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Winter Arrives

January 11, 2010

Our house in winter January 2010

We had a few inches of snow before Christmas, but also a strong wind which blew small twigs and seemingly every pine cone within miles onto local lawns. Unfortunately this made quite a mess, and we didn’t have a clean, white landscape, the kind that’s nice to photograph, until just after New Year’s Day. The picture at left was taken on 3 January, after Wayne had cleared our driveway and front walk.

Since neither of us likes skiing or snowshoeing, we’re already tired of winter and looking forward to spring – or at least a ‘January thaw’. Our public road hasn’t been plowed or sanded as often this year as in the past, which probably has something to do with the financial crisis that has affected every city and town, who are trying to save funds where they can, including maintenance of roads other than main thoroughfares. Today we had bright sun, which helped to clear away some of the lesser ice and snow. But we can’t complain: this is normal weather for us in New England, and it’s much milder here in the lower elevations of western Massachusetts than in nearby hill towns or, certainly, in Maine where they had snowfalls of one to three inches per hour at the beginning of January.

We’ve had worse: one winter, before Christina moved to America, Wayne was exhausted from clearing three feet of snow from the driveway while Christina, in London, was enjoying temperatures in the 60s Farenheit. Wayne also recalls when our road had several inches of ice throughout one winter, and when it finally melted, instead of doing so evenly it formed holes, which made things worse. At the moment, we’re better off than our friends in Britain, which in a satellite photo looks as if it’s in a new Ice Age.

For those who remember our house as it used to be, painted barn red with white trim, this is how it is now, since our renovations of a few years ago. The window on the left in the photo looks into our Tolkien library, and the plates in the window have reproductions of Tolkien-inspired paintings by Ted Nasmith.

Image: Our house in the first, but probably not the last, big snowfall of 2010.

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