I’ve never been affected by the weather. My husband can’t take the heat. My mother can’t take deal with rain. My grandmother hates the snow. Since I’ve lived in twelve different states over the course of my live, from Alaska to California, I have always been able to adapt to the weather at hand. Whether cold or warm, it has never bothered me.
I have spent the majority of my life on Long Island. I was born in Queens, lived in Nassau County until I was four, then moved to Brookhaven Hamlet in Suffolk County, where I stayed with my family until I left for college in 1994. After college, I was here briefly from 1998 – 1999, then finally settled back for good in 2004. In all the years that I have lived here, I have never experienced a winter this horrible.
We have been hit with nine major winter storms since December 21, 2010. The snow from the original storm never had the chance to melt, so there is close to three feet of snow on the ground. Mounds of snow that have been plowed measure over six feet tall in my neighborhood. There has been a thin sheet of ice over the roads and driveways everywhere in my area. As a matter of fact, my mother spun out turning into our driveway and took out our mailbox, causing over $600 worth of damage to her car. It’s awful.
My driveway is extremely steep. Since we have three cars, my car is the one that ends up in the steepest part of the driveway. It has grown increasingly difficult to get my car up the driveway. Once, even after I parked it, it slid down the hill and ended in the middle of the street. Fortunately, I saw it happen from my window and was able to clear the street before it caused an accident.
The snow blowers are close to being ineffective. Because the snow is so wet (a term we use on Long Island to describe when snow is just about to be slush), it jams the snow blower. Rather than removing snow from the driveway and sidewalks, we have to remove the snow from the inside of the snow blower. Using the machine seems to take twice as long as using a regular snow shovel.
Every cloud does have a silver lining. As the owner of a travel agency, I have never seen an increase in my business during the month of January. New clients call my office on a daily basis, asking for a vacation “somewhere warm” as soon as possible. Long Islanders have had enough of the cold and the snow, and just want to go away. I have booked people to places that they have never been before: St. Lucia, Santo Domingo and even Grenada.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. With all of the winter weather, flight schedules are delayed, interrupted and even canceled. Travelers scramble to get to their destination or just get home. Major airports, including the two big ones in the New York area (La Guardia and John F. Kennedy) and the one on Long Island (MacArthur), shut down, stranding passengers. The worst complaints from people that have layovers on their way home, and get stranded at the interim airport. If you are flying, be sure to check with your travel agent and/or airline before leaving to go to the airport.
The truly unfortunate part about the snow is that it is more of a menace than anything else. Sure, it makes Long Island look absolutely beautiful – like something from a Courier and Ives card – but it is so deep that you can’t have any fun in it. My three year old twins are too frightened to go in the snow, as unshoveled parts go up to their armpits, making it impossible to move. The snowbanks are even taller than I am at 5’9″, so the shoveled sections of the deck and the driveway seem like alleys with snow and ice walls.
In the 30 years that I have lived in Brookhaven Hamlet, I have never experienced a winter as brutal as this. And, unfortunately, the storms just keep coming.