Tag Archives: snow stories

You Know You’re in the Country When …

It was last year … Mid-October … we had just gotten our first snow of the year … Yes, that was Mid-October … we had also gotten a serious wind storm a few days earlier, which knocked down several trees in our back yard … and front yard … and side yard … and … well, anyway … we weren’t prepared for the snow, either …
It would turn out that the snow just wouldn’t stop long enough to take care of the trees way back in the back yard until Summer.

But, I had to take care of the trees which were down in the driveway, and then worry about getting the pellets in, for the pellet stove. Both would take time, and the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

I took out the chainsaw, and began work on what trees I could manage around the perimeter of the property. Lost a lot of pine, poplar, maple, birch, and sumac. All this couldn’t be done in a day (or days), and the snow was too deep to lug the chainsaw, and the wheelbarrow, back and forth through the snow. So, I figured I could just keep both downstairs, on the other side of the staircase (out of the way), to be ready on the next rare opportunity to “work outside.”

It gets dark downstairs, even with the pellet stove blazing on the other side of the room.

I finally got the opportunity to work outside. Always one to conserve energy (except my own), I didn’t bother with turning on a light downstairs, after I had “suited up” for my outdoor adventure in adverse weather conditions (which we just simply call “the weather out …”). Keep in mind that when we get ready to go outside for any length of time, we are “suited up” in something resembling a space suit, for the lack of mobility all those layers and heavy snow boots allow …

Anyway, I was making my way toward the chain saw, getting ready to reach down and grab it, when I said the phrase I had never said before, but, the moment I said it (for I knew I would have to explain to those above (2nd Floor) what all the racket was about), I realized what a great line it was, and we must really be out in the country. Keep in mind this was inside the house:

“On my way to the chain saw … I tripped over the wheelbarrow.”

Blessings,

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Spring: Day 1/Icicles 101

It was Friday … yesterday … and … it was the First Day of Spring 2015!!!

The day dawned like any other … it was below zero … and … the customary/standard “Weekend Snow Storm” was in the forecast …
For the last couple of years, I have shared pictures depicting what it is like up in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire during the Winter … and, especially what it looks like, up here … as the rest of the country celebrates Spring …

I spent the last few days working on a new character … a comedy featuring our weather up here compared to the rest of the country. I thought it was really funny, and, had set up the cameras to do the video … worked on the script and camera angles … However … I decided against it … I felt like it may have been taken as making fun of New Hampshire, and casting the wrong “light” on those who live up here in the Great North Woods … It was pretty funny stuff, but I thought the idea of portraying “if you think you’ve got it bad … you should be here” may be taken the wrong way, as a negative about living up here.

The fact is, it is beautiful up here, and the fact that we get good weather on so rare occasions makes us really appreciate the good weather we do get. We really do look forward to the change of seasons … especially the “Spring to Summer.” I have traveled, and lived, in many different parts of the United States, and there is one thing they all share in common: They wish the Winters were shorter, and the rest of the seasons were longer. So, we share that common bond with everyone. Plus, I’ve never lived anywhere that people were happy with the weather all the time. Too hot! Too cold! Too rainy! And, how about that humidity? I really do understand why weather is always a topic of discussion, regardless of where you live. I must also say that there are many people I’ve met who … let’s face it … aren’t happy anywhere … And, won’t be. God has placed people all over the country, all over the globe, really … and, as long as you are “in the right place,” that’s all that matters … not the weather.

It’s true: You can be miserable anywhere!

That is not a segue into this paragraph! But, it’s time to share a few pictures from our first day of Spring, 2015! I guess the reason I do this is for our friends all over the globe who find it so hard to believe what our weather is really like … That we are “making this stuff up,” etc. Well, it really was below zero the first morning of Spring, a snow storm is really expected, and … this is something else I get “I can’t believe it’s” about: We haven’t missed any time from school this year because of the weather …Not a “snow day,” not a “delayed entry,” or anything … Well … there’s always the hope for the next Monday morning … And … I’m not making this up … our “Frost Line” is at 7 1/2 Feet …
For our friends all over, it’s really not a big deal, because “that’s what it is.” I remember hearing Loretta Lynn talking about how poor she was, when she was growing up … She didn’t know she was poor … she thought everyone lived like they did, and that everyone only had redeye gravy and biscuits for supper … So, that’s the way it is here … I must say that the hardest part of our weather is the fact that we have access to the knowledge of “how it is” everywhere else …

While this was reported to be the second-coldest February on record (for example), I also saw a report from the Weather Channel that this was the warmest Winter on record … around the world … Maybe not over here … but, that just shows that it’s always just a matter of perspective …

Here are some photos for you, taken at home, the First Day of Spring, 2015:

Our back steps: Looks like we'll have to find another way up.

Our back steps: Looks like we’ll have to find another way up.

Our Clothesline: Better double-check to make sure the dryer is working. Did I mention this is the first day of Spring?

Our Clothesline: Better double-check to make sure the dryer is working.
Did I mention this is the first day of Spring?

Our beloved

Our beloved “Wall:” My Summer-long project looks pretty “cool.”

Love that wall! This the side of the driveway-Makes me wish for

Love that wall! This is the side of the driveway-Makes me wish for “The Dunes of the Cape!”
Did I mention this was the first day of Spring?

These are young pine trees trying to come up ... they are completely covered in ice, but growing!

These are young pine trees trying to come up … they are completely covered in ice, but growing!

A better picture of the trees.

A better picture of the trees.

I always have a picture of my boot, to use for

I always have a picture of my boot, to use for “scale.” This is the other side of the driveway (opposite wall). Note that, due to consistent slow-blowing, the sun was able to “break through” to the pavement.

These boots have walked all over, from Georgia to New Hampshire. I can't wait to go barefoot all Summer! Guess I should have waited, though, to take these off.

These boots have walked all over, from Georgia to New Hampshire. I can’t wait to go barefoot all Summer! Guess I should have waited, though, to take these off.

I always have a picture of how high the snow is, relative to the roof of the garage. Look at this!

I always have a picture of how high the snow is, relative to the roof of the garage. Look at this!

Why ... It's up to the roof! I'm so glad we didn't get as much snow this year!

Why … It’s up to the roof! I’m so glad we didn’t get as much snow this year!

ou can see the back steps and the clothesline to the right: It's finally Spring!!!

You can see the back steps and the clothesline to the right: It’s finally Spring!!!

Earlier, I wrote a story about why the snow was white. Thought I'd research about icicles ... but, just couldn't get interested in the

Earlier, I wrote a story about why the snow was white. Thought I’d research about icicles … but, just couldn’t get interested in the “behind the scenes” story … But I took lots of pictures of icicles. These are baby icicles … ooohhh!!!

These are teenage icicles.

These are teenage icicles.

Here's one full-grown!

Here’s one full-grown!

Another shot for scale. This is about 8 feet long.

Another shot for scale. This is about 8 feet long.

This is the whole family!

This is the whole family!

This is the largest one so far ... hanging from the roof, over the front porch ...10 feet long. Did I mention this was the first day of Spring?

This is the largest one so far … hanging from the roof, over the front porch …10 feet long.
Did I mention this was the first day of Spring?

This is from the front porch railing ... We don't call it an icicle ... we call it a post!

This is from the front porch railing … We don’t call it an icicle … we call it a post!

At the local Library, they have a display of historical artifacts which they have all laid out, side by side. That inspired this picture. Again, to show scale. Well ... it is a nice collection!

At the local Library, they have a display of historical artifacts which they have all laid out,
side by side. That inspired this picture. Again, to show scale. Well … it is a nice collection!

This is the big one from the roof ... looks like someone may have dropped it, or it hit the ladder or something ... on the way to the display table ...

This is the big one from the roof … looks like someone may have dropped it, or it hit the ladder or something …
on the way to the display table …

Another view showing the thickness of the icicle ... And ... by the way ... the towel is from our Spring Collection!!!

Another view showing the thickness of the icicle … And … by the way … the towel is from our Spring Collection!!!

Boy! That's a nice towel!

Boy! That’s a nice towel!

Both the icicle-and the towel-really stand up nicely. Hope Carol doesn't see this!

Both the icicle-and the towel-really stand up nicely. Hope Carol doesn’t see this!

I think I hear someone yelling

I think I hear someone yelling “Has someone seen my blue towel???”

P.S. Just so you’ll know … since I started writing this post, the temperature has dropped nearly 20 degrees … and, it is snowing … hard … I wanted to take a picture for you, but it was snowing so hard, I couldn’t keep the snow off the lens … That’s ok … it is the weekend … we have that hope for Monday … and, after all … it’s finally Spring!!! To quote part of what we didn’t say … “You think the weather’s bad where you are …”
Blessings
R.V.R.

I Know Jesus Saves … But, Does He Plow? (Part 2)

Miracles all around us. They are happening all the time, and for different reasons. Sometimes for us … sometimes for them … most always for “both” … always the same Source. We’ve all been a part of, and seen, miracles in our lives. Psalms 46:1 says that, yes, “God is our refuge and strength,” but He is also “a very present help in trouble.”

The next verse explains a lot: “Therefore (because of this) we will not fear” (46:2a). Because of this … God’s having helped us in the past … God having proved that He is there with us in every situation … because of His faithfulness to His Word … Because of Who He is and What He is … because of what He’s done for me in the past … because of this … I will not fear now. Because of this … it must mean … it has to mean … it just has to mean … that He is here, with me now … Because of this … I will call on Him … because I know He is there … because He has always been there … He must be … He has to be … here now … He always has been, so He must be here now … after all, He is “a very present help.”

Let’s go back a couple of weeks up here in Northern New Hampshire. To what I hope (as things begin to melt here today) was our last major snow storm of the season. I apologize if I don’t remember the exact day, but they have all looked a lot alike for many months now. I know this was a week or so before Spring, because I remember writing “Tis the Day Before Spring” a week or so after the storm.

I can’t understand how, when I hear the “old timers” talk, how they used to get something like four feet of snow a day … when, a couple of years ago, it was the “snowiest year” on record … and, the most we ever got was 2 feet … I do, however, “get it” when they say this is the coldest on-going Winter they can remember … This winter has been so long, that, as noted above, I’ve lost my memory as to just when “all this” started. I do know that, every year that we’ve been here, we’ve had robins in our yard before Spring … this year, it’ll be April in a couple of days, and no robins yet. So, somewhere in the middle of March, we got a big snowstorm. How big? How bad? Well, the forecast called for somewhere between 12-24 inches. The Winter just hadn’t stopped, and I couldn’t remember the “January thaw” we usually get. I still don’t remember if we got the “thaw” or not … the snow and cold has just all blended together this year, so I don’t think we got one. Maybe for a few hours … maybe … but I must have been at work … So this new storm, on the horizon, was looming …

I am reminded of a heavyweight boxing match, when the challenger has taken so many tough, hard punches, that it won’t take much to “knock him out.” I guess this was the way we were (hey-that sounds like a song!) when this storm came. We had fought so many tough rounds already … it may take less than a “championship” punch to knock us out, here in the final rounds of the fight.

I think it was on a Wednesday when the new snow began to fall. Just the beginning of what was forecast to be a “significant snow event,” with the snow continuing through the evening, overnight, and tomorrow. How bad? It was just before 1:30 that afternoon when the announcement came over the loudspeaker: “School has been cancelled for tomorrow.” Really? This had never happened before … As giddy as I was over the announcement, it also confirmed that this must be a serious storm. Even “old-timers” at the school (sorry for the designation, I mean well) said that they could not remember, ever, a time when School was cancelled THE DAY BEFORE!!! We’ve written often of how much snow we’ve gotten this year, but, we had not had a “snow day” yet this year. Last year, we had one snow day. And, one snow day the year before. Etc.

Anyway, the snow began to fall in earnest. By nightfall, several inches were on the ground … and, on the roads. For those of you who know, it’s not an issue, regardless of how much snow falls, as long as the roads are plowed. Well … this time … because of the length of the “snow event,” and especially since school had been cancelled already, there wasn’t as much an urgency to get the roads plowed. Plus, in such an event, the main roads keep all the resources tied up. Let’s just say I live on a “side road.” Still in the city limits, but off of the last red light, out of town. So, we are among the last to get plowed. I’m not complaining by any means; that’s just the way it is. So, we are on a side road, only a couple of houses, and our road is one long, continuous hill. Our driveway is also one continuous hill. What makes this so difficult in snow is because, when you turn into our road (from the “main road” below), it is at a 90-degree angle, which means that you lose any momentum you may have gained, as you start up “our hill.” Then, when you turn into our driveway, it is another 90-degree angle, so you lose any momentum you may have gained. In a nutshell, if our street hasn’t been plowed, and the snow is heavy, you just don’t stand a chance to make it … until the city has come, and plowed the street. You just can’t gain enough speed in deep snow to make it up the hill, and then, into our driveway.

There have been times, in years past, when we have parked one of our vehicles in the hospital parking lot, about a ½ mile away, because only one of our vehicles could make it up our street.  Let’s say that someone comes home at 5:00 PM, but our street hasn’t been plowed. You just can’t wait until 9:00 PM or later (city is on 4 Hour cycles) to drive home. So, that’s what we’ve had to do. This was before we had gotten 4-wheel drive vehicles.

On this night, in mid-March, I had taken Carol to work, in order to leave the truck in our garage during the storm. The snow kept falling. And, falling. And, accumulating on both the driveway and the roads. It was late, very late, and it was time to pick Carol up from work. They had not plowed our street, nor had they plowed the main road below. Since we are on a hill, it is never an issue of “getting out;” we just roll down the driveway, and then roll down the street to the main road.

On this night, they had only plowed the main highway, at that last red light. I always say, after years of driving in the snow, that you can go anywhere at 15 miles-per-hour. Tonight, I went 10. I was concerned that, even with a heavily weighted truck-bed (I have 5, five-gallon buckets of sand up against the cab, 3 heavy pallets in the middle, and 8 concrete blocks on the rear), I wouldn’t be able to make it back up the hill to our driveway. As I traversed the streets leading up to where I would pick up Carol, it was plain that the city plows hadn’t been out. I was barely able to just get into the parking lot. In fact, even in 4-wheel drive and with all that weight, I would have to repeatedly back up in order to get out into the street, after she got into the truck. And, she was in a “more major” street, certainly, than we lived on. I had to wait. And, wait. She couldn’t leave until her replacement arrived. He was always on time, but this night, he was late. Unusual. This wasn’t like him at all, even though I gave no thought to what he must have had to drive through, to get to work. He finally arrived.

As Carol climbed into the truck, she was praying … praying that Jesus would help us get home … Oh, Boy … then, we had to keep trying, just to get out into the street … a driveway, and street, which were on level ground … she kept praying for us to get home safely … My eyes were on the road, but my ears were on her … praying … knowing that we had one big hill to climb … and, it was evident from her prayers, that we weren’t going to make it without help … She was right, even though she had not seen the hill I’d slid down earlier … but, I knew the same thing … we weren’t going to make it without help … We crossed the intersection at the red-light, and then cautiously worked our way through the snow. Those who have to drive in these conditions know what I mean by “worked.” Carol kept praying; I kept working. We make it through the main road, leading to our street. We had the sharp, 90-degree turn into our street, where we lost any momentum we may have had.

Then, it happened:
It was only later that I realized the significance of what lay ahead of us … I was too busy praying, and gripping the wheel … We were at the bottom of the hill; the truck’s headlights allowing us to see far ahead, up the hill in front of us. There … in the middle of the street … leading to our driveway … was a path … exactly in the center of the road … all the way up the hill … a perfectly plowed path … and, when I say perfectly plowed, it was perfect … dead-center in the middle of the road … it was plowed … not a big, wide swath, which would have been made by a city plow … but, it was narrower, much narrower … just enough for a truck … like ours … to perfectly get through … “Someone” had plowed our street … just our street … the main road (from the red-light) leading to our street was not plowed … if someone had plowed our street and turned around at the bottom of the hill, there was no evidence that this had been done … it was, as if, “Someone,” had just “dropped down,” plowed our street up to our driveway, and disappeared … I thought of the “delay” in Carol getting off work … How the fact that she was late, gave “Someone” time to “work behind the scenes,” which we addressed in Part 1 of this story …

This, now, explains the title of this story.
“Jesus at the Plow?” Aren’t we His hands and feet on this earth?

Recently, I received a beautiful, unforgettable birthday card from my niece, and her family. She wrote “Proverbs 3:5-6” as part of her personalization of the card. Yes, I love these verses: In fact, we have these same verses, with artwork from our dear friend Candy, hanging on the wall of our office. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”The word “direct,” used here in “direct thy paths,” can also be interpreted as “make smooth or straight.”

Even now, I still see that path, plowed perfectly for us … so smooth, and so straight.

By the way … something else my niece wrote, in the card which arrived just before this storm: “Sorry the card is late.” No … I’d say the card arrived just on time … for, “such a time as this.”

Blessings,R.V.R.

Modern-Day Psalms at Books A Million

I Know Jesus Saves … But, Does He Plow? (Part 1)

Like all of us, I have witnessed many miracles, and been involved in many of them. If you just look around, really, we are all, every day, surrounded by miracles. My Pastor used to say that, if you don’t think you have anything to be thankful for … just take a breath …

I have been helped so many times, in a miraculous way, my entire life. God’s mercy has protected me, helped me, and, as GA Bulldog announcer Larry Munson would say, “saved my whatchamacallit.” I looked that word up, and it’s in dictionaries.

As we wrote before, if it is important to you, it’s important to God. If it matters to you, it matters to Him. And, nothing is more important to Him than your relationship with Him. Period. I am constantly talking with God, and, yes, most of the time, I do more talking than listening. But, I know His voice … and He knows mine. Psalm 30:10 says, “Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.” He is always there when I call. Even when I don’t call, He is still very much there. And, when He answers my call, I should never forget it … and, should tell others of His faithfulness, at every opportunity. In trouble or not, it is a great thing to be able to call out to Him, and have Him hear. And, it is so important for us to not forget His faithfulness … what He’s done for us in the past … to give us hope for every situation we face in the future. Lamentations 3:21 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.”

Sometimes we have to wait … He is working behind the scenes, doing things, making things happen for us … and, we’re not even aware-until later-that He was working the whole time.
Back to Lamentations: “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD” (3:25-26). Fact is, God is always working “behind the scenes” for us … and, waiting, patiently, to do more. Waiting for our call. Once, years ago in Connecticut, I was backing out of the driveway, something I had done hundreds of times. It was after a big snowstorm, but the driveway was downhill, and I could make it down, in reverse, with my eyes closed. On this morning, I was backing out, straight out of the driveway, and it felt like something grabbed my van, and moved it … slid it through the snow … into the ditch on the right-hand side of the driveway … It felt like it was shoved off the driveway. (Never mind what I said!!!) So, I had to call work (1 ½ hours away), and let them know I’d be late. I had to call a wrecker to get me back up into the driveway. God revealed something to me that I had never considered:
I wonder what it was … what danger would have been ahead … had I left for work on time, and not slid off the driveway? What was out there, waiting for me … within that 3 hour span …? It was then, at that moment, I realized something I’ve never forgotten. How many things … how much trouble … how much pain and suffering … how many circumstances does God keep us out of … away from … that we don’t even know about? What was revealed to me that morning was this:
More times than I could ever imagine. We would be amazed at the things we can’t see … we’d be stunned to learn of all the times that what we considered to be “inconvenient” to us, was just a ploy to “buy time” to allow other things to happen … to protect us, and, even save our lives. We’ve all heard stories of people who over-slept, had unexplained car trouble, missed a bus or train … and, because of that … they were spared or saved from disaster. So, that’s what I’m talking about.

I think back to so many times when “someone just showed up” to help me. I know that you can think of all those times too, that something like that has happened to you. What amazes me, is that when I look back over the years … even when I wasn’t living for God … God still protected me … kept me safe … knowing that, one day … “for such a time as this …”
I can feel those words touching you, as well. God is so good, so loving, and so merciful … we never deserve it … but think about all of those times when, “humanly speaking,” we really didn’t deserve it. He protected us … kept us from certain disaster … knowing that, “one day …”

I am reminded of Psalm 63:7: “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.”

I can’t stress enough how important this message about God keeping His hand on us, even though we aren’t serving Him, is. Protecting us, keeping us from harm, having His hand on us … even though we had no idea at the time. I think of Paul, when he was Saul … in spite of that he was doing … think about it … God protected him, kept him from those who would have done him much harm … knowing, that one day …

Just a short story to close: I remember a time, yes, in “the bad old days,” I was with a couple of friends. We weren’t criminals or breaking many laws, but we weren’t driving around handing out Gospel tracts, either. Let’s just say we were making a speedy exit from a residence we had spent the last few hours visiting. I was driving, and, somehow, I managed to run off the road into a ditch. It was imperative for us to leave the area quickly, but, there we were, in a ditch. From out of nowhere, a truck passed us, stopped just ahead of our vehicle, and then backed up to just in front of our car. We thought we were done for. I know we all thought, “This is it!” A big, big guy got out of the truck in overalls. He looked like he could just lift the car up by himself. He walked up, and this is all he said: “Let’s get you outta there.” He reached in back of the truck, grabbed a chain, and hooked up to the car. He then got in the truck, I got in the car, and he pulled me out. He then stopped, unhooked the chain, and drove off. He didn’t say a word. It was like he was “just sent,” just sent “for such a time as this.” We looked at each other, then up the road … and he was gone. Just disappeared into the landscape.

 I’ve heard and read many of these types of stories, and many of you have them too. This is one of mine. I haven’t thought about that in years. God has to remind me all the time, when I am being judgmental (etc.) over someone’s activities or lifestyle … that I should have compassion … for me to think about Paul … and to think about me … how I was …

I am so glad He hasn’t changed … He always was there, and always Is there.

Blessings,
R.V.R.