I have not yet pulled out our snowthrower. I am counting on the natural snow fence at the western side of the county to save me from enriching Exxon. I learned about snow fences as a kid. Farmers would stretch what looked like rows of slatted window blinds turned sideways across their roadside fields. Wind-driven snow would hit them and rise up, to be dropped on the other side, well before it reached the road.
Super Bowl Sunday is less than two weeks away. I’m looking forward to the annual get-together in front of the electronic moving-picture machine, all in bright sounds and colors, instant replays and live explanations from the refs. It was not always thus.
Christmas, it has been said, is about the gifts we give. One of the great things about living in Adams County is not only so many generous people are willing to pitch in help when it’s needed, but the county still is small enough that we know most of them. At least, we know their names when we hear them, even if we have not actually met them. Adams Countians have, for instance, contributed more than 80 winter coats and…
This is the time of year for taking stock of experiences and places, and for celebrating having survived some of the riskier events. Such as the time we left a four-engine airplane lying beside the runway halfway home from a U.S. Navy deployment to the Philippines.
One night when the temperature was hovering way too close to the bottom of the thermometer, I decided to look for a hat.
For the past few days, I have been full-on exercising. Virtually exercising, of course, in the tradition of 2018 electronic reality, as I watched young people compete in the World Series of exercising, the 2018 Winter Olympics.
It snowed a couple nights ago. Road crews were out trying to make the roads unslippery. I met a former co-worker grocery shopping and mentioned I hadn’t yet pulled out my snowthrower or even a snow shovel. Where he lives, he said, a borough ordinance requires him to shovel snow – even when the wind would blow it away quicker and cleaner – from his sidewalk.
I have not yet pulled out my snowthrower. Foolishly, perhaps, I am counting on the Allegheny Mountains to keep from my door the 102 inches already dumped on Erie and other parts to my north and east.
This spring was a record-breaking season for attendance at the annual Mount Hope Maple Madness, held at Camp Eder, on Mount Hope Road, Hamiltonban Township. The event was staged by Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, an environmental education facility a short distance from Camp Eder. Folks from miles around showed up to learn about maple syrup making, and to enjoy some of the sweet, sticky nectar on hot pancakes.
The wind was blowing strongly but invisibly when we arrived at the breakfast place. Later, our morning hunger sated, we exited the establishment into a wind speckled with seeds of the impending season. Not enough to whiten the grass, but snow, nonetheless. For my part of the planet, four days before Thanksgiving is early, even for snow that does not stick.
Wind blowing across the frozen lake has carved a thin layer of snow into hard-packed ripples, like white mud that has flowed down a hill during spring thaw. The granddaughter and her young friend make tracks across the ripples, then take running starts to slide across the ice where the snow has blown clear and polished the glassine surface.
It’s downright balmy out as I consider these thoughts. The thermometer claims about 45 F, and there’s a breeze blowing across what is left of a 30-inch blizzard that blanketed us just over a week ago. The raised-garden frames, themselves only about 10 inches high, are well exposed. There is weather outside my window, and it’s not bad. My mother used to watch the weather forecast every night. She would announce, “It’s time for the news,” and take her place…
“The sky is falling!” That’s the cry around my home whenever the rain or snow comes down upon us. Tuesday afternoon, the sky was falling in a great white cloud of snow. Fifteen minutes after it began, it was over, leaving white patches on the still-green grass where the ground was a little colder than other places. The mini-blizzard lasted long enough for a little girl whose home I passed on the way home to put on her coat with…
I‘ve often wondered about the link between television weather guys and grocery supermarkets. The thought came to me one evening when I lived in Maine and went to visit a friend about 45 miles from our home. The visit was to be a birthday celebration, after which we would stay overnight – the latter plan, in part, because the television weather guy had proclaimed a wicked storm would occur whilst we slept.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 3/7/2014) A friend told me this week it has been so cold where she lives, kids have been complaining their cell phone keypads have been freezing. They have had to wait until second period before the keys have thawed enough they can be used to text the youngster across the aisle to set a lunch meeting in the school cafeteria. Being without a working cell phone is rough, but I guess it is all relative….
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 2/21/2014) I was sitting here doing what I do when I heard a truck backup alarm on my street. There are not many trucks with backup alarms on this street, so I got up to peek out the window – to see the Cumberland Township plow stopped, and the driver walking back to where a neighbor was helping an 80-something gent back to his house through the snow.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 2/14/2014) A few days ago, the first Eastern Bluebird of the season wandered into the yard. I watched as what I am pretty sure was a Tufted Titmouse sat on a branch and dug a peanut from its shell. I’ve been told robins have been seen in Littlestown. It’s seasonal shift change in the bird kingdom.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 1/24/2014) Winters of my youth I remember being way more snowy than those of more recent vintage. I mentioned to an old guy one day that as cold and snowy as it now seems, there was a time when by late October the snow would came up to my, uh, posterior. He offered the possibility that my posterior was closer to the ground in those days – but I remember being 17 and one afternoon…
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 1/10/2014) The sun is well up as I write this, and still the temperature has climbed only to plus-two degrees Fahrenheit. You know it’s cold when even in still air you generate enough wind just by walking to frostbite your forehead as the air flows between your wool stocking cap and your sunglasses. New-fallen snow is dry and fluffy, and squeaks beneath your winter boots or snow tires.
(Published in the Gettysburg Times, 1/3/2014) The past week I have largely occupied my time dusting off memories. Literally. Like me, even in a box they collect mold and dust. Unlike me, I can use a soft brush to remove the bulk of the blemishes. Stacked beside my table are a dozen Carousel trays, most of them full or nearly so, each capable of holding 40, 80 or 140 “slides” – color transparencies recording glimpses of my path to here,…