't it? I'm glad you have other people to handle the snow now.

River: Aside from the heat, which would leave me useless, it sounds like you have a good situation!

kylie: Your analysis is right on. The only thing I'd add is that we're prepared for snow, and that makes such a difference. Many folks have a backup heat source in case of power loss (but as with everything else, that follows income levels). We have boots with good treads and winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves and even long underwear. I would choose a blizzard, overall. But not if I didn't have those things.

Diane Henders said...

Wow, that is one SERIOUS snowfall! I'm glad you made it through the first batch - hopefully the next 8" won't be quite as devastating.

To answer your question: If I had to choose between vengeful weather events, I'd take a blizzard every time. It's scary and disruptive, but at least it doesn't (usually) destroy your house. Then again, I grew up on a farm in Manitoba, where we frequently had blizzards and were often without power for several days at a time; so maybe that's a 'comfort zone' for me. (But I'd still prefer that my choices include "none of the above".) :-)

messymimi said...

Gracious! We have hurricanes, but we can usually get out of the way, if we're smart enough to do so. Hurricane Alley word of the day: Namaste. "Y'all gonna evacuate?" "Namaste."

I'm sorry you had so much snow, we get a few inches and everything stops so I can imagine how awful it can be.

jenny_o said...

Diane: you are such a considerate rule-follower - lol! Yes, "none of the above" is the sensible choice, isn't it? I bet your Manitoba blizzards were bad. BC is worrying the rest of us this winter - you are way too warm and snow-free :(

jenny_o said...

Mimi: it took me 12 hours to understand the Namaste joke but when I did, it was hilarious!!! Still smiling :)0

DB Stewart said...

In no way do I make light of what you (and many of our friends in the Maritimes) went through, but in Western Canada it's very, very dry. So I choose snow...lots of it.

jenny_o said...

DB Stewart: Exactly right - that snow will melt slowly into the ground in spring and provide groundwater and hopefully make the woods less dry next summer. I hope you folks get some snow or rain or both to help with the wildfire threat next year.

Mr. Shife said...

Well you finally got your snow.
Holy cannoli.
Stay safe and warm.

jenny_o said...

Mr. S: We did! Some moderation would have been nice :D

Cherie said...

Wow, that's definitely a snow drift. We get around three inches and our country comes to a standstill

jenny_o said...

Cherie: It's all relative to what you're used to having :)