When we moved here, I asked a few people who have been here for a while, what type of winters we were in store for. I wasn’t expecting huge changes from what we were used to, since we are only about two hours away from where we used to live. The responses I got ranged from, “same thing as your hometown,” “about 6-8 good snows per year,” and “a lot of ice.”
We have already experienced the snow storms. They feel about the same as where we just came from. Now, we are experiencing the ice.
See, describing winter in New York to someone is a tricky endeavor. There are many micro-climates. I think the temperatures vary to some degree, but what varies even more is the snowfall amounts. Rochester is a far cry from Long Island. Even the Catskills are much different from Westchester.
When Laura and I were out walking one day back at the old house, we stopped to chat with one of the neighbors. We started talking about snow, when she laughed and said, “Oh, you have never experienced a winter around here?” I was like, “C’mon lady, gimme a break. We are an hour away from where we used to live.” She was sort of right, there was a little more snow than we were used to.
Way, way, way back in the day, like 12 years ago, when I was attending Westchester Community College, we had an ice storm. This storm left the roads completely covered for an entire week. It didn’t help that it was about 12 degrees outside for all that time, keeping the roads frozen. I remember that I couldn’t get to the first week’s worth of classes because of all the ice. I would drive about 3 miles in the car down through town and turn around. It was maddening.
When I finally made it to class, I expected everyone else to talk about all their terrifying experiences trying to get to school. The funny thing is that no one even knew what I was talking about. They all lived in Westchester and got no ice. Either that, or it just melted faster.
Connecticut is a bit different from New York. The way it was explained to me from the sales guy at the John Deere dealership was like this: There are basically three zones in Connecticut. The first one is from Interstate 84 and north. They get snow. From Interstate 84 down to Interstate 95, we get icy, slushy mix. From 95 south, they get rain. Of course, that’s not always true, but most likely would occur in the early season and the late season. That’s fine with me.
We got some freezing rain a few days ago. It coated the ground and pavement and has been hanging around ever since. Yesterday, the sun melted most of the driveway, but not all of it. I was walking around on it today and nearly killed myself. For some reason, it’s like a magnet to me. It calls out my name…”Jay, come over and do the moonwalk on me. Act like you are walking on a treadmill. Do the robot and the running man, like Rob.” It just happens, I can’t help it.
Today, while we were at Home Depot getting some paint for the next bedroom, I went over and grabbed some calcium chloride snow melt stuff. It’s like little white beads. I think it was calcium chloride or the other stuff. The one I got said it wasn’t as bad for the environment than the calcium chloride. It could have been magnesium chloride or potassium chloride. It probably would have been a good idea to read the bag before I started writing. Either way, I got the snow melt stuff.
As you could have guessed, I was excited to throw some of it around on the ice to see how it worked.
When we got back to the house, I unloaded the bag, dropped it on the floor, raced over to get a small bucket and went to work. When I got everything situated, I started tossing the little white pellets all over the place. It was pretty fun. After I unloaded my first batch, I stood back and listened. I always like to hear the soft, “crack, crack, crack” of the ice being melted by the whatever chloride.
I did this a few times and some of the ice was melted. I think I need to add more because I now have a sheet of ice with about a million little holes in it. I always try to be conservative with this type of material, so I don’t think I get the best results. Plus, I don’t want to throw the whole ten bucks away at one sitting.
I’ll let you know how it looks in the morning.