There isn't really anything I should wax poetic about than the only thing anyone and everyone in Erie is talking about right now: SNOW.
Yes, after a November where the official weather center (at the Erie Airport) recorded 0.5" of snow AND a December where the official total jumped to a whopping 4.9" we have begun the great equalizer in the first two weeks of January.....15.8" according to officialdom. I'm sure, however, that all the backyard snow measurers, and we have hundreds of them in and around Erie County, have measurements ranging from 8" to 25" for the month. (Yes, I'm guessing, but I bet there are some huge amounts...can you spell L-a-k-e E-f-f-e-c-t?)
Anyway, there are a couple things you would hear no matter what small diner or office or text message you'd be a part of this week:
a) We're all happy for the groups that count on winter for their livelihood: the local ski places, the people who run small plowing businesses and the retailers who stock seasonal equipment for ice fishing, cross country skiing, tobogganing, etc. They have really been suffering and in this area of the country we certainly don't need any more small businesses running into down times. We have enough of those already.
b) It really IS beautiful (Yes, once you're home and don't have to navigate the streets!)
c) Is the bay starting to freeze? Maybe the lake won't freeze over much this year at all!
d) How many more weeks of this until spring? Eight? Twelve?
So in honor of the return to normalcy here are two shots I caught today: St. Francis' first year in our inner courtyard, now holding a basket of snow; and the side entrance to our place off of Troupe Road. (For those of you who don't get "How much did we get?" guessing experience, check out the height on some of the surfaces or on the right side of that tree! WOW.)