Yesterday was a dismal day, as it swiftly clouded over and remained much colder than was predicted, never getting above 19. (-7 Celsius.) The wind shifted to the northeast, bringing in a rawness from the Atlantic, and occasionally tiny snowflakes fell. I did a lot of outside work, cleaning a chimney and loading the porch six feet high with wood, just in case we get two feet of snow rather than the three inches of slush and flooding predicted.
The day didn’t seem to hold much good news. As the news about the preacher at our tiny, dwindling church resigning gets around, everyone seems in the mood to fling up their hands in disgust and walk off in a huff. We Christians may sing, “We are one in the spirit,” but we often walk a walk that seems to demonstrate “we are divided as can be.” Of course, when I say that, I don’t immediately receive thank-yous.
Then I received the news a person who showed me a small kindness 43 years ago had passed away, and, even though we all have to go someday, it made the gray day grayer. She was the wife of my English teacher at a boarding school I was sent to, and even though being torn away from the hippy drug-culture likely saved my life, the sheer shock of being torn away and landing in northern Scotland among a society of complete strangers was pretty horrible at first. (Among other things I was going through drug-withdrawal, but because drugs were illegal I didn’t tell anyone.)
Once, as a boy pretending to be brave
At a new school castled in a far land,
Facing faces unknown, a young mother gave
A tea for new boys. It was a demand
I couldn’t avoid. Reluctant, I walked
From dismal free time on a dank Sunday,
From homeless hallways to a home, and talked
Of topics forgotten, yet the kind way
Silent eyes met mine as I took the tea
Isn’t forgotten. I wasn’t alone.
Now I hear she has left us, and yet see
Death cannot rob me of kindness I own
That she gave with a glance. As we die
It’s our smallest deeds we’re remembered by.
As the dismal day passed the map looked much as forecast to look, in that the storm wasn’t obvious.
This morning it is obvious.
The radar shows how swiftly the storm is developing.
It looks like it will start as a thump of snow here, and then turn to rain. I’ll update later.
UPDATE #1 9:00 AM
Light winds from the north; 27 degrees, 30.26, sleet and freezing rain.
The storm began as an insidious drizzle if freezing drizzle that glazed everything swiftly. School was cancelled, which sent my Childcare-farm into panic mode briefly, as we’re never are sure who is coming or not, and there is a theoretical possibility of an overload, although usually more cancel than come. I headed off to the “town barn” for sand to shovel on the drives, and gas in case we need to use the generator later. The sleet didn’t start to mix in until the precipitation grew heavier.
It looks like an eye is forming, at the very bottom of the precipitation seen by radar.
UPDATE #2 1:00 PM
Temperature 36, Barometer 30.03, Steady rain. Thirty miles away they are having heavy snow.
UPDATE #3 5:00
Temperature 36; Barometer 29.75; Winds NNE 10 mph gusts to 25 mph.
Rain with occasional sleet mixed in. Driving mist. Fog.
UPDATE #4 11:00 PM
36 degrees, barometer 29.59. Wind north, 10 mph, gust to 20 mph.
A driving mist. Dismal drizzle. I guess you’d call it drizmal.
A so-called “dry slot” can be seen coming up from the south on the radar picture, but believe me it is not dry. The air is full of some substance wetter than fog but thinner than drizzle, driven by the wind. It is a night once described as “filthy weather” by a stuffy old Englishman, and I think that is the best description I’ve ever heard.
However at least is is still above freezing. This is the second storm in a row that has been only a degree or two away from burying us in snow. I hope this isn’t the “pattern” for the winter, for if this situation repeats a month from now we will be completely buried.
Not that it was all that nice as it was. Even when it edged above freezing the glop that fell from the sky was truly ice-water, as the rain had bits of sleet mixed in, and it lacked the power to thaw the earth, which still remembered a full day below 20 degrees. The bits of sleet in the rain didn’t melt in the puddles, and in many places the ground was so cold the rain froze and created a surface of glare ice even though the thermometer claimed it was above freezing. I had to go out in the filthy rain and sling sand from the back of the pickup truck about the parking lot, even though the rain was so heavy half the sand washed away. So I’m calling this a winter storm, even though it was mostly rain.
It looks like it may hang around, and perhaps we’ll get some backlash snows. I’m hitting the hay, in case this old body needs to shovel more in the morning.