Day 43/365: New England Blizzard

Day 43: Snowy Red Barn, Ellington, CT

Winter storm Benedict brought a record snowfall to the State of Connecticut. I was lucky to be there when I was to remember great snows of my childhood which brought back memories of snow forts, snowball fights, and sledding at Wickham Park.

New England snow is different than Nebraska snow. It is softer, gentler, and quiet. Even though Benedict was officially called a blizzard. Compared to Nebraska storms, Benedict was a whisper.

I spent several hours shoveling snow in the driveway, and enjoyed it. There wasn’t a 50 mph wind cutting through me, and the temperature was almost a balmy 27 degrees with a slight breeze of maybe 10-15 mph. A vast difference from most shoveling conditions in Nebraska when the temperature is in the teens with 50 mph winds.

Bowing to my middle aged years I took several breaks, took pictures of the birds in the backyard, and just let memories linger. As I entered the “plow ridge” at the bottom of the driveway I paused.

Here was another difference. In Nebraska the street plows wait until the snow stops before getting to the residential areas. If a plow had come by my Mom’s once, they came by at least a dozen times pushing and packing snow at the bottom of the driveway. The streets looked good and passable, if you could get out.

As I paused to start the heavy lifting a pickup with a blade drove by, I glanced and nodded. He stopped, asked if I would like the bottom pushed out, and I smiled and gave the thumbs up. In less than two minutes the bottom was clear. Turns out, he was the son of a neighbor two houses down and 45 years later I meet  Bobby Milton. A name I hadn’t heard in many many years. I didn’t know him, and he didn’t remember me, but he was probably 10 years older and into racing cars when I was in elementary school. But when I mentioned his Great Dane, Xeno he smiled and said, “You really did grow up here.”

He then went across the street and pushed out another neighbors driveway where a nine year old boy had been shoveling for several hours. It was a random act of kindness, one of several in the week I will remember.