Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The pioneers were no wimps

Some think heat vents are to keep your house warm.

That may be the case, but on blizzardy days like this, heat vents have a higher calling. Heat vents are where you dry your wet shoes after a couple of hours shoveling the walk, the driveway and (just to make sure you can get out in the morning) the street in front of your house.

And above the heat vent is where you hang your wet socks and thaw your ice-covered wool cap. At right is how I've been doing it lately.

These are the tricks of the Midwestern trade when winter blows across the Great Plains. As I write this, the wind is roaring outside the studio window.

Snow is coming down at the same time the wind is blowing it up from Omaha's newly minted urban tundra. Not a creature is stirring this snow-packed and windblown predawn -- at least no sane creature -- and the cable and Internet has been off and on.

(Note to self: Finish this post while the Internet is still on.)

CHANNEL 7 says it's 10 degrees out, with a wind chill of minus-11. That would be the high temperature this Wednesday; it's all downhill from here . . . all the way to 9 below zero about 24 hours from now.

Hello, December. Glad you could make it in time for Christmas.

Below is how things looked by the time I finished the second round of shoveling Tuesday evening. It's the look of snow coming down at a decent clip.

THIS was before the blizzard began in earnest.

At left is the view out the front door after the blizzard began in earnest.

This may go on for a while, according to the weatherman. Probably until noon, maybe longer.

Below is what you see when you open the front door enough to stick the camera outside -- getting it, and you, good and wet. Our car is parked in front of the house.

Perhaps you can make it out.

On a night like this -- when you have a driveway that slopes down from the street -- you don't try to get up the drive in the morning. Not when the snow has been falling, and drifting, all night.

IT'S DECEMBER in Nebraska, y'all.

The pioneers were no wimps. And, come to think of it, neither are we.

Bring it on.

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