I realize that this is the topic of the moment and that also, by and large, anyone reading this is experiencing their own version of the white stuff. But I thought I'd give this a bit of Northern Neck perspective.
This is perhaps winter number 23 or 24 for me here in the Northern Neck. Having moved first from New York and then to Washington, DC what I found in moving to the Northern Neck is that there really is hardly any snow (comparitively speaking). Early on....in the first couple of years, it would snow and then somehow it would be 50 or 60 degrees a day or so thereafter and it would thaw and be gone. At least most of it. My ex-husband and I lived about half a mile off the paved road and our house was located down a steep hill. Whenever snow would be forecast the car (all-wheel drive) would go up to the top of the hill with the hope and expectation that we could get out from there. Generally we could. It wouldn't take long at all to be up and running and out in the world. What took longer was that winding road down to the house that was totally sheltered with tree cover and often slick with ice for a couple of additional days.
My main point is that in general snow is not too frequent, nor too difficult to deal with here. We tend to have pretty nice winters and as a friend of mine who grew up in Belgium often remarks....the skies are so blue....and most of the time. Comparing our winters to what I experienced as a child growing up on Long Island....well there isn't any comparison. It is warmer, it is brighter, winter is way shorter and I can start planning for spring in February and it doesn't feel so far away. That is really nice!
This isn't to say that at this moment the weather hasn't gotten my attention---it has. And for those who don't like it and for those who are dealing with difficulties that the snow only makes more difficult, I realize this isn't fun.
For me and for my present circumstances, I've decided, though, that this is fun. This morning I knew it was time for the dogs to get a real walk and so I bundled up. I've been really layering quite a bit for all my walks, probably to the point of absurdity. This morning I had it all down, since my outfit was comprised of the elements I've been putting on for a week or two. Going out the front door (street side) I realized that I was stepping through almost a foot of snow. Well we haven't had that sort of snowfall (probably 6 to 8 inches), but there has been a fair amount of wind. Looking around we have places with drifts....some to more than a foot and then where the snow has been blown away, it is perhaps an inch or two deep. The dogs took very happily to the snow once they got it figured out, meaning in the first ten or fifteen feet of traversing the driveway. The smaller one found that she needed to sort of leap up and down, a bit like she was on a pogo stick to deal with deepest snow....that was a bit of a new experience, but dogs do know how to adapt and quickly. Shortly after catching on it became a racing frolic with quick turns and running back and circles ....just fun sort of snow time.
Before walking down to the campground I noticed that the tracks on the road were actually from the party who brings our newspaper. The paper tends to arrive about 3 in the morning since I often wake up right around delivery time. I have no idea when this was delivered, but what I can say is that that was one incredible delivery person. The snow has almost filled up the tracks because of the drifting, but it is evident that they drove here when the snow was at least 6 or 8 inches deep. That was a great effort and we appreciate it. I even had my husband call the Richmond Times Dispatch to report our appreciation.
The walk to the campground was informative. One of the things I don't like about living on the water are the winds in the winter when it is really blustery....it is usually a week or two in February that the winds are the most disconcerting. With all the morning weather forecast information running around in my head I went outside looking for the wind. I found that where our house is located a number of things break the wind that truly is coming out of the north. There is a stretch of dense hedges and even a couple of houses next to us that seem to be absorbing much of the brunt. So the first bit of the walk was pleasant. Once I reached the campground fence and started to head toward my favorite channel marker and bit of frozen beach there was a total change of scene and a change of feeling....it was cold. The wind was whipping some nasty sleet. It felt bitterly cold. It felt as if I'd walked out of a door and found winter. Yes, I found the wind.
We've been preparing for this snow event for the last few days. Bit by bit we pulled together our plan. It really does feel good to have the generator tested out and ready to go. We've plenty of food that could easily be reheated on the gas stove....it does feel safe. The dogs and cat certainly aren't complaining and my one dog who is a different kind of bird dog, only barks for a short time when a bald eagle flies by along the water side. On days like this he isn't going to chase it for us (which is his norm)....I guess it doesn't seem worth it.
So keep warm and safe and know that soon we will be looking toward spring and those of you who own 2nd homes in the Northern Neck well you'll be getting ready to open up. For those of you contemplating a house here, just think, if you had a contract ratified by the end of February, generally you wouldn't close until mid-April. That doesn't give you too much time to get set to fully open up for the season around Memorial Day. You see, next spring and summer is coming fast....so even though there's plenty of snow today, it will be summer before you know it! And time to enjoy the life on the river.....