As much as I wanted to take so many photos on my way to work this morning, driving etiquette and common sense told me not to let myself get distracted… which was hard!
It only took Al about an hour to get our driveway cleared out enough for me to plow my Impala through what snow was left and head out to work in Syracuse this morning. First he had to use our Farmall cub plow tractor, but the snow was up over the plow and the tractor is a lightweight. Then he used our snow thrower. I was nervous leaving him behind to finish up, as the snow was heavy and he’s not getting any younger. But he urged me to go ahead, with the promise that he would text me once he got to work… an hour later, I’m still nervously waiting for that text.
I drove slowly through the rural area, then into the suburban and urban city that is Syracuse. The roads were not good, but more importantly, there was lots to observe! First on the list was our neighbor about 2/10 down the road from us, who had obviously gotten a new puppy for Christmas. I slowed down as I watched him and his Rottweiler pup come out of their front door and the pup took his first step into some real snow accumulation. Yep, I watched and chuckled as I saw him jump from the step and the brown and black bundle disappeared into the more than foot of snow that had fallen! My neighbor (and I) laughed as the puppy launched himself into the air over and over again trying to follow his master across the yard. Each time I’d see a flash of black/brown and then he’d disappear into the white snow.
Continuing on my way, I began to notice all the various rural people out trying to dig themselves out enough to get their vehicles out of their driveways to get to work, or wherever… much as we had to do. But the methods varied greatly. Most used snow throwers responsibly. But there’s always that one guy who throws the snow right into the road, usually right when I’m driving by. There were plenty of shovels, too. Some of them having to shovel driveways and sidewalks of great length. Some, not so much. Then there was the guy who was standing at the end of his unplowed driveway, scratching his head, holding a BROOM. That got a chuckle. I also observed a woman whose husband had obviously just plowed out their driveway, only to have her come down and “somehow” end up in the deep snow he’d just plowed out. She’d missed the opening and was sitting in her car with a curious look on her face.
As my drive became more suburban, I saw methods change. There was a guy who had some sort of morphed tractor/plow thingy, with an immense rotating tiller on the front of his tractor. It was wider than my car. As I took the on-ramp onto Route 690 headed toward Syracuse, I immediately saw county snow plows traveling 2-3 abreast on the highway with miles of slow-moving cars behind. The three lane highway was covered in snow, even with the plows (they were going the other way) and you couldn’t discern the lines that differentiated the lanes, so cars were kinda all over the place. I knew it would be up to me to set the standard! (LOL!) Even still, it was a slow drive in to the city.
Once in Syracuse, getting off the blessed highway was a challenge. I don’t know if Upstate New Yorkers don’t KNOW how to drive in snow, or they just FORGET from year to year. Everyone seems to be in a panic mode and the normally predictable traffic patterns disappear into the few inches of accumulated snow on the city streets. No, they have not been plowed ~ obviously, at least not in a long time! And the sidewalks are also not cleared, sending pedestrians into the streets everywhere. When I reached within a block of my parking lot, the street was suddenly obviously very UNplowed, as the snow came up over my doors and above the bottom of the underside of my car. Yep, I was plowing the road for the city. Not surprising.
Fortunately, our parking lot WAS plowed. I was sure that it would be pretty well taken care of, as has been the case over the past 4 winters I’ve been parking here. The one drawback… our landlord seems to have switched plow companys, as this new contractor seems to like to plow the snow from the lot up over the sidewalk and into my and my boss’s parking spaces. Needless to say, that can be inconvenient. I think I’ll go have a talk with building Management after I finish this post.
All that being said, did I mention that I LOVE snow? There were so many places that I wish I’d have been able to snap photos of: the huge pine trees, heavily laden with snow; the fields with acres of untouched white, fluffy snow that you can imagine seeing a skier enjoy; even the Thruway service area that was cluttered with big rigs that had taken the opportunity to get off the road last night and were now waiting to get out and back on their way to their unknown destinations. This is Upstate (Central) New York! And, despite the ridiculous taxes, I’m glad I live here!