New England Snow and Rain, Nor’easter

What an odd day today, Sunday, December 16, 2007 in Newburyport, MA.

The weather folks seem to be so happy when there is the potential of a major storm. Top of the hour or half hour, instead of the last of the show. Sometimes almost the entire hour.

Snow On Trees,
Creative Commons Attribution

Me, I bless the computer. I check or, sometimes, even more reliable, to find out the vagaries of snow, wind, sleet and rain.

It looked like another good foot of snow on our small New England Street. And before the sleet and rain started, the neighborhood came out to shovel and snow-blow. My neighbor’s snow blower is named “Betsy.” The snow blower, in all honesty looks like a “Betsy.” Well named and much appreciated.

We all manage to get most of the snow moved off driveways and cars before the sleet and rain started. And my neighbor is right, it ends up raining hard.

I feel virtuous having checked the weather on my trusted computer. And now I’m out in the rain trying to make room in the slushy street, so that the water from the driveway can find its way beyond my dwelling to some hopeful municipal water depository.

I feel like a small girl again, playing in the trickles of waterways, in upstate New York, as my father takes his beloved fly rod and heads up stream to find a willing brown trout.

I have one of these heater vents that looks like a nipple, that sticks out from the side of the house.

And when it snows, yes, my heating vent, like so many side heating vents all over New England, gets covered with snow.

After fretting about what to do for it, it seems like forever, I might actually have come up with a solution. A sheet of metal, corrugated roof, cut to six feet, lined with duck tape to make the edges less sharp, is propped up against the side of the house at an angle, and weighted down with a four bricks, so as not to blow away.

I actually sleep through the night, not worried about the nipple vent being covered with snow. And go out in the morning, with great pride, to inspect my so far, un-snowed in heating vent. A possible “eureka.”

My neighbor seems as impressed and pleased as I am at this possible “solution,” knowing my frustrations over the years. A suggestion is made to “patent” the idea. But I’m not sure that corrugated, roofing sheet metal, sold almost everywhere, could be patented. Alas.

And I go out in the rain with my roof-rake, bought in some previous New England winter. I discovered that removing a mere 1-2 feet of snow towards the edge of the roof, somehow allows possible appropriate melting, and few icicles or possible ice backup. So I’m happy to go out in the rain and send soaking snow, plopping down from the roof.

And the rain is letting up, and maybe the street and sidewalks will drain a little before the weather gets cold again, setting mushy watery stuff, into solid ice.

Mary Eaton