And climb the stairs to the beach...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not Quite Time for Rabbits

I  have been feeling so bad for my family and friends up in New England with all the snow they have had this winter. My son had to get someone to clear the snow off his roof because ice dams were starting to form. My sister has a very steep driveway, impossible to shovel and their snowblower broke. Poor Steve! I know it's been just terrible and I hear another storm is on its way!
My brother's grill. Massachusetts this week.

I told y'all that a couple of weeks ago we had seven inches fall in one day, an unheard of amount. Due to the unusually cold weather it stuck around for a week and that was even more of a rare occurrance. They shut down the schools for a whole week, we didn't get mail for 3 days and there was nothing on the news except cancelations and pictures of people making snow angels.

Yippee! Snow!

But, for us here in Ooltewah, it seems the winter's on its way out. The pansies are standing up and blooming again. The sun is shining most days. We had temps in the 60s yesterday and again today.

There are catkins on the Bradford Pear trees (those things that look like pussywillows); the snow's long gone and some of the lawns are greening up a little.  While it's not quite time to go out and sit on the back deck in the sun, that's coming soon.

The headlines this past week were no longer about the weather but for three days running they were all about poor Hank, the 42 year old chimpanzee, mascot of the Chattanooga Zoo who had been found dead on Monday. Yesterday they announced they are launching a complete investigation.

Poor old Hank.
So, life goes on, for the rest of us and take heart, spring is on its way, albeit in a few months for my folks up north. And so, with y'all in mind, I have composed a little ditty for you. Ed and I went to see The King's Speech last night, incidentally a fabulous movie. So inspired by something in the movie and by your plight up north, I wrote these lines, which can be sung to the tune of Camptown Races. 

 All the ladies sing this song,
in Oolt’wah, Oolt’wah
Winter’s lasted way too long
In Oolt’wah Tennessee.

Goin to snow all night,
Goin to snow all day,
Seven inches on the ground
Someone get out the sleigh!

Now the snow’s a memory
In Oolt’wah, Oolt’wah.
Spring’s a comin’, yesiree!
To Oolt’wah Tennessee.

Goin' to snow all night
And all the day on through
Way up north but not down here.
We’re lighting the barbecue.

New England’s buried 5 feet deep
Not Oolt’wah, Oolt’wah.
Come on down, the flights are cheap
To Oolt’wah Tennessee.

Goin to snow all night
Goin to snow all day
Groundhog won't see any sun
Spring's not far away.

My sister wrote me yesterday
In Oolt’wah, Oolt’wah
She said inside she’ll have to stay.
Not in Oolt’wah Tennessee.

Goin to snow all night
It’s really not a joke.
She said she’s had it “up to here!
And now the snowblow'r’s broke.

My son said their expecting more.
Not in Oolt'wah, Oolt'wah.
They can't get out their own front door.
Not in Oolt'wah, Tennessee.

Goin to snow all night
Goin to snow 'til noon.
Get that shovel moving, son.
That baby's coming soon!

Down here feeling all your pain
In Oolt’wah, Oolt’wah.
Maybe you could take a train
To Oolt’wah, Tennessee

Goin to snow up north
From Maine down to the Cape
Keep your chins up. Could be worse.
Think of Hank our Ape.

I hope you all don't mind me making a joke of your situation. I really do feel for everyone and pray that you will soon see a break from all of this. Be careful shovelling and driving. Almost time for your rabbits on Tuesday. Maybe if y'all say them it will stop snowing up there!

I love you guys, so take care of yourselves. But the bottom line is that you really do need to think about moving south!!!



Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow in Ooltewah

As pretty much all of you know, I moved here to Ooltewah, TN 4 years ago from Massachusetts, delighted by the warm weather and lack of snowfall. We have a few little inch or two storms from time to time and I have stayed inside and laughed at everyone going berserk because there was snow! And I mean beserk. Even when there's a flurry. They close the schools almost immediately and if there is enough snow to pick up in your hand, they will all build snowmen. Itty Bitty Snowmen.

But, last night and this morning 7 inches fell. It was like it was manna from heaven and everyone had to get out and get theirs. It was a sight to see, everyone outside with cameras on our normally quiet little street at the end of the subdivision. On TV, all network programming was preempted as they said the same thing over and over, how this was the most snow since 1993 and they showed camera shots of various highways and downtown. Today we had no mail delivery, despite the USPS claim, schools of course were closed early last night before the snow even started. The grocery stores were even closed. It was crazy!

Now, to put things in perspective, Chattanooga is a city of about 170,000 and is about 143 square miles. They have 11 snow plows. We live outside the city limits in the county and I have no idea if they even have a plow. The website for the county DPW says that they are responsible for clearing the streets but they depend on the citizens to call in and let them know if they need someone to plow, since so many subdivisions have private plow contracts they don't plow unless you ask! So, we called about 3:00 this afternoon and we were the first ones to call from our subdivision, home to thousands. They said they'd put us on the list. It's now 9:30 at night and we still haven't seen a plow.

But, this morning, we were looking out the window when two labs, one black and one yellow, came frollicking by our dining room window, snouts down, plowing through the snow giving Maggie quite a scare. We looked across the street and the man who lives there and his wife were out in their front yard taking photos, which everyone does when it snows here. But it was really funny because he got on his knees like Tim Conway does when he's doing that character Dorf. With his hands in the air and his knees in the snow, I guess he was trying to make it look like it was up to his knees. It was quite funny.

So outside Ed and I went out for a walk, camera in hand, and met up with our good friends Kathie and Ron who live next door, lots of folks we'd never met were out there, a few we had met and lots of dogs and kids. They were all sliding and sledding down the streets, which are all very steep hills. This is Tennessee so there were lots of 4 wheelers out there, too.

This was where it was all happening, the steepest street.

My friend Kathie in the foreground. Someone's 4 wheelie thingie in the back ground.

That's Ed on the left in jeans with a Pats jacket, and our friend Ron is next to him. On the far right is Rick, another neighbor who we know and Victoria who we just met today. I have no idea what the dogs' names are.

More sledders on their way to the steepest hill.
 We had a lot of fun chatting for a while, and then Ed and I continued our walk.  Then another neighbor drove up with his 4 wheeler and he was towing a large rubber raft behind it with his friend on it. He stopped and told us to get on for a ride. So, one lady we just met and Ed both jumped on and they went off on a tour of the neighborhood.

I don't know who the guy waving is. But he was friendly. That's Ed with the 'toboggan' on his head. That's what they call stocking caps here. Isn't that weird?

And there they go!

They were gone quite a while and I found out that they had to stop and help dig someone out who had gotten their car stuck in their driveway. He had a blast. I have to admit, the excitement was contageous and it was really kind of fun out there.  

Later this afternoon, Ed took a drive around the neighborhood and he was able to get down off the hill and back up again. It took him a long time as he had to go very slow just to get through the bunches of sledding people and various all terain vehicles. So it was a relief to know that if we have to we can get out. They cancelled school for tomorrow this afternoon and I don't know if we will be able to get to the store or if they'll even have them open. I hope so, though, because Maggie's almost out of kitty litter and that makes her cranky and me crazy. 

Yes, it's inconvenient, but it is kind of pretty, too. 
Home sweet home.

Have a great day.

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