Saturday, February 28, 2015

Worst. Winter. Ever.

 We've seen some crappy New England winters, but this one has been the worst ever. Technically, second worst ever. February was the snowiest month ever recorded in Boston, and the second coldest ever. We are five inches from the all-time snowiest winter ever, and another snowstorm is headed our way tomorrow night that is expected to bring 3-6 inches. Bruce really wants the all-time record to go down. I feel nauseated every time I see a snowflake fall from the sky.
 The crappy weather has affected everything we do: when we go grocery shopping, how we get around, etc. We are up to six snow days so far this year. When the kids do have school, it has been rough getting there. The sidewalks are surrounded by tall snowbanks, so visibility is tricky at crosswalks in particular. Homeowners often shovel a skinny path big enough to put one foot in front of the other, but not big enough for a stroller to get through. I have been carrying Oliver to and from school in a hiking backpack for the past two months; it is killing me and he isn't even that heavy! Oh yes, and watch out for icicles along the way. Phoebe and Bruce like to collect them, but they are a bit dangerous. A friend of ours said one shattered her windshield.
 The playground at school is buried in snow. It is usually much taller looking than this. I'm convinced that the snow will still be in huge piles until May. There is just so much of it. There is so much that the City has been hauling truckloads of it away during the night.
 I think the City is losing money on the parking meters. No one can get to them. Parking here is crazy. Snow replaced a lot of parking, and the spaces that people dug out for themselves are occupied with "space savers" when cars aren't there. Some people haven't moved their cars for months and have let them get piled in snow; you can just see a side mirror poking out here or there. Often, the snowplows take those off, scratch up the sides, and shear the bumper off.
 There have been several epic blizzards where we have been stuck indoors. We watched a lot of TV and library DVDs...
 ...and we put together a 500-piece puzzle...
 ...and we have been getting out toys new and old.
 We have made a zillion art projects...
 ...and we have gotten plenty of use on our Children's Museum pass. Ok, so this photo is in front of the Boston Tea Party Museum next door to the Children's Museum. Bruce and Phoebe liked the Sam Adams photo opp with the icicle.
 And they wanted a photo next to the snowbank by the museum.
 We eventually made it into the museum, where Bruce and Phoebe starred in "The Three Little Pigs."
 Oliver has learned how to say, "Two, Uhhh, Pssshhhhhh!" (countdown and blast-off noise)
 We have seen a lot of these bobcats moving snow and Oliver has become quite obsessed with the beeping noise when they back up. One night there were some snow removal operations going on in our neighborhood and he was up with his nose to the window at 2 a.m. looking for the trucks and machines. When Oliver saw this at the Children's Museum, he sat in it for almost 20 minutes (an eternity for a 21-month-old) and threw a huge fit when I finally climbed in to get him out.
 The large amount of snow (102 inches so far) and long-lasting cold has caused so many problems in our neighborhood and in our condo building. Being the condo association president, all problems make their way to me. Pictured above is our neighborhood's water main break that left us without water for 24 hours. We have had dozens of frozen and cracked pipes. We are sooooo over-budget on snow removal that it is disturbing. We have had to shovel our flat roof off because there was concern that the weight of so much snow would cause it to collapse. The roof drains froze and cracked, causing a three-story waterfall through the wall of the common area hallway. We haven't had to file an insurance claim yet, but this is going to be the year. We are $50k and counting in damages.
 Only 21 days until spring. I don't think we are going to see the crocuses pop out of the snow this year!

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