Pothole County

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPothole: a hole in a road surface caused by wear, weather, or subsidence. (From my DK Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, 1998)

It’s winter in a big way here in western New York. We’ve had 70.7″ of snow so far, and 27.1″ just this month. And we’re not alone–Syracuse has had 76.4″ and Buffalo has had 87.6″.

I’ve been thinking about my winter experiences here, partly because of all the shoveling I’ve had to do on my days off, and partly because of the truly cold, nasty day we’re expecting Sunday–possibly the worst winter day we’ve had in years. Personally I’m planning to stay at home. My friend Jackie and I have rescheduled a lunch and movie date. Rochestarians only cancel things like this in extreme weather, by the way. A lot of us will go to the grocery store whether we’re getting 2″ or 10″ of snow on shopping day. And there’s work to be done before going shopping is even possible. We have to shovel enough snow to get to the car, and then get it to the street. We have to clean the snow off our car. We have to drive carefully–very carefully. When you have as much snow as we’ve had in a short period of time, there can be so much piled up at street corners that it’s hard to see properly before you turn. Roads actually can become narrower than usual. And the potholes!–they’re one of the things I personally worry about. I hit one a few years ago, and had to replace a wheel as well as a tire.

I actually am much more comfortable with bundling and walking than I am with driving in the snow. And since I’m a knitter, I have many things, from sweaters to socks to cowls, that will keep me really warm.

Of course, the worst winter I remember–and it actually was Rochester’s most severe winter–was 1977-1978. It was cold. It was windy. We had 161″ of snow. And just to make it a more interesting snow experience, my daughter was born the day before the snow started.

I’m on my way to do a little shoveling and clean off my car, but before I go I’d like to send best wishes to everyone who’s in winter mode right now. Some areas are much worse than western New York.

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