The other day, I saw my neighbor outside with a pickaxe. He was using it to club the mounds of ice and snow blocking the entrance to his driveway.
It has been a brutal winter.
For those who live in Buffalo, you know what I’m talking about: Leaving the house is a battle. Everyone is getting into car accidents. Your boss’s roof is leaking. So is your mom’s. There’s a run on rock salt. Whole lanes of roads are disappearing under mountains of plowed snow with nowhere else to go.
But when I talk to my friends in California, it’s sometimes hard to explain the nature of the problems we’re having. So, since today was kind of “nice” out (17 degrees and sunny!), I thought I would spend some time outside gathering visual evidence. Behold:
Problem No. 1: There Is Nowhere to Park Except On Giant Piles of Snow
I know you’ve seen this one. The photo is self-explanatory:
Problem No. 2: The Mirror Amputation Problem
Big, fat banks of snow line the sides of every street. As a result, the space available for driving is extremely narrow. The tight squeeze means that parked cars everywhere are getting bonked and losing mirrors:
Problem No. 3: I Can’t Find My Shrubs
Somewhere under there is a full-sized evergreen shrub. I just don’t know where it went. I hope it’s OK.
Problem No. 4: I’m Hoarding Garbage
I talked about this in a previous post, but in a nutshell, there is so much snow in my driveway that I can’t access the garage where we keep our trash bin. Thankfully, however, my husband is an ox. This week, he blazed a trail through the snow and dragged our recycling out over three feet of solid ice. Thank you, Zak!
Problem No. 5: Should I Pay for Parking?
Everything is covered in snow. Sometimes, it’s two feet deep. Sometimes, it’s six. This pile goes maybe three feet down, and it begs the question: When meters start to disappear, do we still have to pay for parking?
Problem No. 6: I Can’t See!
I have terrible vision, so it’s no surprise to hear me say that I can’t see. But the problem is exacerbated in the winter. I never think to wear sunglasses when it’s cold, but that is a mistake. Sunlight bouncing off of snow can give off a hellish glare. As a result, I often end up walking with my head down, squinting. It’s a great way to crash into other people and, sometimes, things.
But no worries…
Everything is OK. We just carve out little paths in the snow to get to where we need to go: path to the garbage can, path to the newsstand, footpath from the sidewalk to the street. We are a resourceful people.
And please, feel free to commiserate…
Did you lose a mirror? Did you fall on your butt while walking to work? Please feel free to share your own story in the comments section below.