About the only thing I looked forward to in the Maine winter was the drama of a snowstorm, the possibility of a resulting power outage lasting a day or more notwithstanding. “Nor’easters”―cyclonic air masses that spawn off the shores of the eastern United States, wicked combinations of cold polar air and warmer ocean air―produced the best snowstorms in Gorham.
I loved the way the curtains of falling snow erased distances, eliminated property lines, bled the world of color, and wrapped the rare person afoot in town or country in his or her own private world―a gray apparition. Reducing traffic to a whisper―this as Maine’s intrepid road-maintenance crews kept streets and roads in remarkably good condition―the raging storms transformed the countryside into a 17th-century wilderness and the villages into ghostly hamlets. The mountains of snow relieved the harshness of the naked branches and limbs and exposed rock of the countryside, buried the stains and litter in the towns and cities.
As much as I liked the unfettered wildness of the snow and wind, I also enjoyed taming it, keeping it at bay, assuming the manly role of maintaining our home’s safety, comfort, efficiency, and welcome. Although never a gearhead, during and after the storms I enjoyed blasting the snow away with my new heavy-duty Sears snowblower. I cleared not only our driveway and the walkway to our front door, but much of our front and back yards, creating winter “pastures” for our four dogs so they could stretch their legs and and enjoy some room to accommodate their individual relief habits. None of us is immune.