Thursday, February 6, 2014

Big Snow, Big Chill

The big news here in Kansas is that it's a ccccoooooooooooold winter. Earlier this week Winter Storm Nika hurtled through the Midwest, and within 24 hours dropped 14 inches (@36 centimeters) of snow on us. Actually, it was a lovely storm, though it brought with it sub-zero temperatures, which has not been so lovely. Currently it's 6 degrees F (-14 C) and it got down to - 9 F (- 23 C) last night. The city  basically closed down for two days, and schools are still closed today, while city crews are trying to get all the roads cleared.

After the storm, the sun shines.
Fortunately for me, I don't have to worry about driving to work in the snow, since I work online in the comfort of my home. And I can walk to the supermarket down the street, if need be. But there's still the need to clear the sidewalks, and since I live on a corner, I have a lot of sidewalk to clear. The city gives us 48 hours after the end of the snowfall to clear a path for pedestrians: after that, property owners are subject to getting a fine if the sidewalks have not been cleared.

One side of the long sidewalk around the house.
Another saving grace: my neighbor has a large snowblower, and he routinely clears my sidewalk after a large snow. He cleared a path after the first eight inches, which saved me a lot of work. My son also helped out that first night. But during the night, another six inches fell, and I've been working on clearing the sidewalks and driveway for the past several days.

Mike with his snowblower. He's a treasure!
For some reason, perhaps due to the roundabout at the end of our block, our street was one of the last to be cleared. We have a good amount of traffic through here, and many cars got stuck trying to maneuver through the piles of snow that had been churned up.

Uncleared streets two days after the storm.

In contrast, my friends in Italy tell me that their winter has been warmer and wetter than usual, and flooding has occurred in many regions. For my part, I prefer the cold and snow. At least the sun shines most days! I have orchids and an aloe blooming in my house, and lots of sunshine. And if I need some exercise, I can always shovel more snow!

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