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The Pike Log: Random Entries About Making His Story Mine

Why We Pray for Snow in Pike Country

Beer but no gear sold here. In January 2012, regular unleaded gas with 10% ethanol went up to $3.60/gal at the all-purpose convenience store. Photo taken December 2011. BTW: Home heating oil: $800 for 200 gallons. How long do you think I can make that last?
Against all wisdom to the contrary, I picked a January closing date for the sale of my childhood home on the Jersey Shore so I could then move north 400+ miles in what has traditionally been the dead of winter.

You know the dead I mean. It's the can-you-top-this contest of mercury that plunges to minus 60 (or more); of tarping your quarter-inch-pane windows with plastic; of snow so deep you and your dog can almost get lost from view; of house fires from faulty electrical wiring or worse, of community elders freezing to death because they can't afford the escalating fuel prices.

Yeah. that kind of breath-stealing winter.

To get plugged in, I signed up on Facebook for the Northeast Kingdom's weather postingsNortheast Kingdom Current Conditions LIVE. I bought heavy-duty snow tires (even the PSA TV ads for safe driving knock the all-weather radials that had served me well in Jersey). I acquired bushels of insulated socks and hats, plus food, in Bethlehem, NH: Local Works. I drove down river to shop Farm-Way, a family-owned outfitter in Bradford, VT, and plunked down $150 for rubberized boots that lace up to my kneecaps.

By God, I was ready.

But not for ice.

Because instead of snow alternating with temps in the 40s, we got sleeting rain. When the temps dropped, a thick layer of glass coated EVERYTHING.

I'll spare you the details of the garage remote going on the fritz at this time and of my channeling Bob Barabee and my ice-skating lessons in the old Asbury Park Casino Arena as I pirouetted down the long driveway to put the garbage out. Oh, and you were right: that the extra box of cat litter wasn't for the Rutgers rescue kitties. It was re-enforcement for when I minced across frozen walkways.

This one thing I did learn about surviving the winters in Pike Country: snow offers traction.

Even on top of a layer of ice.

Now I pray for it. I'm even banking my petitions to stave off the traditoinal March storms they say batter the upper river valley.

Because I want snow.

No ice, please.
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