Tuesday, February 13, 2007

. . . and more snow

"God's given me a gift. I shovel well. I shovel very well."
--The Shoveler, Mystery Men

This past weekend we took an unexpected trip up to see my grandpa in the hospital. Things were looking pretty grim for a while, but he seems to be improving now. At least we got a chance to see my parents (who drove 38 hrs almost non-stop from Phoenix) and friends and family in the area. Ian was pretty excited. Not only did he get to see Opa (who lives in Opa-field) and Grammy, and Grandpa and Grandma, and Great Grandpa looking like an elephant, but perhaps best of all, he got to play in some real snow! I mentioned in my last post that he likes to shovel, even if all he can find is the filthiest dregs of what passes for snow around here. Well, this weekend he had a whole world to shovel. Opa got some great pics of him, including the one above. You can see his own, little shovel that we brought along, which is OK as far as it goes. But he really wanted to use the big one. There were other shots with him flashing his bright smile, but I like the determined look of this one.

People who aren't from the area seem to mix up what's going on weather-wise in upstate NY. The big snowfall comes off the east ends of the Great Lakes, so Buffalo gets quite a bit from Lake Erie (although much of that typically leans toward the south of the city). That's just a taste, however, of the snowfalls they get off Lake Ontario, to the northeast, in Oswego County. For the past several years, the church we grew up in has held its snow camp at a 4-H facility up there (in case you ever wondered where people from Buffalo go to get more snow). They're planning it for next weekend, but we'll see if they can pull it off. The camp was closed last weekend, after nine feet of snow fell in one week. Where we were, though, in Oakfield, lake-effect snow is hit-and-miss, and they had only about a foot on the ground. It's a very flat, windy area, though, so they get a lot of drifting, which gives someone like Ian plenty of towering banks to play with.

But, snow isn't all fun and games. With a larger storm system rolling through the Northeast, we decided to hurry back yesterday (missing a chance to sit down with our old youth leaders and good friends for dinner and a conversation about Orthodoxy) and beat whatever came. They're calling for more snow, of course, up there, and mostly ice and slush down here (go figure). The timetable's been pushed back, though. Instead of a bad commute this morning, they're now calling for a bad one this evening and probably tomorrow morning too. Hopefully the bad stuff will delay even further, so tonight's commute home isn't too bad. And hopefully Ian will get some kind of white stuff he can shovel.

No comments: