The snow story never ends in Syracuse

Here's what I stared at Monday morning, after ignoring the snow all weekend.

Here’s what I stared at Monday morning, after ignoring the snow all weekend.

So at what point exactly does snow cease to be a story in my life here in Syracuse, N.Y.?

When does the day come when another layer of the white stuff ceases to gain my attention?

I’ve lived in Central New York for 30 years. I stare out the window and say, bring it on! Right?

Never. Never. No stinkin’ way.

Snow still rules me.

If it came down overnight, that means I must clear the cars, always with a brush and possibly with the ice scraper, too. If there were at least a couple of inches, I should take out the shovel to clear the driveway, walkway and steps. If it’s falling when I have to drive, I concentrate harder, steady my speed, put more distance between me and the car in front, and cast a very wary eye on the other drivers, plenty of which fail to do either of the above.

I am not a skier. I do not chug around on snowmobiles. When we get a big snow, there are people who tool around the city neighborhoods on cross-country skis. When there’s a good base and the streets have yet to be plowed, there’s one guy who circles, circles, circles my block, quickly, on his snowmobile. Really.

I may be a tad less enthusiastic about snow than these folks.

My birthweekend past, it came down pretty good. I ignored it the best I could. Karen drove, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I dutifully — and enthusiastically, I might add — cleared her car before each trip. Her wonderful all-wheel-drive crossover had the back position, so I did not feel the need to shovel our one-car-wide, two-car-deep city driveway.

Monday morning, I paid the cost.

So I give to you, my friends in London, Nashville, California, Australia, the U.S. south, and other snowless environs, these pictures I took on Monday in my little corner of our world. Hopefully they’ll help you scratch your snow itch from afar.

And, finally, much thanks to Good Neighbor Tim for clearing the end of my driveway with his powerful snowblower when he saw me out there with my shovel. Mr. Garriques, I told you how appreciative that makes me right then and there. Now I’ve told all.

As I sit here composing on Tuesday morning, the school closings and delays are scrolling across the bottom of “Today.” Karen talked me into relunctantly allowing her to clean her car off herself. Soon enough, I will be back out in the driveway with my shovel.

Good Neighbor Tim uses his snow blower to get rid of the hard stuff crushed down over the weekend at the end of the driveway.

Good Neighbor Tim uses his snow blower to get rid of the hard stuff crushed down over the weekend at the end of the driveway.

My shovel work has to do at the top, between our house and Tim's house.

My shovel work has to do at the top, between our house and Tim’s house.

Already, a mound of removed snow is making a mountain where I must throw it.

Already, a mound of removed snow is making a mountain where I must throw it.

And here's what greeted me when I needed to drive to the store 2 1/2 hours after I was done shoveling.

And here’s what greeted me when I needed to drive to the store 2 1/2 hours after I was done shoveling.

Does the arrival of snow make you change your ways? Do you pray for it to come on Christmas? Do you wish for it to melt on Dec. 26? If you live in warmer climes, what goes through your head when you travel somewhere and experience snow?

40 thoughts on “The snow story never ends in Syracuse

  1. that’s pretty amazing. well, i do pray for snow to come and stay for a while, i feel sort of sad when it starts to melt and take my last pictures before it’s completely gone. In my country, we get snow once or twice a year as i mentioned in my last two blogs but it’s still very enjoyable and we have lots of fun when it snows.
    I’ve never traveled to another country but i’d love to visit a cold country with lots of snowy weathers there, something’s special about the snow, i cannot be more specific, it’s just nice. LOL very nice pictures and post, i can feel how you suffer with the snow especially that you get snow several times in the year. Super like ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Oh, how I wish we got snow several times in the year. When I wrote earlier this week, we were in the midst of having it five days in a row. That is frequent. An average winter in Syracuse brings 100 inches of snow. But I truly understand how you would enjoy it and appreciate it because it’s special when it happens to you. Thanks so very much for reading and commenting!

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  2. EEK! I see feet of snow! Feet! I actually love shoveling snow, but it does get old after a while. I can take it in small, fluffy doses. It’s invigorating. It’s a way to work off holiday calories, too.

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  3. My dad used to say that when it snowed a lot he liked to leave early for work before it was turned into ice by the drivers melting it and the cold weather refreezing it into ice at the intersections. I have since discovered it only to be true with a lot of snow. With the light snow we have been receiving lately, it’s ice almost immediately. I growl at it every morning but it doesn’t do any good.

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  4. Sitting Xmas Day in 40 degrees celsius plus we dream of a white Christmas. The huge turkey lunches followed by Christmas pudding in this kind of heat isn’t quite the same. Many now opt for an Aussie Christmas – prawns and beer and a day at the beach. My 85 year old traditionalist mother still insists on an English Christmas Day.
    What do I think when I see snow? I love it. Particularly snow covered mountains such as in Switzerland and New Zealand. Australia also has a lot of snow (I believe a greater area is covered in snow here than in Switzerland but I didn’t check that out, just something I grew up being told). I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the novelty would soon wear off if I had to live in it. That is why I choose to live in the Tropics.

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    • This worked out well, Irene. I provided a quick memory of snow, and you can get right back to that splendid weather you chose in the tropics. I equally am grateful of the shots you provide me from your homeland, a strange and wonderful sight for me. Thank you.

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  5. Thanks for the snowy memories immortalized on your post. The first snow always gets me, Mark. Sucker punches me into loving winter again. Then, as always, it hangs around too long. I still laugh when I recall the day that Dave and our neighbors were shoveling endless heaps of snow from our cul de sac. They practically threw money at a passing snowplow guy who later became our regular snowplow guy. Don’t miss that part of winter at all.

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    • That’s a good story about Dave and the cul-de-sac neighbors, Judy. Now there’s a CNY-centric phrase — “regular snowplow guy.” My driveway is too small for me to allow myself that luxury, I’m afraid. But that’s a me thing. Thanks for adding your memories of the first thrill and subsequent tiring of the flakes.

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  6. Hi, Mark, thanks for this post. I have to admit that I read it after a harrowing drive home through snow during rush hour … so it’s a little too painful for me to focus right now. I think that speaks to to vividness of your prose (not to mention the snowiness of your photos).

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  7. Mark, be thankful it is snow and not ice. Also, mix some rubbing alcohol with hot water, or just get a gallon of Windex and pour it over anything you want melted. Works great. Keep bags of kitty litter in cars for traction if you get stuck (been there, done that) and only scrape ice off windows when on flat surface. I once slid under car when scraping passenger side from the curb. Spent a few minutes looking up at the sky before neighbor pulled me out. Did I ever mention how graceful I’m not?

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  8. Basically i like British snow the day it arrives. For every day after that it stays around I avoid driving. I am nervous walking because it turns to sheets of horrid ice. I have been to switzerland a few times (i know – I’m showing off!) where I loved the snow – I’m sure it was a different type of snow and all the cars have winter tyres so life just carried on as normal. I hope you get a photo of the guy on a snowmobile – i am amazed by that.

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    • You are allowed to show off about trips to Switzerland. It’s my blog and I say it’s OK, Rachel. Sounds wonderful, and makes me think of big, fluffy snow. Around here, it can start that way and then gets very icy and slushy, particularly on the roads. I do not like driving in it, either. I will try to get a picture of the snowmobiler, but he goes past our house in a quick buzz of sound.

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      • I’ve sort of got a mental picture already so don’t worry about the photo.
        thanks for allowing the Switzerland comment – it’s handy being this close to the rest of Europe. I’ll have to scan some photos and write a post of swiss memories sometime.

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  9. Summer’s operative phrase in Central New York: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Winter’s phrase (for me anyway): “It’s not the snow, it’s the slush, the ice, the windshield scraping, the road salt, the lousy driving, the higher utility bills, the … ” I’ll take the heat, I think.

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    • Yes, we do have our seasonal sayings around our part of the world, Jim. My answer is yes, it’s all of those things … and the heat and the snow, too! I’ll take the heat, too, extra order of fries on the side.

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  10. We have snow in our area in the winter but not quite in the amount you have. Although, 50 miles from here in Colorado, they get that much snow. I don’t like to drive on snow.. For some reason it is extremely hard for me to type in your comment box. Crazy things happens to my text.

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