Extreme Snow

Janet and I (and Cara’s Todd, it turns out) have been caught in a near record-breaking Washington, DC, snowfall. I’m sure this is not a surprise; it’s made the news, but something this big cannot be ignored!

Those of you who live in places where snow is commonplace may not realize the significance of a 30 inch snowfall in Washington, DC (in my Virginia area we only managed 27 inches). We ususally get only one or two snowstorms a year and two or three inches of snow brings us to a crashing halt. Thirty inches in paralyzing.

Here’s the view from my bedroom window Saturday. We still had more snow to come.

And the same view Sunday afternoon after we were almost dug out. That’s my husband, who is 5’11” reaching up to clean the car.

Our front stoop and sidewalk are untouched.

We have not ventured out yet, but the roads remain so bad that the Federal Government is closed. (This is a very big deal here.) Amtrak between New York and DC is halted; planes aren’t flying; buses aren’t running. The only public transportation is the metro subway underground, not above.

We’re the lucky ones. We still have one gallon of milk left and plenty of toilet paper. Thousands are without heat, including some friends of ours who live near Mount Vernon.

Which brings me to the fact that this is not a record breaking snowfall. The unofficial record of 35 inches goes back to January 28, 1772, before official records were kept. How do we know that the snowfall that date was 35 inches? Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson record it in their diaries.

It’s not all hardship, though. Thanks to Facebook, two thousand gathered in Dupont Circle in DC for a Community Snowball fight.

I went on a search for Regency era snow pictures (to make this relevant to Risky Regencies). I found two. This first one is the Liverpool Mail, dating a bit later in the 1830s.

The second is from 1804 (earlier) called: The Neglected Daughter: An Affecting Tale.

This shows what happens to daughters who stray (i.e. have babies out of wedlock)

Are you in the “snow” area? How much did you get? If you were me, would you wish you were stranded in Florida, like my friend, Darlene Gardner? Do you like or hate the snow?

Check my website for new announcements and on how to order Regency High Society Affairs, Vol 12, featuring my second book, The Wagering Widow.

Happy Shoveling!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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12 years ago

My goodness. We don’t get snow in our part of California. Very very rarely there’s some snowfall (Over the last 15 years, once every 5 years, before that, once.)

I’m cold just looking at those pictures!

Jane Austen
12 years ago

We got about a foot of snow where I live, but I spent the weekend at my parents’ house and they only got about an inch. Quite a difference for only being an hour apart.

12 years ago

Wow. I’d say I like snow but must confess that I’ve never actually lived in it, aside from a short stint in Yellowstone, which I think hardly counts. What amazing scenery. I loved the giant snowball fight. It says a lot for the human spirit and the ability to take lemons and make lemonade. I don’t imagine you want to hear about sunny weather and temps in the beautiful 60s…

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Having lived in England and Germany for extended periods of time I have had quite a bit of experience with snow. Some pleasant, some not. We haven’t had a major snowstorm in Alabama, in my are at least, since 1993 – the year I rode the horse to town for groceries. I hope we don’t have snow like you are having O Divine One. My horse passed away at the age of 26 in 2000 and I don’t think my dogs will pull a dogsled!

Here we are just plain cold! Yuck!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
12 years ago

We got nothing here in New York. I was quite surprised since they had been predicting anything from an inch to more. The most snow that I’ve seen was probably in 1993 and 1996 when the city was covered for days.

Janet Mullany
12 years ago

I’ve just been for a walk in the neighborhood. The sky is bright blue and it’s absolutely beautiful outside. People are still digging out. I may be one of the few people enjoying it, though!

Beth Elliott
12 years ago

The picture of the Liverpool Mail coach with the horses disappearing up to their bellies in snow made me think of my cat. We had ten inches of snow here [South-East England] recently. The cat rushed outside and then just could not understand why he couldn’t walk ON it!! His tail stuck up like a periscope as he battled over to the hedge. I dug him a little trench to help. My first married home was in Erzurum, eastern Turkey, where we had six feet of snow from October to April each year. After five years of that, you’d think I’d find ten inches nothing at all but I just hate the stuff. Let’s hope Spring and sunshine come soon.

Cara King
12 years ago

Stay warm, Diane!!!

Louisa, I SO want to see you with a dogsled. I’ll join you with my useless catsled (“naptime! again!”) and race you… 😉


Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Cara, now that would be a sight to see! However, my dogs might not do much better than your cats! These days they tend to move from heater to heater where they stretch out like a teen on a tanning bed and don’t move for hours!

I have dogs that stand by the door and WAIT to have their coats put on before they go outside!

Jane Austen
12 years ago

Cara and Louisa, I have a very energetic Siberian Husky who would LOVE to pull you on a sled. Please note though that huskies can only go 45 miles per day. They were made for endurance not speed. She will expect to be paid in peanut butter

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

I’ve just been out in it! The roads are good and bad. Around our neighborhood there’s been no plowing and even on the more major roads there are long stretches that are covered in packed snow a couple of inches thick. I just dug out my front steps and sidewalk so I’m feeling very virtuous (and exhausted :-))

Carolyn and Judy, what can I say but Hmmph!!!! Wish I was there! No, truthfully, there’s much I enjoy about it, like Janet. It is a truly beautiful day today. Clear blue skies, fresh crisp air and white snow covering all the dirt.

When we were out my husband said he felt like he was on top of a wedding cake!

O Doggie One, I can just see you riding to the grocery store! But I feel sad that your horse is no longer with you. When I lived in Alabama, I hardly ever wore a winter coat to school, just a big sweater (mostly because you couldn’t stuff a winter coat into a locker you shared with someone else.

Jane Austen and Elizabeth, my neighbor drove to NYC on Friday and came back yesterday. They said the snow didn’t reach up to North Jersey. (they had a fabulous time, too, and their son was stuck with all the digging out!)

Beth, remind me not to live in Turkey! I know England had its own terrible storm this year and I believe your roads were worse than ours!

Jane Austen, my neighbor has a St. Bernard who is in 7th Heaven with this snow.

Cara, I’ll have my cats race your cats and Louisa’s dogs!

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Well I have definitely been wearing a winter coat the past few weeks. Not every day, but more often than not. And now they are predicting we may have snow accumulations this weekend! I may have to get another horse.

I truly miss Taz, O Divine One. I had him for over 24 years and even the late DH who was not crazy about horses loved him. Taz was half quarter horse and half Tennessee walker. He was very much like a big dog and used to attend our barbecues and get in trouble for stealing potato salad and beer. If he wanted you off he merely ran under a tree and knocked you off, but he plodded around the pasture for hours with my three year old nephew on his back.

We’re coming up with our own Iditarod here. Although we might have to call it the Ipetirod.

12 years ago

Hi All,

The latest is that I am supposed to fly out tomorrow afternoon. This morning I changed my flight for tomorrow to an earlier flight, and then a few hours ago I got a notice that my original flight was cancelled! But so far my new flight is still listed.

If this goes on I may need a dogsled. There is supposed to be more snow tomorrow night!


Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Todd, perhaps we can hitch your cats, my dogs and cats, the Divine One’s cats AND Jane Austen’s husky to a sled and get you home.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Todd, I hope you escape before the next 12 inches fall!

Louisa, my cats are ready. At this moment they are conserving their strength for the ordeal.

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

My male cats conserve strength at Olympic medalist levels. My sole female cat is like a Tasmanian devil on caffeine. We’ll let her be the lead dog, er cat.

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

Federal government is closed again tomorrow, as are all the schools. And 10 to 20 inches are forecast by Weds night.

Get the cat sled ready!

12 years ago

It slid just north of us. We go about 3 inches, but that is mostly gone. Our daughter lives 50 miles away in Asheville, N. C. and has gotten much more than us from each snow. Another is headed our way,and yours, but only time will tell whether we get much from it. I grew up on the Canadian border in New York. We now live in NE TN. I really miss the winters. Until I see news of the blizzards. Oddly enough, my Dad says they have little snow this year.

Megan Frampton
12 years ago

We are bracing for a storm tomorrow, and my Loyola-going cousin (in Baltimore) came to NYC last weekend instead of getting snowed in with her roomies.

She was kinda bummed, tho, since she’s a college student, and that kind of thing is an adventure for her, not a hardship like it can be for us grown-ups.