|Shopping Cart Traffic Jam at Home Depot|
Days after I arrived in New Jersey, winter set in in earnest. The jet stream veered to the south and the resulting front dumped a foot-and-a-half of snow on us. Temperatures plummeted and stayed below freezing for some six weeks. Occasionally it would venture above freezing in the middle of the day, but there was little melt-off and it would snow every few days. Thankfully, though, after getting slammed that first time the heaviest snow would hit toward the north or south or west.
Snow staying on the ground was something out of my experience. In the warmer climes where I had always lived roads would be bad for only a day or two and the snow would be gone not long after that. Now there was perpetual snow.
It took hours to shovel ourselves out after each snow, even with the help of the electric snow blower we had just purchased. We spread salt liberally and even though we had salt delivered, we had to frequently venture to Home Depot for more.
A huge ice dam formed on the eaves near the front door. A ton or more of ice threatened to bring down the gutters and there was risk of the house flooding when it melted. I hadn't even known what an ice dam was!
Road crews did a great job of keeping our street passable, but shoveling snow and chipping ice was a daily chore. Our cars were repeatedly covered with ice, but thanks to a Christmas present from Sweetie's parents, our windshields were kept clear-- so long as we remembered to attach the plastic screen they had given us. We weren't lacking for food or warmth and were snowbound only infrequently and for short times, but everything was inconvenient. The mud room at the front of the house was a mess, fill with shovels, brooms, snow blower, salt, boots, wet mats, and broadcast spreader, and we were unable to dry it out. The layers cardboard we had put down on the walkways during the load-in was frozen to the concrete-- nor could we keep the stoop clear of ice. Stepping outside was a perpetual adventure.