Tag Archives: snow

In a deep and dark December

Mrs. Poolman and I are staying home this Christmas season. Both our children live here in town, so the most important family is right here.

This is Mrs. P’s year to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It takes a lot of the merriment out of her holiday. Unfortunately, they can’t just send those preemies and other sick babies home with their parents and tell them to bring them back on the 26th.  I’ll take care of Christmas dinner and hand her a vodka & tonic when she walks through the door around 7:30 pm Christmas evening. It won’t make up for having to work the holidays, but it will ease the unhappiness slightly.

We did make a trek north to visit some of my family in Pittsburgh earlier in the month. My father lives there, along with my youngest sister. We picked up another sister, Maggie, along the way and my brother, Dave, and his wife drove over from Mechanicsburg for the weekend. So Dad had four of his five children there for the weekend. The missing sister had visited just the week before.

We arrived in Pittsburgh just as the day-long rain was turning to sleet and ice.

This is the front of my Dad's townhouse. Brrrr!

This is the front of my Dad’s townhouse. Brrrr!

My car is not used to snow.

My car is not used to snow.

By Pennsylvania standards, this was not even a minor inconvenience, but Mrs. P and I were reminded of how happy we are to live in coastal Georgia. I am really glad that many of the people who live in the northern states enjoy it there. Otherwise, things would sure get crowded down here.

Pets, snow and the BCS

We had a pretty quiet weekend. Two of our pets, Casey the Lab and Penny the Fearless, underwent surgery on Friday. Casey had a growth removed from his right-front paw, and Penny was spayed and declawed (front only.) Casey came home shortly after the surgery on Friday, but Penny was held overnight, so we picked her up on Saturday.

Both did very well. With the help of pain medication, the two of them spent most of Saturday curled up together on a pallet in front of the fireplace.

And people still ask us if our dogs and cats get along. Ya think?

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I had originally planned to be in Atlanta for three days this week for the governor’s inauguration, the opening of the legislature and a Board of Regents meeting. Five to eight inches of snow sure changed those plans. It’s just as well. Now I have three open days I hadn’t planned on to get some things done.

We are cold and rainy here, but, fortunately, no signs of snowfall. Just as well — an inch of snow in coastal Georgia would shut the region down until spring.

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The college football season ends tonight. Then we face a seven and a half month drought until the next kickoff. We’ll have the NFL to hang on to for a few more weeks. We’ll be rooting for the Auburn against the “fighting ducklings” in the BCS championship game tonight. As much as I have trouble believing that Auburn’s QB Cam Newton is really as naïve and innocent as his family tries to make out, we’ll pull for the SEC standard bearer – for better or worse. Let’s make it five SEC national champs in a row!

A great visit

We had a great visit with some family this week. Of all the relatives on my side of the Poolman family, we are really only in regular touch with my father’s two siblings and their families. The sister, “C”, lives in Pittsburgh. She and Uncle J have five children, just like my parents. Since childhood, my siblings and I have probably been closer to that family than any other relatives. Dad’s brother, “D,” and his family live in Atlanta, and in recent adulthood, the Savannah branch (Poolman) have grown closer to them. However for most of our childhood they were geographically distant.

For Aunt C and Uncle J, Hilton Head Island is their regular vacation spot. They usually come down for a week or two in the summer and a couple of weeks in the winter. We are very flattered that they always want to visit with us as part of their vacation. We have had some great visits both in Savannah and on Hilton Head over the years.

This year, they wanted to come to Savannah along with their friends and vacation buddies, Tom and Jerri. I took a half-day off work Monday and Mrs. Poolman cleaned and cooked in prep for their visit. We took them out to Tybee Island and then returned tour house for extensive visiting and dinner. Poolboy and his GF joined us, as did Writer Princess and Son-in-Law.

It was a great time had by all. They are a lively, funny and rambunctious group. Uncle J is a great story teller. Aunt C is so admired, that it’s a bit of a family joke; for Mrs. Poolman and other females of the family,  Aunt C is the person they want to be “when they grow up.” Tom and Jerri fit the same mold. Not a dull moment. I hope I’m still as much a social-party animal when I’m at or approaching 80.

Uncle J did tell one story that made me wonder “What the heck is going on here?” Like most of the northeast, the Pittsburgh has been hit with massive snowfalls this winter. The weekend before Christmas (actually when I was up there visiting), Jack fell and dislocated a finger while out shoveling snow.

So I asked him this week, “What in heavens name, is a guy who is nearly 80 years old doing out shoveling his driveway? Can’t you hire a neighborhood kid to do that?”

The answer – “No!”

They live in an upscale suburban neighborhood. Apparently there are plenty of teen aged kids around, but none of them have any desire to get out and earn some extra money by doing a little manual labor. Their parents provide them with so much spending money, they have no need to get out and work up a sweat.

I’m sure Uncle J would be more than happy to pay a kid $20-30 (or whatever the going rate would be) to shovel/blow his driveway and walk  — maybe an hour’s work or less. Multiply that by a few more customers, and a teen could pocket $100-150 for a few hours work. “No, thanks. Don’t need it.” That’s sad.

No snow, pricey eats and a decent flick

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, without a speck of snow to be found. This was a big disappointment to some folks in our neighborhood who were looking forward to a once-every-ten-years-or-so snowfall. The area west of Savannah got an inch or two, but we live to the east, closer to the ocean. We got a little sleet Friday night, but that was it. No Frosty the Snowman or Olympic bobsledding in our area. No hills either, so the sledding wouldn’t have worked anyway.

Mrs. Poolman and I celebrated St V’s day with reservations at Ele’s, a relatively new and very upscale restaurant in our section of town. We had been holding on to a gift certificate that Poolboy had given us for Christmas. The restaurant, Ele’s, was good, but I’m not sure it was worth the hefty price tag. I had a filet and lobster tail. The steak was good, but frankly, I did a better job with the lobster tails I cooked on New Years Eve. Ele’s normal menu is a little pricey for suburban Savannah, but this weekend, they had a special menu, and the prices were even higher. (A typical entrée was $35-60. The “dinner for two” special was $149.) In our little section, we saw two groups who were seated, and after they looked at the menu, got up and left. I’ve never seen that before. I hope the restaurant does well, but they may be pricing themselves out of the market.

We went home and ordered up the movie “A Time Travelers’ Wife” from On-Demand. Mrs. P and I both read the book a few months ago. (See my thoughts on the book here.) (November 3)

We really liked the movie, just as we liked the book. However, I think this is a movie for which it definitely helps if you have read the book first. As the main character, Henry, pops in and out of time, I’m not sure I would have been able to keep track of which Henry was on the screen, if I didn’t already know story from the book. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it could have been better. Read the book first, and then enjoy the flick.

Humbug to winter!

If I ever had any thoughts that maybe I am missing out on that “winter wonderland” thing by living in Savannah, I was thoroughly dissuaded this past weekend.

I took a quick driving trip to visit my father and Youngest Sister (and family) in Pennsylvania. I picked up Middle Sister in South Carolina along the way. Mrs. Poolman couldn’t rearrange her schedule, so she stayed home and took care of the critters.

I drove to SC on Wednesday afternoon and Middle Sis and I took off Thursday morning for Pittsburgh. The weather was great, bright and sunny the entire way. MS and I talked the entire way, so the eight hour drive went quickly.

We had a good time visiting. While we were busy enjoying family, a major winter storm was wreaking havoc, mostly to the south and east of us. After dinner Friday evening, I took off for a Christmas party given by an old friend (same friend that we visited in NYC in September.) Randi put on a great party and I had a chance to reconnect with a number of old friends. I stayed to help clean up, along with several neighbors and some of the hostess’ friends who were staying at her house. When I walked out to leave, there was about two inches of snow on the ground. I knew I was in trouble when I found myself sliding down the road on the ice. When I was brushing the snow and scraping the ice off my car, I had to hang on to keep from sliding down the hill. I was parked facing uphill. I got about 50 feet and no more. So I hiked back up to Randi’s house and asked if she had a spare couch for a stranded traveler.

The next morning certainly was “winter wonderland.”

My car Saturday morning.

Actually, this is pretty.

Ooo, it's cold outside!

I’ve always told Mrs. Poolman, that heavy snowfalls may be beautiful, and can be enjoyable, as long as you don’t have to go anywhere.

Eventually the road crews came along with plows and salt and I was able to make it back to family, first to my sister’s and later to my Dad’s. What a pain in the rear!

Clear roads?

The plan was to drive back on Sunday. We were trying to get weather information from The Weather Channel, but surprisingly, they weren’t much help. They were so focused on the progress of the storm through the Northeast, especially DC, NYC and Boston, they barely mentioned anything in the rest of the country.

Bad berries to you, Weather Channel! You’ll get nothing but coal and switches in your stocking later this week.

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny.

The view off Dad's driveway.

Absolutely beautiful! After giving just enough time for the sun to work a little magic, we decided to chance fate and take off. The first half of the trip, especially through West Virginia was very picturesque, and fortunately the roads were mostly clear.

Somewhere in West Virginia.

The trip was uneventful. Again, MS and I talked the entire way and the time flew by.

All told, it was a good trip, with a short, but enjoyable family visit. For the future, I think I’ll keep myself in the south between December and March. For those of you who live through that all winter, I hope you enjoy it, because if you don’t the South doesn’t have room for all of you!