The Silver Lining

Happy New Year Everyone! I’m a little late this week, but wanted to take New Years Day off like the rest of the world. Yesterday I had to do some snow clearing, which ended up having a few hiccups to it that caused it to take me about twice as long. By the time I finished that, it was not only late, but I was quite tired, so passed on writing. 

After all the wintry weather leading up to the Christmas Holiday, things have quieted down up here. We have had a few light snow events, but nothing major. We also have not had any major thaws, although we did sneak above the 32 degree mark a few times since things warmed up the second half of last week. The forecast does not hold much snow for us either. A storm that has so far brought over a foot of snow to some sections of NE, SD and MN is headed our way, but is growing old in a meteorological sense. Meaning that the typical flow of warm and moist air on the southern and eastern sides and the cold air on the northern and western sides have rotated around the low enough to mix with each other, which has the effect of reducing the temperature contrast that storms feed off of. Another big factor is that the upper air energy to the storm is splitting, with one piece running off to the east, while the other stalls out over the Midwest for a few more days. The loss of the upper air energy is also causing the storm as a whole to weaken.

So we look to see just a few inches of snow from a storm that might otherwise bring us over a foot. There also is no big dump of cold air behind the low, so we will not see any lake effect snow occur in it’s wake. There are times when we might miss out on the heaviest system snow, but make up for it with a solid dose of lake effect. No such luck this time. To further toss salt into the snow lovers wound, the pattern beyond this storm looks unusually quiet for January. No meaningful low pressure systems and the air will remain too warm to produce any lake effect, so we currently look to see less than a few inches of snow fall from Thursday of this week through Thursday or maybe even all of next week.

Needless to say, I am not particularly thrilled about this forecast. I am still a snow lover and actually am gaining back some love for snow that was lost over the past few seasons when I just was not feeling good at all. Plus, moving to the lowest snow area in the entire Keweenaw does not help matters much. We still have around 10″ on the ground, but the big snow areas of the Keweenaw still have around 2 feet.

As anyone who has been following this site and my adventures through life will attest to, I am a glass is half full kind of guy. That’s not to say that I don’t have my moments of feeling negative. I actually have been diagnosed with a form of PTSD from all of my health issues through my life and it has caused me to also be diagnosed with depression. I do take a med that helps with both the PTSD and depression and am getting hooked up with some Dr’s at the Mayo who hopefully will be able to help me even more, but back to the bright side…

The warm up late last week did help un-thaw the chute on Big Red’s snowblower attachment. It was put to use pretty aggressively during the snows leading up to Christmas. In fact, here is a picture of Big Red under the blanket of white Christmas Eve morning. Here is a shot of Nora digging out her vehicle that same morning. Oh how I love mornings like that! Anyway, I went to use Big Red late last week to clear snow from the driveway of some neighbors who were out of town and went to change the direction of the snow being thrown by the blower and the chute would not budge. Normally Big Red gets to sit inside her heated garage in the shop, but because of the evacuation of the old house in anticipation to the move to the new house, her nice warm home is full of house stuff!

So the chute was frozen in the direction to throw the snow to the right. It was not a major issue, more of a nuisance. However, at the time, I was not 100% certain that it was frozen and not a more serious issue being the cause for the reason why it would not pivot. The little warm up did confirm that it was just frozen and so far it has managed to remain unfrozen. I suppose if it happens again, I may try and get just the blower unit into the heated garage or maybe take it to a neighbors garage to thaw out.

Another bright spot to the current weather situation is that we are not dealing with bitter cold. Even at night, temps are dropping only to the mid to upper 20’s. A tradition in the Dee household is to go outside to celebrate the new year. We do not spend all evening out there like folks in other places in the UP, the US or the world. Just the final minute or two of the outgoing year and a minute or so of the new year. The brevity of the time outside is mainly due to the fact that the typical midnight on December 31st brings single digit or even below zero temps. Not this year! It was a balmy 29 degrees and even snowing. So we did spend a little more time outside and Grace even lit off a few fireworks to ring in the new year

The third good thing to the weather we are in has more to do with the forecast than previous weather. Outside of the few inches of snow for tonight through Thursday, the quiet weather will be a real help to the builders who appeared yesterday to start working on our new house! They did spend most of the day clearing the snow off the slab foundation and folding up the tarps that sat on top of the foundation since they had poured back in early November. Here is a shot of the state of the build site yesterday evening after they had left for the day. The garage is immediately in the foreground on the right, with the house stretching from the left hand side of the pick to the center of the pic. 

Today they arrived, along with the house…some assembly required! I did not get over there before the sun set today to see what they did, although no walls are standing yet, so I’m guessing they were marking for the mud sills for the exterior walls. Nora and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon down at the builders center picking out things like an entry door, siding, roofing and a few other things. It’s so exciting to have the process started back up and a week earlier than we had thought! I suppose the joy of seeing the guys show up yesterday has kept me from being too upset about the weather situation. It’s going to be so cool to see the walls go up, then the roof and then the interior walls, electrical…etc.

We really are pretty comfortable living in the apartment and feel very fortunate to have it to live in, but I don’t think any of us will miss the 20+ steps needed to get up to the apartment and the single shower for the three of us. I’m looking really forward to silly things like being able to keep my vehicle out of the weather for the first time since we lived in Lake Linden and a nice big shower for two! Of course my commute will get longer and will require boots and a jacket in the wintertime, but those are sacrifices I am willing to make!

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful entry into the new year. I don’t like the look of 2023 as much as 2022 for some silly reason, but I have a gut feeling it is going to be one of the best years the Dee’s have had in a long time! I hope the same for all of you as well! Blessings and…

Good Night From the Keweenaw..