Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nanook: Revisited

While the "truck" in the photo isn't really my truck, that's what it will look like during Wednesday!

(The truck is actually a snow sculpture!)

I suppose I could dread and complain about the snow storm we are expected to get on Wednesday through Thursday morning ... but I won't!

Here in the Boston area, we've been fairly lucky this winter when it comes to snowfall - only 23 inches so far for the season. The areas of Baltimore and Washington D.C. received more than that in one snowfall last week. If that wasn't bad enough for them, there going to get more with the latest storm. By the time anyone is reading this on Wednesday morning they will have already accumulated more of the white stuff.

Here, they have predicted 9-16 inches to be dumped between 10:30 AM through the wee hours of Thursday. For most people here in New England: "It's a mere inconvenience!"

As for me: It's a royal pain in the ass!"

They were born and raised here - I've only been up here since I was discharged from active duty in the U.S. Navy in December of 1971. I know that's 39 years, but I still have not got used to the winters in the Boston area! I don't like the snow and I can't stand the cold! I am a winter wimp!

When I retire in three years or so, I have my sights on somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But where? I don't like Florida - too damn hot! I used to think that Charlotte, North Carolina would be nice ... but they've been getting winters as bad or worse than here!

What's with the crazy weather - all over the country - the last decade?

The following is from my archives of January, 2005. Originally titled Nanook of the Northeast, my 4th post was the about the first major snow storm I experienced after I started blogging.

The surreal scene before me was one of wonder. Nothing short of awe-inspiring, could it be that I was looking upon a precursor of Armageddon? No, nothing quite so dramatic as the end of civilization. Although the street and surrounding neighborhood were in desolate purgatory, I reminded myself that this is New England.

The snow storm, which had blanketed areas as far west as Chicago, and as far south as West Virginia, had dumped nearly 30 inches at my doorstep. Such snow storms, categorized as blizzards, are not new to the Boston area. The Blizzard of '78 became the benchmark by which future storms would be compared. Watch out '78, you have a challenger!

What began as some auspicious flurries at 3:15 PM on Saturday, the 22nd, had turned into Mother Nature's generous gift for this edition of winter. The 30 inches on the ground is lying in wait for an additional 6 inches by 6 PM tonight. With a projected high temperature of 10 degrees, acompanied by 30+ mph winds gusting upwards to 70 mph, I didn't need to hear the news report that schools would be closed on Monday and posibly on Tuesday as well.

An arduous adventure began when it was discovered that 4 foot wall of drifted snow had barricaded the storm door to our back porch. Without music, the dogs' frenzied dancing was apparent as my wife removed the lower pane of the door. Through this portal she began burrowing out of the house, onto the porch and into the maelstrom of wind and snow. As I was bundling myself into multiple layers, she had managed to get the door open, and had swathed out a narrow path across the porch and to the foot of the stairs.

Those dogs are not stupid by any means, as they, one at a time, ventured into the elements, relieved themselves, and made haste their retreat back into protection of the house. By this time, I was so wrapped up in protective clothing, I was nearly immobile. I hoped that I would not share the same fate that had befallen Ralphie's little brother in the classic film, A Christmas Story.

When I entered the kitchen, there before me, stood none other than Nanook of the NorthEast! My wife, her green hooded coat, spray-painted white by the gale driven snow, gave me proof that it was indeed a blizzard out there. Her demeanor was screaming, "Don't go out there!", went unacknowledged. My resolve was to do the manly thing.

For some strange reason, within my head, I heard the jingle: "Mr. Trouble never hangs around... When he hears this mighty sound." To which I mentally responded "Here I come to save the day!" That recollected vision of Andy Kaufmann and his record player on an SNL skit, quickly evaoprated before my foot touched the porch.

My adventure was a short one, limited to merely fetching the other snow shovels from the garage, and digging a wider path on the stairs and porch. My face stinging, my fingers cold despite the gloves, I feigned success. Thusly, I decided that hibernation was the most obvious course of action.

That returns me to my reverie, looking upon the scene before me. Eventually, when the storm winds down, and driving winds have abated, I will have begin shoveling in earnest. When is the storm supposed to end? 6 PM, you say? Wait just a minute!! The Patriots-Steelers game kicks-off at 6:30! The winner goes to the Super Bowl! I think I will listen to the doctors' warnings about shoveling snow and placing myself at risk for a heart attack. Tomorrow looks ideal for snow removal.

At 6 PM, the ultimate storm adventure will begin with the preparation of chilli, popcorn, and of course harvesting some brewskies from the fridge. By the time the game is underway I will be sweating bullets. For you see, it is labor intensive to watch a football game on a stormy New England day with Nanook of the NorthEast ready to put me on ice.

For everyone in the path of this newest storm, be careful if you have to be out. Take it easy and pace yourself if you have to shovel all that snow.



Yamin said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ginnie said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. You (the ones who do crossword puzzles in INK) always amaze me. I've tried it but find erasers so much easier than white-out. Of course you probably don't ever need either one !!
Come to North Carolina when you retire. I am a displaced New Englander and have never regretted the move...32 years ago !

Sandee said...

Yep, you were manly for five minutes. You didn't fool your wife one bit either. We know our husbands like the back of our hand. Just saying.

Have a terrific day and stay warm. :)

Hale McKay said...


Thanks for visiting and for your first comment.

Please keep visiting and by all means leave a comment.

Hale McKay said...


North Carolina has been in my sights. It's close to my homestead in West Virginia. It's close to Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee. ...And it isn't TOO far from Massachusetts where my daughter would still be living.

Hale McKay said...


You're so right. Try as we may, we can't fool you.