Sued51's Blog











{February 15, 2015}   Surviving the Ice Age: Some Snow Stories

Outmyfrontdoor230This is the worst winter I can remember in New England. Not that I have TOO many years to compare, but certainly enough. I heard an interview with a 91-year-old woman on the radio…she has a lot more years to compare and even she said it was the worst one she has seen.

On Facebook we all share our “snow” pictures. But the pictures just can’t convey to people who aren’t here what it is truly like. It looks and feels like we are living at the beginning of one of those science fiction movies of the end of the world…Remember “Day After Tomorrow”?

All the services we take for granted: train service, trash service, mail delivery, interrupted or practically non-existent; people taking hours and hours to get to work and get home from work. Every task is harder and takes longer; sore backs and muscles from the endless shoveling…people dying of heart attacks. Everyone is completely on edge: mini-meltdowns are everywhere. Here’s a few vignettes…not horror stories, just stories of everyday life during SNOWMAGEDDON:

My experience — trying to take a left out of my driveway through a “hole” in stopped traffic (because you have to TRY to get to work sometimes…employers don’t expect you to stay inside until spring), completely blinded by snow piles and stopped vehicles I pulled out, only to get rear-ended. The woman and her passenger jumped out of their car screaming and swearing at me. Two kind men from one of the trucks that was stopped in traffic told them to stop yelling and back off. I was forced to retreat to my vehicle, shaking like a leaf. She completely frightened me.

My brother ‘s experience – he was in line at the grocery store before a storm…one of those places where there is one big line and someone directs you which register to go to. Suddenly the woman in front of him started attacking him and swearing about her “personal space.” When she got out of line, the lady in front of her turned to my brother and said, “Don’t take it personally…if that is the worst of her problems she’s got a lot more to deal with!”

I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail because it is not being delivered, despite the fact that the mailbox at my apartment complex has been shoveled out. (at least we have one…most people have resorted to cardboard boxes labeled with a Sharpie). There were others doing the same thing, not too bad a line though. The mail lady (who I have dealt with before and she was perfectly pleasant) would not listen to me…”Is it shoveled out so the mail carrier doesn’t have to get out of his truck?” she demanded. (Mind you, he has never been able to deliver it without getting out of his truck…even in the summer…not where it is situated…but never a problem before.) I told her I was just a renter…she said, “Tell your landlord they have to clean it out or we won’t deliver…and if you don’t fill out a yellow form to hold the mail, we’re going to start sending it back!” She went into the back to look for the mail for a customer ahead of me. He looked at me and sighed. “We have to help each other if we are going to get through this,” he said, and I nodded in understanding. But I filled out the yellow form…no arguing with her. I’ll go in there every day if I have to.

At my yoga class yesterday two ladies were talking about trash. “We don’t know when they are going to pick up the trash, and where do we put it? The days are all mixed up and no one tells us anything. My mother has been living with us and she has a cat. We keep bringing the bags of dirty cat litter down into the cellar…we don’t know what to do with them!” I smile to myself; I live in an apartment…I’m stuck with those bags. My complex has a dumpster, but I have to walk across an ice field to get there. When there is a lull between storms, I have to load up my car with bags of trash and drive them over there. But then…the “yoga” ladies were also laughing about the prospect of Valentine’s Day spent with her mother because the couple couldn’t go out to be alone…so amongst the complaints, there were jokes. Jokes about the weather people’s glee as they go on and on about the snow. “Better than hearing about ISIS,” I said.

Thank goodness there are some people able to grin and bear it, shared moments with kind strangers, like the men who checked on me after the accident, the old lady who told my brother not to take it personally, and the man in the PO. And there’s the wonderful jokes being posted on Facebook: snowmen being threatened with “harm”, signs that say “Massachusetts is closed!”

Finally, I want to share what one of my friends on Facebook said so perfectly. She thanked everyone for posting their snow pictures, stories and jokes because it made her feel like we were all in it together; no one was alone. We were fighting back against one of the worst effects of all…the isolation, especially for older people. I was secretly happy that the “yoga” lady had her mother at her house, secretly happy that woman wasn’t alone.

This isn’t a science fiction movie, it is real life and it WILL pass. Spring is only about a month away…hard to imagine, but that, along with the fact that I still have electric power and heat while I write this, is something to be grateful for.

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Susan says:

Wonderfully written, Sue. We are all in this together, my friend…and this too shall pass. We still have so much to be grateful for even in these trying times. I was so sorry to hear about your accident, I would have been shaking too. Thank goodness for the kindness of those two nice men.

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sued51 says:

Susan. Thanks for commenting. There are some beautiful moments amongst the coldness.
I am just dying to be able to get out and walk again and take photos…I think that is the worst part! 🙂

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Brings out the worst in some and the best in others.

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sued51 says:

Absolutely, Bruce! 🙂

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Peter S says:

Sorry to hear about your accident, hopefully there isn’t too much damage.

This year seems to be worse than the famous ’78 blizzard.

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sued51 says:

Peter, I definitely have found it worse…that was one giant storm, this winter has been relentless.

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Peter S says:

’78 was bad, but a lot of it was just the surprise of it since it wasn’t forecasted. This is now the most snow on the ground ever.

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[…] Surviving the Ice Age: Some Snow Stories […]

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Oh my! Those are quite the snow stories. People have been a bit better behaved around here. We were pretty bummed we had to cancel our overnight Valentine’s Day trip thanks to Blizzard Neptune. So sorry about your car – it is terribly hard to see when pulling out of driveways, stores, streets, etc.

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sued51 says:

You guys north of MA got the worse of Neptune…we got socked with the last one. It really is surreal in MA right now…More snow on Tuesday and they said they are watching another storm for next Sunday…

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This looks like the winters I remember growing up with in the 60s & 70s. It was below zero for many, many days where I grew up in Northern NH so as much as this stinks – that was so much worse. (So far – this winter just might beat that.)

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What a difficult time you all are having. I used to live in the midwest, and I don’t miss the snow even a little. You bring out the inconveniences so many of us forget. I’m so sorry about your accident. That sounds frightful. Thank goodness someone was there to defend you. Be safe out there.

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Cindi says:

You all have really been SLAMMED. It doesn’t seem to stop! Here’s to warmer weather soon!

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sued51 says:

Cindi…thanks for visiting. I have had so much going on in my life I have not had time to visit anyone…I hope to catch up on your blog soon!

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I keep waiting for this winter to be over, but it’s still hanging on. Love this post because I could feel the pain myself. I went to a plant sale meeting this morning while the snow continued to fall. Once we get outside in May maybe, I’m not coming in except to sleep. 🙂

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sued51 says:

And it is April 1st and it STILL isn’t spring!

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