Not Going Anywhere: Snow Use

Snow ImMobiles
Snow ImMobiles

Mid-morning yesterday, a VDOT contract snow-worker came through with a pitifully small blade–two passes, east and west–and if we’d gotten all the snow we were going to get for the day, it would have helped.

We got another six inches yesterday afternoon. We don’t expect the real snowplows to come through for several days, so we’ll soon be making powdered milk for cereal.

Today is the pragmatic bookend to yesterday’s somewhat more passive and aesthetic sit-and-watch.

Just digging out one car and shoveling a path to the firewood will be a good day’s work.

We have it good. Those folks in the 15 mile backup in the dark cold on I-81 this morning are not so lucky.

This is a serious situation for many. And offering help will largely be limited to those neighbors in need you can reach on foot–that, no easy matter. This is the first snow where I’ve thought “it would be nice to have snowshoes.”

Click the image for a winter gallery at Flickr, or go to this link. Winter ’13’14 Set


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. This winter has been brutal on so many folks. We are in that warmer portion of the country that only receives a few inches of ice now and again but even that is a problem for folks like us who are not accustomed to it. Have you ever heard of the persimmon seed forecast? I sliced seven seeds. Out of those, one was black (rotten), one had a knife image (ice) and the other five were spoons (snow). I am beginning to believe nature might be onto something! Of course, this might be a mere coincidence but I found it interesting, to say the least! I will check again this year to check for accuracy.

    I am sending warm thoughts to you and Ann! Keep the wood stove burning and grab a cup of tea!

  2. Gorgeous snow shots in the gallery Fred. We went from freezing yesterday morning to 70 by afternoon… From ice on the cars to sunshine and spring breezes. We have done that more times this winter than I can count.

    I know we have been in the 20’s more this year than any I can remember in half a century. And we aren’t through yet. Stay warm and stay safe there in your valley…

  3. We’ve got much more snow, and use the snowshoes regularly, but I guess we’re used to it so it doesn’t really cause many problems. Walked right over the top of a fence yesterday on the snowshoes!