Wednesday, February 5, 2014


First, let's debunk a myth.

The Eskimos, not a single cultural group, but a collection of many tribes, scattered throughout the polar regions, do not have a large number of words for 'snow.' They actually have about the same number of words to describe the icy precipitation as we do. (More on that later)

A study of the Sami language of Norway, Sweden and Finland, however, reveals that the language has around 180 snow and ice related words and as many as 1000 different words for reindeer.

Well, as the winter of 2013-2014 drags on, I'm quite sure we have many words to describe snow, but I'll just let you fill them in on your own.

Today's offering here in northeast Pennsylvania featured several inches of s #&%$y (that's Sami language) snow overnight, followed by a thick coating of ice that, in some areas, accumulated to nearly an inch on top of the snow. My dogs tiptoed gingerly on the icy crust, occasionally plummeting through to the snow below, now measuring well over 16 inches, thanks to this week's two storms.

Electricity and cable services were interrupted, and digging out was a challenge, thanks to the heavy water content in the snow. (not sure what you call that)

A four mile run on soggy streets was interesting. In addition to the occasional head shakes, clenched fists, and 'get off the road' hand gestures, I was, gleefully, I suspect, pelted with cold, grey slush, as cars slogged through it, and my pace was groundhog-like.

It was a typical winter maintenance day. A day to increase the heart rate, move the legs, and to return home safely.

Bitter cold days are ahead, with the chance of more snow on Sunday.

Words, in any language, cannot describe how I feel about that.

                                                                     Ruby on Ice