The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 13, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (Somewhere Else, if You Don’t Mind)

Filed under: weather — Brian Lutz @ 10:26 pm

Don’t look now, but in case you haven’t noticed, somehow we’ve managed to end up nearly halfway through November.  and more than halfway through Autumn already.  Sure, there’s still leaves on some of the trees, but it’s pretty clear they’ve all served the trunk with their notice of intent to vacate the premises.  I suppose the part where it started getting dark at 5pm should have been a bit of a tip-off that we we’re heading for the cold season, but somehow I manage to keep telling myself that it’s not really quite as late in the year than it actually is.  Then again, it’s kind of hard to ignore the ominous little snowflake that appears on the dash of my car when the thermometer registers a temperature of 39 degrees or colder, indicating that it’s probably a lot colder than I think.

On one hand, this means that Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away, and Christmas isn’t all that much farther away(as the stores have been quite helpful to point out to you for the last month and a half,  just in case you somehow managed to miss that part.)  Unfortunately, it also means that Winter is on the way, and if the current weather forecasts are to believe, might be even closer than you think.  The mountains have already either begun to accumulate their annual blanket of snow or will be getting a good head start this weekend (a couple of ski areas have even managed to open already,) and this weekend’s forecasts suggest that some of that snow might even reach some of the higher hills here in the Puget Sound area.  I can’t exactly say that I’m thrilled by the prospect myself.

There has been some disagreement on the prospects for this year’s Winter around here, with the National Weather Service suggesting that El Nino conditions and the global warming bogeyman will result in a warmer than usual Winter around here, while the Farmer’s Almanac seems to think that we’re going to be in for a colder than usual winter.  Either way, If last Winter’s weather is any indication, it might not be a bad idea to prepare for some snow.  As anyone who was caught unaware by last December’s snowstorms (or, in some cases, anyone who made an ill-fated attempt to dodge it by heading to Florida for a few days, only to get home in time to catch the worst of it) probably figured out from unfortunate experience, by the time the snow showed up, every store in a 100-mile radius had been completely cleaned out in the shovel department.  Since a lot of stores seem to sell these things as seasonal items (meaning that they bring in one big load and don’t bother restocking once they’re gone) even when the snow had passed most stores never got any more of them in.  In order to keep the walkway in front of my apartment clear, I found myself having to improvise a bit, until I eventually manage to come up with a big metal dustpan that would do the job, albeit not particularly well, and with a whole lot more bending than would have liked (apparently I’m getting to be practically old enough for Arthritis at this point, so that’s probably not such a good thing.) 

Eleven months later, the Winter gear has managed to make its way back into the stores, and as I wandered over to Target for no apparent reason this evening, I found myself contemplating the purchase of such a shovel.  On one hand, if we do get anything close to last year’s Winter weather, I’d be really glad that I’ve got one of these around, and that I don’t have to trudge through forty miles of snow and ice in an effort to find one (uphill both ways, of course) trying to find one of the things.  On the other hand, if the Winter turns out to be milder as some people have predicted, then the thing would end up seeing little use, and would just end up taking up space in the closet for the next 12 months until next Winter.   I’ve also got all of about 20 feet worth of walkway in front of my apartment that I’d even need to shovel if it did actually snow.  So is it worth getting a shovel on merely the possibility that it might snow?  I guess I won’t know the answer until Spring arrives.

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