First Snow of 2022

I’m never so happy as I am when it snows. I love the snow! I love the quietness as it insulates the ground. There is nothing like that untouched blanket of snow on the ground and then the random tracks of rabbits and squirrels as they head out to play and forage for food.

We are fairly lucky in St. Louis to experience all 4 seasons (sometimes in 1 day – or even in one hour!). All 4 seasons have their pros and cons but for me, winter is the one I love the most. Having grown up in Johannesburg, South Africa I pretty much had near perfect weather all the time. It is located in high altitude, so we didn’t have the high humidity that we have in St. Louis, winters are short, and sunlight abounds.

January and February are favoured to be our best winter months. We will typically get an acceptable amount of snowfalls – although it’s never enough for me! This past Wednesday and Thursday we got our first decent snowfall of the season. It started with ice, then freezing rain, then sleet and then finally in the early hours of Thursday morning, it started to snow. It wasn’t the big flake, soft, fluffy snow that I was hoping for, but rather a small, gritty, dry, powdery snow – but we got a lot of it! 8” to be precise! I went out in the morning to do a preliminary shovel of the sidewalks and paths, but it was mostly ice and hard to remove, so I figured I’d wait until the snow logged a few inches and try again. It was freezing cold too!

Later in the afternoon I heard someone shoveling outside and opened from front door and my neighbour was starting to clear my front path, so I went outside to help and started to clean off my car too. There was about 3 or 4” at the time. Cleaning my car was hard work because the locks were frozen solid and I couldn’t open a door to start the car and get the defrosting in motion, so I just squirted some oil in the locks and set about de-snowing it instead. My ice scraper snapped in half from the cold so I couldn’t scrape my windows, but I got the car dug out for the most part. Again, it was freezing cold, so I went inside to take a break and prepare for round 2. Later in the afternoon the snow had mostly stopped falling and we’d got about another 4-5”. Another neighbour with a snow blower was walking up and down our sidewalks clearing the snow for us, which was a HUGE help (thank you Joe!). I worked on clearing my car again and digging it out of the driveway and shoveling a path by the side of the house from the back door to the trash bins. We have our new front porch too, which added to my shoveling, but that was fairly easy to clear.

I attempted to make a snowman but it’s the wrong type of snow. Hopefully we’ll get another decent snowfall that will be wetter, and I’ll be able to build something. I’m hoping for a snow cat!

We are 4 days post snowstorm and there’s still plenty of snow outside. We had some sun yesterday and the melting has commenced, bringing with it the slushy, dirty mess that just refreezes at night turning it to ice again in the mornings. The side roads are still a mess, and we’ve barely reached a temperature above freezing yet. The city is badly understaffed, but the Streets Dept. did their best to plow. The interstates and highways take priority, then the main arterial roads and then secondary roads. Back streets and residential roads barely get touched and they are never pretreated. Getting out of your street to a main road is terrible, but once you reach a main road, you’re usually ok. We are lucky that we have a neighbour with a plow, and he clears our block for us. In fact, he did a fantastic job late in the evening on Thursday (thank you Keith!). Very few people shovel their sidewalks so it can be treacherous for any walkers and our mail carriers. Greg walks to work, and he had a very hard time on Friday morning trying to follow the sidewalk and ended up walking in the road to get home later that day.

I have barely left the house since 2 weekends ago, and I have no need to go anywhere. I get my snow driving experience when we visit Greg’s mom at Thanksgiving in northern Wisconsin. It seems like every time I do any significant driving in snow I spin out or have an accident so I’m rather leery of driving any distance in snow or ice. We have a lot of ice packed underneath the snow. If I don’t HAVE to go anywhere, I’m not going to! I will stay home and marvel at the brilliance of the whiteness and how beautiful it is. I can walk to anywhere I need to go or get stuff delivered if necessary.

In the meantime, back to watching the squirrels and bunnies play in the snow!

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An aspiring blogger who blurts out random stuff at random times, often forgetting who her audience is and making amends as she continues with life. Happily married to Greg and basking in the love of her 3 cats: Aggie, Sylvester and Bear.