Monday, December 13, 2010


The wind was wicked, but the snow remained light, like specks of sand and dust rather than genuine flakes. The thing was, it just kept on coming.

We’d purchased a tree the previous evening down at the farmer’s market, and spent the morning on various household tasks. I revved up the snow-blower when a foot or so had accumulated. I knew I’d be out there again, but the machine is so small that after a certain point it simply can’t cope.

Then it was time for a rare jaunt down our street and up the hill on skis. We passed a neighbor hurrying back to her house after walking the dog, but otherwise we had the neighborhood to ourselves. Except for the shovelers. Not a bird in sight. One car had made its way through the drifts and out to a more well-traveled thoroughfare. (The first plow didn’t arrive on our street until after midnight.)

It’s pleasant, this snowed-in feeling. A reheated lunch of delicata squash soup with pasta. Music fills the air. Everything from the Tallis Scholars and English Organ Music of the Renaissance, to Il Viaggio di Lucrezia, a lovely, meditative collection of antique Italian harp music by Mara Galassi.

At some point in the night the Metrodome collapsed. This is news, especially when a team from New York is scheduled to play there. But this morning all was clear and bright, the plow has been by, leaving a dense ridge of snow in front of the driveway.

At 17 inches, this storm ranks fifth or sixth among those that have been recorded in these parts. But to judge from the numbers below, the period between January 20 and 23, 1982, received 37 inches, though there was a lull in the middle of onslaught.

I remember those days. We skiied to the SuperAmerica on 40th and Lyndale. Propped the skis outside next to the propane tanks. On the way down the alley, we met a neighbor who was stuck big-time.

“Don’t worry about me,” he said. “Triple A is on the way."

“Oh, we’ll push you out,” I replied in neighborly fashion. Getting behind the car to give it a shove, I proceeded to punch a hole in the man’s tail light. Oops!!
1. Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 1991 28.4 inches
2. Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 1985 21.1
3. Jan. 22-23, 1982 20.0
4. Jan. 20-21, 1982 17.4
5. December 12, 2010 17
6. Nov. 11-12, 1940 16.8
7. March 3-4, 1985 16.7

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