Friday, 17 December 2010

(Chronicled in Pictures, mostly)
            Remember the beginning of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” how Snowman Sam talks about the terrible winter storm that hit that year right before Christmas? Well, that’s what it was like here pretty much for over a week after Thanksgiving and the beginning of December. Our big snow storm actually started Thanksgiving Day with just a powdery dusting of snow. Then Friday it started and snowed every day for over a week. By the end of the storm, we got over 3 feet of snow and the temperatures did not get above freezing for two weeks straight. The following is pictures I took to document the storm on my phone.
Oh, and about the Christmas special “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Robbie had NEVER seen it! Oh yes, he had heard the song but had never seen the show. It came up in conversation when I was unpacking my collectable Rudolph village set I have had for years. He had never heard of Clarisse, Yukon Cornelius or Herbie and he didn’t know that “Bumbles bounce”! I have to say, I was flabbergasted.
So, since it was Saturday we sat down and searched YouTube and was able to find it. The one bad part was that since YouTube videos are broken up into separate parts we couldn’t find the last few minutes after Santa asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh. I tried to tell him what happened: they do go to the Island of Misfit Toys and pick them up and Santa takes them with him and drops them off with umbrellas, but he wanted to see it. He had to leave and take his auntie to do her Saturday shopping and I told him I would try to find it while he was gone. He was very anxious to watch it so I’m glad I was able to find it for him. Can you imagine?
There are some other things I’ve since found out that we in the US take for granted or know exactly what they are or are iconic that Robbie (and others in the UK probably)  have never heard of, other than in the movies or since he’s met me. I’m making a list of those so that will be for a future post.
Here, now, are the pictures I took of our storm:

11/27 You can still see our pumpkins on the wall

11/27 Just a few inches dusting in the back.
Not too much piled on the bench or railing.

11/27 Neighbors had started shoveling a bit in the front.
Piling up on the fence

11/27 Starting to shovel some off the hill. 

11/27  Same view from inside the house

11/27 Tried to get a picture of the cute little snow plows they use here.
Picture a fork-lift with a shovel on the front.

11/27 Couldn't get the camera in time so had to take a picture of him going back down the hill.

11/28 Next day the snow had been cleared off the roads
but those dark grey clouds are bringing more snow!

11/29 Trees are covered now and you can't see the pumpkins anymore

11/29 Lots more snow on the fence roofs. Trees do look pretty in the snow.

11/29 Hill relatively clear but you can see the snow piling up on the windowsill and piles outside

11/29 You can see how the snow is piling up on the fence and garage roof next door

11/30 A rather blurry picture. It had been snowing most of the day and I wanted to try to get a picture of it snowing that evening.

11/30 A better picture taken that evening--well, it was actually only 4:10. It gets dark early here in the winter. I don't think you can tell but it's snowing.

11/30 No, it's not Nanook of the North, it's Robbie of Scotland. You can tell the deepness of the snow  by where he's standing. That's not been shoveled and piled to the sides either. Look at the snow on the fence. Right after this picture was taken, Robbie valiantly went out and tried to get some groceries for us, his auntie and another elderly lady from the church. When he asked his auntie what he could get for her she said, "Biscuits (cookies) and bananas" and the other lady wanted oranges and lemons. I was thinking canned soup, milk and bread but I guess some people have other priorities! I don't think poor Robbie was too happy to be delivery boy for that! Poor thing.

12/1 Still snowing. This makes 5 days of daily snowfall.

2/1 I took lots of pictures of the front and back while the sun was shining. The sky got this beautiful blue color and it just looked lovely especially with the snow on the trees:

 12/1 This was not a smudge on the film in the top but an icicle.
We had trouble with a lot of BIG icicles.

12/1 Tried to get a picture of the poinsettia and the snow

12/2 View out the back door. Can you see any steps? Now you see why I can't go out of the house!

12/7 These are the front steps. After so much snow in such a long time the salt and grit bins were empty so we had no way to clean the steps properly. 

12/7 Again, that glorious blue sky when the sun shines and the lovely trees

12/7  After 10 days of continual snow this is what the back looks like

12/7 Most of the snow seems to be over and now the fences have disappeared!

12/7 What should be the back steps and tiny path Robbie cleared to get out.

12/7 This is the best the neighbors and Robbie could do with a little help occasionally from the little plows. Only one neighbor had an actual snow shovel and Robbie used a plain old garden spade. One of my nurses, Alison, told me about a week before any of this hit she had tried to buy a snow shovel at B&Q (big box home improvement store over here) and they told her it was too early, they wouldn't have them out for another week or two (not enough room either with the Christmas stuff out).

After 10 days of snow we had a bit of a respite and last week the temperatures got a bit (just a bit!) above freezing, mostly in the daytime. The snow has mostly melted but then the difficulty became the ice that would form at night when it would go below freezing again. Two nights ago we had a few inches snowfall overnight on top of some of the ice. 

I was able to get out to the hospital last evening and the worst part of it was the getting down our hill to the main road and back up again. The main roads there and back were pretty much cleared there and back. We might get some more snow this weekend but it will definitely be cold. The forecast is for only highs in the teens. 

So it looks like, unless something drastic changes, we'll have a White Christmas this year, just like last year. With all this bad weather it's been hard to get out to the store and impossible sometimes for deliveries to come. We couldn't even get Asda or Tesco to deliver groceries. So Christmas might be sparse and dinner might be spaghetti but that's ok. I'm determined not to stress about it. After all, what will happen will happen and memories will be made no matter how many cookies I bake (or don't bake). Besides, if I think back, most of my favorite Christmas memories didn't cost a cent! 

Stay warm, then, have your favorite hot beverage and relax. I hope if you're looking at the snow it's from the inside looking out!

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