The forecast for Iowa is snow. That’s not surprising as the forecast for Iowa has been “SNOW” for five months. We are a white powder state. There was more snow and colder temperatures here than they had in Canada for the winter Olympics. However, I have heard no rumors of plans to move the winter Olympics to Iowa any time soon.
Snow in Iowa this year started out with a wallop back in November, right around Thanksgiving. Until that time, the temperature was quite decent. We had a mild not too hot and not too humid summer. That in itself is unusual.
It was so mild that it was actually cold in August. I was working on a movie shoot here in August. Movies work on a 14-hour day and we were doing night shoots around the time of the Iowa State Fair. It was so chilly that we were wearing layers of clothing, winter coats, boots and hats. That’s very freaky. Normally, around that time the temperature hits the hundreds with humidity in the drench your skin if you’re out for a minute range. Normally, they start school then and have to let the kids out early because it’s so hot. Not this year.
I suppose the good news from those cold August nights was that we didn’t get any chigger or mosquito bites. It was simply too cold for those pests to come out and suck our blood. That’s probably a good thing because we were shooting a zombie movie at the time.
Iowa set records for the most snow on the ground, the most consecutive days of snow and so on. My husband set records for the number of times he had to plow out our driveway with the snow blower. He also set records for the most items eaten by the snow blower. This included our doormat, and a few electrical cords.
The doormat was by the back patio door. I thought it was safe because it has been by the back patio door for years and has been safe for several winters. Being the back patio, this mat is in our back yard. When we had beasties, my husband did clear some paths for our short-legged basset hounds to go do their doggy duty. The back patio was safe because if it was shoveled out, he always did it with the snow shovel. We have a hot tub sitting on our patio. Our house has a walkout basement and the patio was a great place to put the hot tub. It never occurred to me that he would try to run the snow blower around there.
That was silly of me. Of course, this year he got the bright idea to run the snow blower through the back yard and make a path from the front driveway, down the side of the garage, through the gate, down into our back yard, past the deck and right to the patio door. Once he got to the patio door the snow blower grabbed the poor rubber doormat and ground it up like sausage – like a basset hound with a tasty ham bone. I am not sure exactly why Pat did this. He’s generally vague about where he gets his ideas. Most likely this had something to do with his bike, though.
Winter weather can be pretty and a little eerie as well. We had several days of fog. It was very cold outside so the fog clung to the bare tree branches like gauze on a zombie.
The fog was followed by ice storms. The ice clung to the bare branches, and everything else, like frozen colorless zombie tears.
The ice was followed by more snow. No "January thaw" this year for those of us in Iowa. Of course, we weren't the only ones to get snow. There was one point where Hawaii was the only state not to have snow. In other states they came up with clever names like "Snowzilla"and "Snowmaggedon". Here in Iowa we just groaned like snow zombies and went out to fire up our snowblowers once again.
Pat’s main job with the snow blower was to free us from our house and to plow a path so that the mail carrier could deliver our mail. We have a mailbox by the street. When the city comes by with their plow, they leave a foot tall ridge of snow blocking our driveway. They also leave a ridge that prevents mail truck access to our mailbox. So Pat dutifully went out and plowed out the driveway and our mailbox. Meanwhile, I stayed inside and polished off the remaining boxes of last years Girl Scout cookies.
Mail is delivered on one side of the street by mail carriers driving English style. This means the steering wheel for the mail truck is on the right side of the car (vs. the left side that the rest of us drive on). This lets the mail carrier drive up to the box and tuck the mail in. Our mailbox is located right next to the neighbor’s mailbox. The mailboxes looked like two little eyes peeking out of the mouth of a snow mound monster most of the winter. It was like they were pleading with us to save them.
Believe me when I say that I would love to have mail delivered to our front door. But, that most likely would require both a change in the city ordinance which rules where mail boxes can grow and a lot of federal red tape involving mail delivery specifications. The mail boxes didn't have a chance against odds like that.
In spite of the snow records my husband continued to ride his bike. We can insert adjectives here. One could say he faithfully rode his bike. One could say he stubbornly rode his bike. Both would be accurate.
What is a little bit crazy is that he didn’t ride it yesterday. We have had a bit of a warm up, albeit short-lived. Yesterday the temperatures were almost 60. It was sunny. There was little to no wind. It was a perfect day for being outdoors. I used the time to take the Christmas lights off of our outside trees. But, Pat did not go for a bike ride. This, my friend, is scary. Very scary.