Yesterday afternoon, I had a quintessential Winter Moment as I rearranged the snow shovel and snowshoes in the back of my Subaru in order to make room for J’s snow-blower, which I retrieved after its annual tuneup. And that’s not even mentioning the bag of emergency hats, scarves, gloves, and hand-warmers I carry in my car during the winter, or the stash of emergency snacks I keep in my car in case I ever get stranded on some snowy road between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Now that winter’s arrived in New England, you really can’t be too prepared.
Airing now in Massachusetts, there’s a TV ad for a local insurance company that contrasts the romantic idea of “winter” with the actual realities of the season. “An insurance company in California thinks this is what a New England winter is like,” the announcer intones as Santa’s sleigh is shown gently floating over a quaintly snowy landscape. “We know,” the narrator continues, “that winter in New England looks like this,” and what follows is video montage showing folks shoveling insurmountable snowdrifts, folks scraping inches of ice from frozen windshields, a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam in a blinding snowstorm, and a car skidded off the road into a ditch. J and I chuckle whenever we see this commercial. Yep, that’s about right.
Last weekend’s first snow was particularly picturesque, but know that’s only part of the picture. Winter is a two-faced season, and in its worst moods it’s essentially unbloggable. Words and pictures can’t capture what it’s like to walk the dog when temperatures are in the teens and it’s windy, and a blog-post can’t describe what it feels like to skitter across icy sidewalks or clamber through ankle-twisting snow heaps. I can try to describe the dirty ugliness of old snow that’s grown gray with road-exhaust or the eyesore caused by a season’s worth of road salt bleaching roads and cars a similar shade of blah. I can describe these things, and I can post an occasional picture, but ultimately you have to live through it to really understand it.
The previous three pictures show the pretty side of winter, when the snow is fresh and pristine and our souls haven’t gotten sick of it yet. A more accurate image of winter, though, is the following photo from my apartment in Keene, where at least one plow-guy apparently thinks we’re going to have an extremely snowy winter, making it necessary to leave an entire yard’s worth of space now for all the plowed snowbanks in the months to come.
This is my contribution for yesterday’s Photo Friday theme, Winter. My landlord will probably have a heart attack when he sees, in person, that final scene of my plowed yard, especially since last year the house next door plowed their accumulated snow banks well into my backyard. During this season of snow, snow, SNOW, plow-guys eventually run out of places to shove it all.