At home in Syracuse: Why I’m sick of winter 2015

Happy home, home on the range on Monday, March 2, 2015?

Not really.

Allow me to explain, from the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood. I took the liberty of using my iPad Air for the first Photo 101 essay to lay out the extent of my discontent. Topic: Home. Still surrounded by: Snow.

I have to go down there, Da?

I have to go down there, Da?

Our beloved rescue mutt Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle stirred me to be released for her morning ritual off the back porch at 6:58 a.m. Even she seems reluctant to get out in the snow.

Beating a backyard path.

Beating a backyard path.

The dog does what she must, tracking through the rut she's worn through the accumulated snow of winter 2014-15.

After I let her back inside, I grab a cup of home-dripped Dunkin' and ask my dear wife Karen what time she needs to pull her Mazda out of the driveway to leave to start her week at Syracuse Media Group.

Her answer tells me how much time I have to work in my office — the living room recliner — before setting out in my winter gear.

My chore awaits.

My chore awaits.

Karen has designated 8:35 a.m. as departure time.

I start the cars, make sure the defrosters are on front and rear, and start with the brush at 8:15 a.m.

I can see clearly now, the snow is gone.

I can see clearly now, the snow is gone.

The cars are cleared at 8:26 a.m., and I quickly grab the shovel and get to clearing a path so MDW Karen can walk safely to her driver’s side, and clear the snow from behind the Mazda, too. With merely two or three inches fallen overnight, Good Neighbor Tim has not pulled out his snowblower. When he does, he takes care of the area behind Karen’s car for me.

Clear the paths.

Clear the paths.

With a bit of hustle, I even had a moment to spare to walk inside the side porch door, grab Karen’s wheelie case that contains her work laptop, and load it into the Mazda for her.

Snow gone.

Snow gone.

The back of the driveway was cleared in time for her to back out into the street. There were no illegally parked cars to make her maneuvering more difficult, either. In fact, there were no parked cars in the way at all.

I have to throw the snow awfully high.

I have to throw the snow awfully high.

As a measuring stick of how high the snow banks are around my driveway, I placed the full-sized shovels at the rear of my Chevy Cruze when I was done tossing this morning’s snow up top. My shoulders are tired from a winter’s work.

While watching “Today” this morning before my shoveling stint, the topic of Boston’s wretched winter again came up, and they put a graphic on screen as they lamented how that city has been slammed with 103 1/2 inched of snow this winter.

Ouch.

Syracuse snowfall graph. (From March 1 Post-Standard)

Syracuse snowfall graph. (From March 1 Post-Standard)

Syracuse had totaled 106.8 inches of snow by the time the Sunday Post-Standard had gone to press. That leaves us 16.9 inches short of reaching the seasonal average. Hey, look. We’ve passed Buffalo in the race for the Golden Snowball.

Wait. There is some more good news today.

Seems warm to me.

Seems warm to me.

It was all the way up to 26 degrees, and my driveway was shoveled by 9:06 a.m.

Are you feeling at home today? How would you have taken these pictures differently? Does March snow make you feel safe and secure or nervous and edgy?

105 thoughts on “At home in Syracuse: Why I’m sick of winter 2015

  1. I love the photo essay, Mark! But I have to ask… why do you need two different type of shovels? I’ve only ever used a straight handled one… what does the curvy handled one do differently?

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    • Thanks for the kind words, Rachel. OK, answer: The curvy shovel is newer, a ergonomic design meant to be kinder on your back. And it is. I keep my old red shovel around because it is lighter, and its honored 10 years of use have made it sharper and sleeker to dig in at places the new ergo blade is too big, cumbersome and to reach and plain too heavy to use. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am hoping it will all come to an end, but my friend, Brenda who writes poetry pointed out they have had a ‘mere 8 feet of snow’ while Maine has had 11 feet of snow. I am not sure of our totals, but really am glad we have had only two to three feet at at time, so it has been manageable, Mark!
    Ellie B. seems to be hurrying a bit in this photo, does she like it better later in the day when the sun is shining? My dogs enjoyed snow most of the time, for whatever reason dogs like to sniff around and look for mice, groundhogs, squirrels and chipmunks. Their noses (you have caught this before, I believe) look so cute with snow on the top of them. Ellie B. makes me smile. as does other people’s dogs in their home photos.

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  3. You’ve got to hang in there, brother. Not much longer. Already, the clock springs ahead this weekend. The days will suddenly get longer. Can a backyard bbq be far behind?

    Do those bendy snow shovels really work?

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    • Yes, the early arrival of Daylight Savings Time is a spirit lifter, Mark, but because I get up early and now it’ll be dark again for a couple weeks, it’s all done with mirrors, really. The days are getting longer but it sure isn’t because of DST. See, I’m still grumpy from this dang winter. OK, I’ll think about throwing a steak on the grill in, say, six weeks. πŸ™‚

      The bendy shovel is good for my back, I’ve found, until this height of bank forces me to do the big and high toss. Then there’s no good shovel for my back.

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  4. Ugh….. that’s all I got…..
    Well, not really.
    Spring really is on it’s way.
    Can I just say another thing…
    How nice of you to go out and get your amazing wife’s car ready for work.
    Spring is coming my friend…. it really is!

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    • Isn’t is quite the sight, Audrey. I’ve been dealing with this for three months. We had it fairly easy until just after Christmas. Then this started, and there’s been no melt. Jangled nerves!

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  5. So according to the graphic, Boston’s snowfall is pretty much right on average… just a tad high. Rather than spreading it out, they’ve just got most of it in a single month. Interesting, because I’ve been having the debate with my Dad (and others) about how this is the worst winter like, ever, and I was pretty adamant that in fact, things weren’t as out of whack as they seemed…. it’s just the timing of the snowfall has been pretty funky.

    I also looked for the mid-March spike in that 92-93 snowfall total. The Storm of the Century, March 13, 1993. I remember it well… on The Weather Channel, anyway.

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    • That graphic is just for Syracuse snowfall, Bill. I have a feeling that Boston’s chart would have this winter being the high spike in things, much like 92-93 is for us here. In that storm, I lived out in the village of Morrisville, and I woke up in the morning and hit the automatic garage door opener, shovel in hand, and watched the door go up, and up, and up, and had to wait until there was a foot left up top until I could see sky above the piled snow. I put the shovel back against the wall and called work and said I wouldn’t be in.

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      • Duh! Now I’m trying to figure out how I read that as being Boston’s snowfall in the first place. I blame snowblindness…

        If only you’d have had Neighbor Tim next door to you in 1993, you’d have been able to get to work. 8 feet of snow is nothing for his little snowblower that could….

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      • I needed to get somebody with a real life, big boy, yellow-like-you-see-on-TV, farm-ready Caterpiller backhoe to dig out my driveway. It was an L-shaped driveway of great length that would have taken my 27 hours to clear with my shovel, and Tim 2.7 days with his snowblower that could. You are excused for your snowblindness, Bill. This winter!

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  6. Whine away, Mark. You have a sympathizer in me. I wouldn’t take your pictures any differently, nosiree. We’re doing ok with snow and it’s been bizarro cold fewer days than last year. March is the snowiest month so I’m expecting lots, but that’s ok because we don’t have near as much as you do. But winter is still bad. Boo winter. Kudos to you for being such an awesome Shovel Man. (it’s a bird, it’s a plane, ….) I think that should be your SuperHero name πŸ˜€

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  7. Mark, you’re a great husband. I’m sure your wife appreciates you. In comparison to you, I go out to my wife’s car in the morning and turn on the a.c. for her. We live in Las Vegas. Today it’s freezing, hovering just around 60 at the moment. But the weekend is predicted to be in the mid 70’s!

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  8. Mark, a wise man once said to me that it is not enough for a man to love his wife, he must cherish her. And OMG, you sure do that! I love that you clean of Karen’s car, warm it up, load it with her belongings, etc., – you’re a good husband! ❀
    Diana xo

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  9. We’ve actually had a pretty tame winter so far wrt snow here in Ottawa. but it has been cold. That being said, we usually get a whack of snow in March – some of our biggest storms , one year we got over 100 cms (about 40 inches) in one storm. But the snow seldom stays long. It is not as depressing as snow in Dec or Jan when you know it will be there for months. One year we actually got temps between 25 and 30 Celsius for a week in March ( 77-86 F). That was weird. Anyway it is March, and whatever Mother Nature does, it will be temporary. Today it is sunny and -4 C (about 24 F) – quite warm.

    hope the rest of your winter goes easy on ya Mark. Great Pics.

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  10. I shudder at these pics. We did have to scrape ice off our windshields this weekend, but never ever as long as I live, will we ever touch a shovel to snow. That looks awful. We’re near freezing, then it jumps to 71 tomorrow and then back to freezing for the next week. Bipolar indeed. Surely your biceps are really big, after all that shoveling?

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  11. Keep the faith, Mark! It’s in the 30s here and feels positively balmy with the sun. We are getting there. Lots of character building this winter–for dogs and humans:).

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  12. Ellie B’s tracks in the back remind me of walking to school on top of the frozen snow. But we never had more than two plus feet of the stuff. Good luck with the melt off when it happens. May it be slow not swift. Floods are no fun.

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    • I am worried about the melt, Fannie. We do not own a boat. And I can’t swim really well, either.

      Ellie B’s tracks are now in a circle. The dog has even stopped running around haphazardly, the snow is so deep. Sigh.

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  13. If I were in your shoes I’d be really fed up of winter. The photos are great – if I’d have taken them? Well I would have let Steve go outside and do that πŸ™‚

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  14. I’m enjoying all these pictures of snow, but then we’ve had exactly none here. But I’m with you, I’m sick of winter, too. Snow or no snow…

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    • I figure the snow-clearing falls in my half of the life-sharing list, Cate. Thanks for your kind words. Yes, Boston got a lot of snow this winter, and little by little, we caught up and bypassed it.

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  15. Great pictures Mark! Wow! You are in for a tropical heat wave! It will be in the low 70’s here for a few days and then…. another cold front sweeps down from the north bringing freezing temps to Pensacola, Florida again. It has been a long, cold winter for all of us!

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  16. Just wow, Mark. You’re still short of the seasonal average. What? I guess that means for the whole winter, right? These photos are incredible. You’ll have to come by my blog later this week when I share photos of a recent walk I took. I don’t think you’re going to be happy. What a chore to get to work! Great photos. I don’t think I would have taken them any differently.

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    • Yes, Amy, we need a foot more to make average for a whole winter. Ugh.

      I will check out your walk and be jealous, I bet.

      Thanks for your kind words on the photos. The iPhone 6 is great. I’m trying to sharpen my eye and techniques with this Photo 101 WP class.

      Liked by 1 person

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