february is a hard month.

It's BLEAK outside today. And lake effect snow warning for tonight and tomorrow. Winter is stepping up its misery-game this week, that's for sure.

February is ALWAYS a hard month, at least here in ROC. Probably anywhere that has winter, it’s a hard month. This particular February’s been especially hard, though, between illness and snow. We’re not quite at Boston levels of craziness, snow-wise, but it’s pretty bonkers here. We usually average around ~100in/year of snow, which sounds like a lot (and it is), but the thing is, we don’t usually get it all at once, and there are usually melts between snows. Not this year, though.

Blasting some Florence + the Machine while I shovel the driveway.
Blasting Florence + the Machine, which turns out to be great shoveling music

I’ve been doing a lot of shoveling. A LOT. Like, I honest-to-goodness have covered over 10 miles of walking just clearing our driveway repeatedly over these last couple of weeks. It’s not an exaggeration – my phone tracks it! See, the problem is that in our neighborhood, the houses are very close together. So you can’t really pile snow off to the side of the driveway. It’s either got to go in front of the house, or in the backyard. This is the front of our house, as of Sunday morning:

There is nowhere left to put the snow in front (it just avalanches down those ~5ft piles), so I had to carry every shovelful to the backyard.

I’m standing far enough away that it isn’t clear, but that pile of snow? It’s the same height as me. So I can’t pile snow on it anymore. EVERYTHING has to be carried to the backyard (which is how I’ve racked up those miles – just back and forth on the driveway, carrying heavy shovels full of snow). But we’re running out of space, there, too – our backyard is basically 4ft deep piles of snow moved from the driveway at this point. I can’t even imagine what a mess that’s going to be once it starts melting.

Oh, and when I took that photo, it was -18F windchill outside. This combination of lots of snow plus extreme cold is just…unusual. And very, very hard.

Especially when combined with health problems. One of the reasons *I’ve* been doing so much shoveling, as opposed to A (which is not to say that A’s done none, just that I’ve done a lot more than my usual share) is that A has been really sick lately. He was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis during the snowstorm that struck at the very beginning of February, and then followed M last week with a nasty stomach bug (M managed to puke on Elle Melle, but I successfully washed it). Said stomach bug finally struck me after I shoveled the driveway on Sunday. (I’m still not quite over it, alas). It’s been tough. And the fact that A has joined me in the chronic autoimmune condition club definitely complicates things – I have to be careful not to overdo it, lest I push myself into flare territory…but so does he, now. (And actually, RIGHT now, he just plain needs to take it easy because he is actively IN a flare). And there’s just a lot to get used to – his medication regimen has disrupted our old bedtime routine, which has led to insomnia for me (and it’s obviously not a lot of fun for him, either!) and also costs about eleventy-billion dollars per month (we’re looking into discount programs), so this February has us feeling a bit defeated.

Things are not ALL bad, though. It’s quite beautiful outside, if you don’t actually need to be getting anywhere:


And fortunately, I only very rarely need to get anywhere that’s not accessible via the tunnels, when I’m on campus, though I did for the workshop I ran last Monday:

Making my "getting smacked by snow" face, walking back across campus after running a writing workshop.

And M is having a blast with the snow. She wants to bring “snowballs” into the car with her every time we’re out:

The "snowball" she wanted to bring into the car after school on Friday. #latergram

And climb snow “mountains”, and just generally frolic about in it. Alas, that’s been less possible than she’d like because of the dangerously low windchills. She also loves to “help” shovel:

Helping me clear snow before naptime.

I suppose that’s a good thing, since she’s a ROC-baby! Maybe eventually her “help” will actually be helpful :)

So, that’s what we’ve been up to. Shoveling snow. So much snow. And being sick. So much sickness. Here’s hoping that March has kinder things in store for our family. How are you all holding up this February, dear readers?


3 thoughts on “february is a hard month.

  1. yarndude

    I hate to say it and jinx myself, but Minnesota has been strangely mild this winter. If I look out my window, I can still see patches of grass and although the wind chill today was nearing -30, overall it has been pretty tolerable. Maybe you should consider moving back to good ol’ MN.

  2. Winter’s been pretty intense where we are, too. Significantly colder than average (I don’t think we’ve quite hit that awful place where C and F become friends, but we’ve been hovering pretty darn close with the windchill) AND it’s been snowing a lot, which is just not fair. It’s supposed to either be really effing cold OR snow. -30 is supposed to be too cold for snow. I don’t usually join the moaning about winter bandwagon, but I am so ready for it to at least let up a little.

  3. I’m catching up on reading your blog, I really enjoy it. Also I’m amazed you blogged so much during your dissertation writing and defending! Congrats on the PhD too.

    As a non-American who has read about the Health Care Act being passed in the States, I wonder how that legislation has worked for you? Maybe you address it in a later blog article but I’m only up to here for now.

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