Walking in a Winter Wonder…WHAT?!

When: Saturday, October 29, 2011
Where: Princeton, NJ
What: …SNOW

And lots of it! Now this is something I would expect to happen in Wisconsin at this time of year, but certainly not in New Jersey. I can recall a handful of not-so-fun memories of going trick-or-treating with a winter jacket and boots on and treading through the snow around the neighborhood (hey, we did whatever it took to get some candy!). I kind of have a feeling that Mother Nature just didn’t want us to enjoy fall as apparently winter is already upon us and November just got here (as you can probably see, my timeliness with blog posts is…well…less than desired. I’m working on that).

The snow started in the morning and it just seemed to be a light dusting at first. I distinctly remember saying to people throughout the late morning “Well, it’s coming down as slushy snow right now, but it’s not sticking to the ground at all so I highly doubt it will actually accumulate.” Spoke too soon. By noon the cars parked out in front of my building had a healthy layer of heavy, wet snow on them. Everything looked very picturesque from my kitchen window–which looks out over a main road in Princeton–and only once did I think about putting Christmas music on…but then I quickly remembered that, oh, right, IT’S OCTOBER.

I stayed around my apartment for most of the day and, around 5pm, got a hankering to take a walk (Don’t ask…I think it’s a I’m used to walking in inclement weather, so bring on the snow! thing). I bundled up and ventured out into the blowing snow to slowly saunter over to the library. I think I passed more broken branches lying on the ground than I did people. Heavy snow and ancient Princetonian trees are not a good combination; branches were coming down left and right! Not to mention that the snow was also falling off the trees just as I happened to be walking underneath them, which often prompted me to let out a “D’oh!”  

People may have thought I was a snowman by the time I made it to the library (ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration). I had enough snow on me that it began to drip off the brim of my hat when it started to melt…not good when you’re looking at a book that’s not yours. Water and books don’t play nice. Five minutes after I got there, the announcement came on that the library was closing in 15 minutes. Well, this was a short-lived trek. I quickly grabbed two books and made my way out, but was not quite ready to head back yet.

Hmm, where does one go with nothing but a cell phone, keys, two books, and $3? Answer: a coffee shop. I had just enough cash for a tea (Organic Scarlet…yum!) at Small World. Win. (PS: that is a downed tree on Witherspoon Street in Downtown Princeton on the left in that photo…this was an unforgiving snowfall no matter where you were)

By the time I finished my tea, it was already dark out (and, you guessed it, still snowing) and I had a costume party to get ready for. After all, it was Halloween weekend. I’m not actually sure how much snow we got, but it was enough that the plows emerged later Saturday evening and I had to get it off my car machete-style, which I can only imagine was a hilarious sight for any passerby. Because trying to hold an umbrella in one hand and balance on an uneven, snowy surface while scraping off wet, heavy, icy, snow with the other hand is…well, that’s just a calamity waiting to happen. Note to self: scrape snow off car midday in normal clothes; not at 10:30pm in your Halloween costume.

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