Here’s the second post in the Northern vs. Southern Snow Blizzards Series, where I’ll be sharing with you my experience with the heavy snows of 2010 and 2011 in New Jersey. At that time I lived in the southern part of New Jersey, about twenty minutes from Philadelphia. Our realtor assured us that area did not see much snow, and it was not a big problem for them. However, we happened to move there when they got a historical amount of snow. After our move back to the South, their winters went back to normal, and I’m somewhat led to believe the heavy snow was just one of our curses we experienced those two years. (There were many.)
Our first experience came a week before we moved, when our painter called to let me know our driveway was covered in snow, and his crew could not get to the house. He called me again later that day to let me know they had shoveled our long driveway. They were on a tight schedule, and he did not want to get behind.
About two weeks after we moved, we received a few inches of snow over the weekend. My husband and teenage son spent an entire day shoveling our driveway, and it did take long for us to regret buying a house with a long driveway.
When Monday came around, everyone went to work and school. The picture below shows my youngest son and dog Gigi. See how small Gigi is? Well, we quickly learned, she did not like our northern move.
A week after that snow, this happened:
Once again, my husband and teenage son spent an entire day shoveling snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever embraced being a female as much as I did that day. When my dear hubby suggested I pick up a shovel also, I reminded him I was a woman raised on the beach. I was not a snow bunny when he married me, and I never wanted to be a snow bunny.
In my lifetime, I have enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, shrimping, and all sorts of outdoor activities, but going outside in this amount of snow is beyond my capabilities. In fact, I would rather be drenched in sweat and surrounded by yellow flies, sand gnats, mosquitoes, and alligators than go outside in this much snow. And that says a lot!
Most of our neighbors had snow blowers, and I got the impression that the men enjoyed what they were doing, as if they were happy they got to use their expensive toy. It was a rare treat for them.
Think this amount of snow kept everyone from going to work? No, it did not! Nothing shut down. Unlike the South where everything comes to a complete halt, New Jersey keeps on going. The snow plows quickly cleared the roads, and life went on. No snow holiday. Honestly, I was highly surprised.
When I got up the next morning, I opened the door to take Gigi out, and she took one look at the amount of snow and began to shake uncontrollably. I let out a defeated sigh and ran upstairs to change out of my pajamas and into some warm clothing and boots. I then shoveled a small, grassy area for her to go potty. Once finished, I picked her up and walked outside. She responded by relieving herself all over me.
Needless to say, I was not happy with our move. However, over time we learned to adjust. My husband soon learned to park at the very end of the driveway before the snow came so that he could quickly shovel a small path to his truck to drive to work. Remember, nothing shuts down. We also learned that you could pay a snow plow $75 to quickly plow a long driveway (no more shoveling). Gigi also got used to running to a clear spot to do her business.
I also learned how to drive in a snow storm while there. Although I had been around snow for many years, my husband never trusted his beach girl to drive any time it snowed. He was out of the country on a business trip during one of the blizzards, and I was caught in it. It took me many hours to get home, and I passed many wrecks. Once home, I was quite pleased with myself, and I taunted my husband on his Facebook page for never teaching me how to drive in the snow. You see, I don’t remember why, but I was in his truck the day of the blizzard (which was a good thing). It also meant that it would have been his vehicle damaged if I had wrecked. (Fitting, since he never taught me to drive in the snow because of his lack of faith in my driving capabilities.)
So where does this rank out of the four blizzards I listed in my first post? I would put this at number three on the list for being the most problematic. Yes, the snow was extreme, but my children were homeschooled. I stayed inside for most of it, and New Jersey seemed to always be prepared for it. If this were a ranking on how miserable I was because of the cold, I would list it as number one, because it was beyond cold living in New Jersey. Unlike the South, where you get a mix of cold and warm days during the winter, it’s just cold there.
The cold is different there also. It can be in the fifties in the South, and yet it’s somewhat warm because of the sun. I quickly learned that even in the sixties, I froze while living in the North. There was no sun, and it was windy. I had to learn how to read their weather. In the South, I can get by with a hoody when it’s in the fifties. Not so while living in the North. I’d have to wear a big, puffy coat and gloves, and I’d still be freezing. There is an amazing difference when it comes to dealing with lack of sun and lots of wind.
I have memories of my husband and I freezing while watching my son at a soccer game. We both had big coats, gloves, hats, boots, and we were wrapped in a blanket, yet we were freezing and miserable the entire game. I just wanted a hot bath so bad.
So, if you are from the North, and you think I’m a weakling, I’ll give you that. Cold is my kryptonite! Stay tuned for the next post in the series on the blizzard of 2010 that shut down New York City. You’ll be surprised at the ranking I’m giving it for being the most bothersome for me.