Monday, December 27, 2010

An Albemarle Snowfall

The term "snowed in," after having been used so lightly by us for untold years in Washington, D.C., has demonstrated its literal meaning now that we've experienced a major snowstorm here in the so-called sunny south.  Coastal North Carolina received 6.5" of wondrous white in the previous 48 hours, and it wasn't ready for it.

Today was the day to get moving after too many days of that good thing we all dream of:  a fire, good food and drink, and a favorite entertainment, be it a beloved movie on TV or a favorite singer coming through the speakers.  The path between the fireplace and the refrigerator becomes ever deeper as the weight of the snacks consumed is transferred from the fridge to our bodies.   Clothing other than the snuggly, loungey things we've been wearing to complete that homey picture seems foreign.  The sun, dazzling against the uninterrupted blanket of white, beckons us back to life.

The first thing I did was to take a broom and knock the heavy snow off the young pines in the yard, hoping to help them stand upright once again.  Steve replenished all the bird seed, three feeders depleted in a day by our usual chickadee and woodpecker visitors plus an entire flock of red-wing black birds that have just discovered the free feast.  (One or two of these beauties are welcome, but this many will scare everybody else away, so we hope this is temporary, a result of the weather.)  Then we went for a walk on our street. 

Our constitutional completed, we decided to load up the SUV with our ever-accumulating trash--our normal output plus the extra Christmas boxes and paper--and take it to the dump.  The two-mile trip there on Deep Creek Road was the first hint that we are in a place that officially Is Not Accustomed To This Weather.  Deep Creek Road, the only way out of here, has not seen even the glimmer of a plow.  (With all the farmers and their manly toys around here, you'd think otherwise, but maybe a plow is not a plow is not a plow.)  We got out to New Hope Road, an even more vital artery, carrying the entire population of Durant's Neck out to US 17, and saw that it, too, was innocent of a plow blade.  Ditto Woodville Road, which takes that same population north to Elizabeth City.  And the dump was closed.

So here we are, socked back inside.  The car is still full of trash.  Tomorrow we have to take a 60-mile drive to Ahoskie so Steve can visit his pain specialist, all on heavily traveled but "back" roads, State-maintained, not part of the US Highway or Interstate system.  That should be interesting.  And we're looking forward to visitors from DC for the New Years celebration.  They're arriving Thursday and some shopping in Elizabeth City needs to be done.  This is the last day of indolence, voluntary or enforced.  Tomorrow real life resumes, ready or not, slippery roads, closed dump and all.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful surroundings! Looks much like here now when You´ve got snow :-) :-)

I have to say that the only well kept road in this area is the one in the village :-)

Have a great day now!

Cuidado said...

Six and a half inches seems a lot when you don't have the infrastructure to deal with it. We finally got our first snow on Monday. I don't like it. Have fun at New Years.

Peewit said...

Here in London usually we are paralysed by 1 inch of snow. This year we already have had two bouts. one in early December where we had the usual inch and this amazingly didn't stop us this year. That just thawed and then 4 and half inches fell in half an hour. This has lain for 8 days and has finally only gone today. Generally we never go much below -4Centigrade (i can't remember if you Americans use C or F) but this winter we got down to -13C and every path froze. However whilst there was little sign of plows the roads were gritted ealry and were clear within 24 hours.

a belated happy christmas and a happy new year from the UK

Ralph said...

Hello, Peewit! I converted those temperratures (we use Fahrenheit). -3C is where we should be at night but it's been a bit colder though not, thank God, as cold as -13! (We did have that occasionally in DC.)

Things are warming up to normal now. The snow is still with us, but melting, and most of the roads, surprisingly, have had a plow and salt treatment, so it's almost like normal.

Best wishes for 2011!

Perovskia said...

What a lovely area. It gave me a small twinge in my heart and made me painfully miss Charlotte for a minute (I'd spent some time there a few years back, in the winter no less, so I appreciate their "Oh my God, snow! What do we do?!" mentality).

Loved this post and all your descriptions.

Happy New Year, Ralph.. all the best to you and Steve.

Ralph said...

Happy New Year, Perovskia! Things got better quickly here. The next day saw the beginning of a warming trend that ought to get us near 60F today, and the county really moved, clearing all back roads once the bigger ones were done. Even Deep Creek got two passes with a plow and salt. It's just our immediate street, which the neighborhood takes care of itself, that shows any sign of the recent weather. Guess we'll just wait for that to melt.

nan said...

Happy New Year, dear Ralph! Any more snow down there? We have quite a bit, but it is expected to be brutal from December through April here! My main reason for writing a comment is that you need your first 2011 post . . . so I can get my "transition fix." Get writing! :-)

Ralph said...

Hi Nan. The muse is trying to get my attention--I can tell I need to write when My Facebook comments turn into essays. There is something aborning in my head--I just need the time to put it down.

We're expecting to be hit with messy weather here overnight--sleet and freezing rain, then all rain tomorrow. Lovely black ice!