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river breakup

driveway ice

bare roads

These aren’t January scenes. Not here. It is midwinter, and it is bleak. But it’s nothing close to normal. Glassy-slick driveways, river ice break-ups, morning mist–these are scenes we generally don’t see until late March, sometimes even April. In Northern Maine, January is generally a time of snow, cold, sledding, skiing, hot cocoa.

morning mist

This year has been different. We’ve had two ice storms in the last three weeks, and while neither caused a great deal of damage to infrastructure, the storms and ensuing temperatures in the 30’s left roads like ice arenas for days on end, and town public works crews struggling to keep up, to keep safe. The small boy and I were stranded on icy roads last weekend, requiring rescuing by my dashing husband, and I’ve since vowed that there will be no more ice driving in my future. Afterschool Nordic skiing has been cancelled; skiing on ice is difficult and treacherous. We’ve been warned of potential flooding due to ice jams on local rivers and streams.

We’re moving a bit slowly here, unaccustomed to the warmth (it really does feel and smell like spring), uncertain of our footing, checking the weather forecasts and black ice warnings repeatedly. And while it feels lovely on the one hand, and has me dreaming of gardens and green grass, mostly it feels foreign. I think we’d all welcome some seasonable weather, and in this house, we’re hoping for snow.

We might even be doing snow dances.

still and quiet

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