Gray Matters – Strange enough for ya?
Belfast — A typical greeting among us locals for this time of year might be something like, “Cold enough for ya?”
But this hasn’t been what I would describe as a typical year, although I would still (mostly) agree with the above-mentioned seasonal salutation.
As I write these words, the weather outside is rainy and windy, the second straight day the thermometer has displayed a temperature above freezing for many days.
I had no trouble getting the Jeep to start, which has been an issue during the more-often-than-not bitter cold that has taken up residence here as of late, but the rain had rendered my driveway a veritable skating rink. That meant taking a few unexpected twists and turns as I tried desperately to steer my vehicle toward the side of the driveway where a little crunchy snow still existed, but I made it.
Hooray for snow banks!
Thankfully, the rise in temperatures melted away most of the ice that the Christmas week ice storm left in its wake, but the power went out again at my house this morning. In a recording, Central Maine Power attributed outages in my hometown of Swanville, as well as in Belfast, Belmont and Knox, due to the wind and rain. As of now, my power has been out for five hours – thanks in advance to the folks at CMP who are working to restore it.
If I’ve learned anything from this winter so far, it’s the value of patience, especially when weather events and the inconveniences that sometimes come with them can really put it to the test.
Yep. I got this, Mother Nature.
My eight-year-old, however, seems to be having a harder time adjusting to this unusual winter.
While snow days are one of those things most kids look forward to during the Maine winters, my son is home from school again today, which would have been his first day back to school. He was supposed to go back Thursday, Jan. 2 after a week-and-a-half-long holiday vacation, but have been canceled since then due to the extreme cold and poor weather.
When Shane learned he had no school again this morning, his reaction was surprising.
“Mom, I’ve been on vacation for too long,” he said with a sigh.
“Yeah, I know Shane. It’s rough being a kid,” I said.
In recent years I think I’ve come to expect certain things from winter. I mean, it’s either a lots of snow, or very little snow, and with a fair amount of cold in both cases.
Then every once in a while, we’ll see something unusual. A couple years back, there was no snow to speak of, and of course most of us recall the ice storm that came through here and made a big mess of things 15 years ago.
Now I think it’s fair to add the winter of 2013-14 to the list of those oddities.
It’s not to say uncommon is a bad thing, quite the contrary. Each of those winters carries memories specific to the circumstance of the time.
The year we had no snow on the ground, I bought Shane a sled that he ended up waiting a full year to use (as was the case with the winter boots I scored that year).
During the Ice Storm of 1998, I got to know a lot of my neighbors a little better as we all helped each other get through it.
This will be the year when I came to expect the occasional power outage and learned to love snow banks. And the year I heard a kid complain about the fact that he has had too many days off from school.
Strange enough for ya?