24 October 2005


Why is this a bad time to try and move out of the NE? Because all the leaves on the trees are falling (actually most are already gone since they started in August), and we had our first snow Saturday night. My driveway involves a VERY LARGE hill with several curves. It is not especially long for this area, but it is far from your standard suburban driveway. There are many evenings when the little car doesn't make it up the hill in the snow (even though the driveway has been plowed and we have sand barrels all the way up), and the key to last year's partial success was chains. I have to use snow chains to get up my own driveway.

When K and I closed on this house in late March a few years ago, we drove 14 hours as a two vehicle caravan and arrived here to snow. It was just a little snow, and the majority of the winter pack had melted off the driveway since it had recently been plowed. Our second day, it warmed up and the snow in town disappeared. The third day, our moving day, was cold and windy. We showed up at the lawyer's office to sign all the paperwork, and while we sat there signing 4000+ pieces of paper, it began to snow again. I've never been so devastated to see those flakes. By the time we finished up and drove to the house, there was probably 1 1/2" on the driveway. K, having learned to drive in a snow-prone environment, felt that this should not be a problem. So he tries to get the large rental truck up the driveway. No go. He tries to back the truck up the driveway. No go.

After much cursing and yelling and sociable differences of opinion, we decide that the available solution is to put the pickup in 4WD and get at least some things up to the house since we have nowhere else to stay. We use a state pull-off to park the gigantic truck towing our car (probably not legal since the plows are running), and head back in the pickup to unload some things. Success! Then we try to leave, and the pickup gets stuck. In the snow. Just off the driveway. We have no shovel, no sand, no means of moving the pickup. And the car is full of junk, still hooked to the big truck, a little over a mile up the road.

The story goes on, but I'll leave it at us unloading the big truck just barely in our driveway, one pickup load at a time and ferrying everything (including appliances) up the hill and then into the house. This was not a pleasant experience and one I've sworn to myself I wouldn't repeat. But. It is starting to snow. And we're still here. I do not want to be here until May next year.

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