Snow Piles, We’ve Seen the Last of Them, for Now

June 19, 2023

Sometimes projects sneak up on us. Sometimes projects are simply the manifestation of a habit.

Sometimes it’s fun to catch up on scanning your journal pages and seeing the massive amounts of snow you’ve just dealt with. (Actually I wasn’t doing much dealing with it—Dick was the one creating 7-foot tall snow piles on either side of the driveway all winter.)

Around the end of the year I started new medications for my lungs and I started going out more; basically working on packing, putting things in storage, and on the rare occasion unpacking to desperately find one small thing that was critical for life, but which had been squirreled away in a box for what I thought at the time would be two weeks at the most. (There are so many boxes, all well-labeled with meaningless word salad, that sometimes when I enter a room, turn and see them, I jump in fright.)

Back in April all the snow did melt for about a week, and the day I started to think that we’d seen the last of it because we’d had a 90 degree day (!) several more feet of snow fell.

But I think we’ve been snow free for long enough now, that it’s safe to say we’re through with snow until the fall/winter at the end of this year.

Something interesting to me as I look back on these sketches in a “grey” (looks more periwinkle to me) paged Hahnemühle Watercolor Sketchbook, is that I don’t seem to have a working pen.

Here’s the thing—I rarely did at the time. I started the book in 2022 when I was not going out at all and didn’t bother to put fresh pens in my purse. Then as the year started and I went on errands I never really had an inclination to stop and sketch because I had so much more “to get through.” I just wanted the downsizing to be over. (I still sketched at home though.)

I’d be driving around with Dick and he would stop for gas, and then I would get out a pen and find it was the same dried up pen that hadn’t worked for me in the past, and that yes, I didn’t have a palette of colors, or if I did, the pans for most useable colors weren’t refilled—and so it went.

I found this incredibly funny, and I think you will too as you look through these journal pages. You can see it in my note taking, you can see it in my choppy lines, and my “I-don’t-care-about legibility-or-perspective” attitudinal composition. I’m laughing and working as fast as possible because Dick is going to get back into the car at any moment and all I want is to have some record of what the snow level was on the day in question.

I ended on a day in May, when things were bright and the leaves were all out—I know people tell stories of snow at the end of May and into June in Minnesota, but I realized as I made that sketch that my snow pile collection for 2022-23 was finished.

Note: Click on the main image of the gallery not the bottom toggles. When you click on the first image it will all blow up and you’ll get to see the best view of the images—to really absorb and savor all those scratchy scribbles I’m doing while laughing.

Oh, and did I mention that this winter the Subaru fan and heater decided to stop? We kept thinking we would be through with the downsizing any day, so we didn’t bother to take it in. And then someone shot out our back window with a b-b gun (fun things happen in a University neighborhood), and my car is so old that they had to special order the glass—it took 2 weeks.

Fun Fact: Did you know if you have plastic sheeting duct-taped to your shot-out car window the other cars coming up behind you on the freeway are so loud they sound like they are right on top of you; monster-truck on top of you! You have to resist the urge to jump away! 

So when you look at these sketches also realize that I was sitting in 10 degrees or less, in a winter coat, earband, and fingerless gloves, trying to see my journal page through the fog of my breath from my 1.5 lungs, as I sketched.

Laughing the whole time.

The Universe definitely understands my sense of humor.



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  1. Reply

    oh goodness Roz! Your posts always have me shaking my head in wonder…. what a climate! Here I am complaining about my -2 to 25 degree days of blue sky (sans snow piles)
    Glad you see the funny side to life’s jerkiness…tho shot our back windows would have me crying…

    stay safe and warm and I hope you get sunshine and clear skies for summer soooooon. Not to mention a pen that works

    1. Reply

      It can get pretty crazy here with the cold and the snow, but this winter was really a snowy one. More snow than I remember since the 1990s. No worries though, we’ve been “warm” since the start of May; and this past week we’ve moved into hotter weather in the 80s (Fahrenheit of course). We’re dealing with the air pollution from the Canadian wildfires now and that’s pretty bad. Some days you can’t even see the city from vantage points you used to be able to! And of course that’s bothering my breathing!

      Long ago we had some windows broken by thieves—thinking in a University neighborhood that students leave their laptops and other pawnable items in their cars (we never leave anything in ours). I insisted on getting complete glass coverage and until this recent breakage it’s been pretty much something that was fixed in 24 hours. (I remember one day I came out and could see through the yards across the alley to the next road and see broken glass at each window—the thieves had gone car to car breaking in in seconds and tossing the cars and moving on.)

      Granted this time it was a bit more inconvenient with the frigid temperatures!
      Enjoy you cool days!

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