A Better Day to Forget

If I ever come across a DeLorean and a flux capacitor, I’m sure not going to program January 27, 2015 into the computer and drive 88 miles per hour into the past.

Not that the day was tragic. Just awful enough that I don’t want to repeat it.

Technically, this lovely day began the night before. I went to sleep dreading the snow storm that was breathlessly predicted to arrive with a foot or more of snow. New York was awaiting the snowstorm of the century: the “Blizzard of 2015.” (Just imagine James Earl Jones doing the voiceover announcing the “Blizzard of 2015.”)

Well actually, I wasn’t dreading the arrival of snow. After all, I’ve lived in Upstate New York for a long time. A foot of snow… no big deal. I laugh in the face of a foot of snow. I guffaw at everybody who panics. At least until I start shoveling. Then I grumble, but only a little.

Actually, what I was not looking forward to was the lack of snow. The lack of snow that was not predicted by just about every meteorologist. The vaunted “Blizzard of 2015” had shifted to the east, largely sparing New York State.

Sorry Boston.

But why my dread?

I knew I would have to wake up my kids and tell them that school was on. These were the kids who had put their PJ’s on inside-out and backwards. The kids who dropped ice cubes in the toilet and placed cold spoons under their pillows. If any of us had the knowledge and ability to do a “snow dance,” I’m sure that would have been attempted.

No snow day. No sleeping in. It would be a normal day of Common Core and more.

After a fitful night’s sleep, I awoke to the morning I expected. Tears and gripes, at least from the older son.

Off to school for the boys. Off to work for me. And the day got better.

And by better, I mean worse.

Shortly thereafter, my wife texted to say she’d been pulled over and ticketed for an expired inspection sticker.

I guess in the midst of my wife’s major December medical emergency, we forgot to get her piece o’ junk car inspected. So, just as my wife pulled into a medical facility for a blood test related to her previous stroke, she was warmly greeted by a Schenectady police officer.

With a ticket.

And then our day got even better.

Turns out, the big blue lemon needed $500 in repairs to pass its inspection.

But time trudged along, and soon enough I was on my way home from work, negotiating my way through blowing snow that had shown up to the party, fashionably late.

Still, it started as a relatively normal winter commute.

And then it got even better.

I was slowly driving under an overpass on my way to the toll booths at the entrance to the New York State Thruway.

A deep rumble from above startled me. It was followed by a massive curtain of snow falling from the overpass, right in front of me. There was a plow above me relocating some snow. And that snow formed a wall directly in my path.

There was no stopping. All I could do was ease off the gas and cruise straight through.

The snow thumped onto my car. For a heart-stopping moment I could not see a thing.

I’m pretty sure I said a naughty word. (Sorry, Mom.)

I’m not wishing for anymore better days.


Bring on Spring

We’ve been overdue for a good ol’ New York winter. And this year, we got one. So did most of the rest of the country.

I’m guessing that my friends in Texas and Georgia haven’t been as accepting of this year’s winter weather, though. Heck, I’m not sure my friends downstate have appreciated all the snow. Certainly, Governor “I panic at the first sign of snow” Cuomo will be glad to see spring arrive. That way he won’t have to close Interstate 84  ’cause a wee little snowflake hit the ground.

Still, I admit it. I’ll be glad to see the arrival of warmer weather. And I’m hopeful that it will get here soon.

In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the outdoor skating rink at the Empire State Plaza during my lunch break one more time today before they close it for the year. Or until winter returns in July. (I’m kidding… it probably won’t return until September.)

Skating Rink at the Empire State Plaza - NYS Capitol in the background.

Skating Rink at the Empire State Plaza – NYS Capitol in the background.

Bring on Spring!

Underwhelming April Snow Showers

Credit my wife with an accurate prediction! We only got a dusting, well… slushing, of snow today. It never really stuck to the roads, so I didn’t need to break out the shovel.

My wife blamed the April Fool’s Day snow joke on a meteorologists’ conspiracy. I don’t believe that to be the case. I’m blaming it on a Weeble snowman who wasn’t happy about Spring’s arrival. My blogger buddy Harvey recently discovered a conspiracy by evil Weebles. I think this photo might be further proof:


Weeble Snowman trying to bury the tulips

Do I dare say it? Is Spring really here? Can I safely put the snow shovels away?

The tulips say “yes!” Apparently, they like April Snow Showers.

Say it ain’t snow

My wife keeps saying that it’s just a pending April Fool’s joke. She’s claiming that it’s a meteorological conspiracy to get us all worked up over nothing.

Weather predictions are saying that we could get a foot or more of snow by Friday. Ugh.

I’m gonna get some rest. Might need to do some shoveling.

Here’s hoping that the Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8’s” just says “April Fools!” on Friday.


Springtime… uh, yeah

It’s the first full day of Spring here in ol’ Upstate NY.

How can you tell? Easy. That white stuff falling from the sky is just a figment of your imagination.

At least that’s what I told myself when I woke up to this:

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According to Sunday’s Times Union, nearby Albany, NY acquired over 84 inches of snow this year. Apparently that’s 32 inches more than usual. If my math is correct, I shoveled around 3,000 cubic feet of snow this winter. Still, I’m not complaining. Syracuse, NY received more than 170 inches of the fluffy stuff.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the arrival of the tulips. They were poking through the ground yesterday. Hopefully they’ll be visible again tomorrow.

Mole Tunnels: Part Deux

Got outside today for a look at the winter damage I referred to yesterday.

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Turns out, the mole tunnels, (if they are indeed built by those critters), aren’t as bad as I thought. On the other hand, the rhododendrons and some other shrubbery took significant snow damage.

Oh well. Springtime should fix these minor problems.

Should I Blame the Shovel?

My in-laws gave our youngest son his very own snow shovel yesterday. He absolutely loves it. He used it to “shovel” the kitchen floor yesterday. His big brother already has an identical one that he uses to “help” me when I’m clearing snow from the driveway.

Ironically, the gift of the shovel was followed by an inch of sleet/freezing rain and six inches of very heavy snow last night.

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I have wonderful in-laws. (Case in point: my mother-in-law makes my favorite spaghetti!) However, I know that many people might be tempted to blame their gift for the snow. It’s kind of like the ol’ adage that washing your car brings rain showers.

I don’t blame them. While we got a few inches of snow, they received two feet of the heavy white stuff.

And now I’ve got an additional helper.

No Kidding. An Actual Snowman

It’s true. We finally built a real snowman. In a winter where we measured the snow banks in multiple feet, it took until the end of February to give us the right conditions. Today’s snowfall has the perfect snowman and snowball adherence properties.

Reminiscent of a certain cake, we used foodstuffs for part of the face. Candy bars for the eyes, crackers for the teeth/smile, a pretzel rod for the nose. (They were easier to find than the stones for which we initially searched.) We did find a large rock that is now embedded in the snowman torso. According to my son, it’s the snowman’s belly button. A hat, scarf, and traditional sticks for arms completed the masterpiece.

Finally, success!

On the other hand, I’m exhausted. After shoveling a driveway covered with more than a foot of heavy, wet snow… well, let’s just say that I’ve got both my strength training and cardio workout accomplished today.

Advil, here I come.

Snow Again?

Could it be true? The weather gurus are forecasting up to a foot of wet snow for us starting tonight. Might tomorrow be the first time this winter that we can build an actual snowman?

No doubt, my kids will be excited. Especially if we build a three-tier snowman. I promise that I’ll post the proof if it happens.

Me… I’m ready for Spring.

I guess I better rest up. Might have some shoveling to do. I’ve got no worries about falling asleep, though. I’ve found the perfect cure for insomnia: reviewing campaign finance regulations.

The Snowman Plan

I’m thrilled. In just a few days I’ll finally be able to build a snowman. Only it won’t be a creation of frozen H-two-O.

Nope. We’ve got enough snow to stage our own Hoth battle scene from Empire Strikes Back, (complete with trenches and fortifications). It’s impossible to see over the snowbanks at the end of our driveway. I’ve knocked down icicles taller than my son. But I still can’t build a blasted decent snowman. The snow’s been too cold and dry.

So, we’ll make one out of cake. For my son’s fifth birthday. That’s the idea anyway.

My wife and I spent a half-hour drawing up the plans. She’s buying the building blocks. I’m tasked with the manufacturing. If it comes out looking even slightly similar to Frosty, I’ll be thrilled.

Only one question remains: who in the world authorized our son to achieve kindergarten age?

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