Bourne Needs A Tugboat

Granted, there are more important issues in the world, and even in Bourne. However, the town made a critical error back in 2006, and the responsibility for fixing it falls on us.

Bourne used to have her own landmark, right on the Belmont Circle rotary. It wasn’t the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument. No, it was just humble little Tugboat, loved by all.

Somebody went out of business, someone put in a CVS… and our little tugboat was allowed to slip away. NY Central #16 (picture from the New York Times) went to the Great Canal In The Sky, and Belmont Circle has been whack ever since.

We need a new tugboat. We need to acquire it, transport it and plop that sucka right in the middle of the rotary island.

To say that a slump has hit Buzzards Bay (the Bourne village, not the body of water, which is doing fine) is being generous. Main Street has more shuttered businesses than, uhm, ah… well, let’s just say that business is not good there.

Pols and business leaders will offer explanations for this, many of which are correct. None of these explanations cover town spirit.

I am a certified expert in school spirit, as I won Most School Spirit during my high school days. Granted, I won this award because the gods blessed me with a big booming voice that can be heard over just about anything, but let’s not allow technicalities to cloud the argument or the achievement.

Buzzards Bay has no school spirit.

It is a malaise that eats to the center of the town. We are something that you drive past on your way to somewhere else.

A tugboat isn’t going to solve all of that, but it would help give us an identity, and that’s a start. We can’t recreate the old days, but we can take advantage of the fact that people grew up looking at the tugboat, and kind of miss it now that it isn’t here.

We have several options if we decide to press forward on this issue.

We could get a real tugboat. It doesn’t have to be seaworthy, or new… sh*t, it might look more authentic if it’s a bit rusty. Used ones are cheaper anyhow.

I saw one for $25K, but it actually floats and drives and all that unnecessary stuff that a rotary tugboat wouldn’t need.

There must be one sitting unused and unloved in New Bedford or Gloucester or Mystic that we could get our hands on for short green. Throw it on a flatbed, cut down a few trees and drop her right in the middle of the rotary.

I even read about a tugboat sitting in the Potomac River. It belongs to some business, and they use it for various projects involving the Pentagon. Thusly, it lives in semi-permanent anchorage in the Potomac River. The article was from 2010, so we may be too late as far as working on some sort of trade goes.

The name of the tugboat? Her name is the “Bourne.”

If that proves problematic, why not build a fake one? It’s not like she’s ever going to have to go into the water or anything, right? It would be a lot cheaper than buying or transporting the Bourne up to Bourne.

Also, building one allows us a certain creative freedom that we would not have if we needed to build the tugboat that would actually work. It can have two bows if we want, three sterns, or it could be the size of what you think of when you imagine what Noah’s Ark might have looked like. It should also have cannons, because reasons.

You could also build it without doors, so kids won’t be drinking in it and homeless people won’t be sleeping in it.

A new Tugboat would also give us an excuse to rename the high school sports teams mascot. “Canalmen” is so lame, it limps. “Canalwomen” is worse, neighboring on a metaphor for working girls. Many names would be better… among them, “Tugboats.” I’d hang that name on the Braves, too.

The bow, or one of the bows, should be aimed due East in a manner that gives it a Stonehenge effect when the sun rises on the day of the Summer Solstice. You could conceivably do the stern so the same effect is seen at the sunset of the day when the Autumn Equinox begins. That will at least get us attention.

Someone should already be working on this.

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Bourne, In The Morning… But Not This Morning

 

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Some mornings, I drive around seeking stories. Sometimes, you just have to walk a round town… or climb up on the roof of a defunct tavern, whatever works.

 

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I was going for a nice red/white/blue moyif, but the power lines make it look like the houses were fighting Spider Man.

 

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The upper northwest corner of Barnstable County.

 

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You can’t see the beach, but is at the bottom of the stairs, trust me.

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More tavern-scaling, to get the Bourne Bridge.

 

Cape Cod Summer Traffic Begins

The traffic doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I washed ashore (wrong term, I was far out on Duxbury Beach enough that a move to Cape Cod actually brought me inland some) here a dozen years ago. Part of that is me getting used to the traffic patterns. Part of it is me knowing when not to try the rotary. Part of it is the slow process of me becoming a full Cape Codder.

Either way, one thing that Cape Codders love to do is read comments on local Facebook pages on the Friday that kicks off Memorial Day weekend. You hear from everyone who got lulled into a sense of false security by the winter traffic, although that is somewhat muted this year after a lengthy Sagamore Bridge project snarled up the traffic in the spring. They try to go down to the Way Ho or to the Mezza Luna… and Whammo!

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“I gave up and turned around and said “Screw it,'” from a girl who I know well enough to say that she was leaving Onset and going to Buzzards Bay House Of Pizza. The ride normally takes five minutes, but these are not normal times, player.

“Already over this f***ng traffic!!” from another Onset resident trying to cross one of the bridges. A quick look at her Facebook page shows, an hour earlier, a much happier post with little hearts that says “Spending this beautiful day with my family on the Cape!” 

My car crawled into work at 8, and the traffic hasn’t let up all day,” said a Christmas Tree Shoppe employee.

“I might cut off some motherf**ker’s head!” Oh wait, that was me. Ever since I got the Godzilla hood ornament, I drive angrier and often fantasize about stomping on Japanese port cities.

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Bourne is a lovely town and Buzzards Bay or Sagamore are nice villages in that town. However, even nice things have flaws, and our flaw is traffic.

Both bridges cross the Canal in Bourne, and a few unfortunately-placed rotaries make it even worse. Buzzards Bay has almost 4000 souls on a good day, but they have Chicago-style traffic on bad day.

I’ll write at length about that traffic when I am angrier about it. For now, I like the traffic. It is a harbinger of future summer days. It is very much like the first snow of the year, in that I like it at first, then curse it after a few more times seeing it.

It’s a slow creep. Many June days, especially rainy ones, will have almost no traffic at all. But from this point on, any time that you try to cross one of the bridges… well, don’t say that we didn’t warn you.

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Speaking of which…

The Massachusetts State Police are reminding you to not text and drive or maybe not drive drunk or maybe just to wear your seatbelts.

They did so with a display below, where a crash test dummy who apparently was updating his Facebook failed to see some obstacle and got his neck broken like he was Teddy Pendergrass.

Sucks to be him, huh?

Setting up a “WTF is that?” display right next to the entrance into a rotary (one stuffed today with many people from states which don’t have rotaries, I might add) isn’t the safest thing ever, but State Troopers know car accidents better than I do, so the risk must be relatively low.

33602785_10156289103627510_5384740635188133888_oHey, the car was moving, it was the best shot I could get!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

SE Massachusetts Branding

Interior SE Massachusetts Nicknames…

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Inspiration for a writer comes from many places. In this case, it came from me reading a booklet while I waited for my General Tso’s chicken at Chen’s Kitchen in Sagamore Beach.

The booklet in question was the Greater Plymouth County In Your Pocket guide. It is one of those tourist books that you can read for free if you find one laying around in a stack at your local House Of Pizza. It is very similar to the Best Read Guide that you see all over Cape Cod, and may in fact be put out by the same people.

The Guide is useful to tourists because of it has a colorful user-friendly map inside. The Plymouth version has a similar map.

This map breaks Southeastern Massachusetts down into several sections, as seen below:

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Plymouth, Cape Cod and the South Shore are common regional designations. Everybody knows what you mean when you say them.

Plymouth is a town. Cape Cod is a land mass. The South Shore, which sorta looks like an East Shore to me, makes sense once someone explains it to you.

You could slip North Shore, the Berkshires, Metro West, Boston/Greater Boston and the South  Coast seamlessly into the mix, as well.

The other regions? Not so seamless…

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“Cranberry County Canal Region” is so whack that it hurts. I say this before we start to discuss how badly they are biting our style. TV wrestlers call that “gimmick infringement,” and they will punch you for real if they see you doing it.

“Cranberry County Magazine” was named by a girl named Ana Banana. We didn’t use the name at the time, as we were writing for a paper which already had a name, but it was what I went with when naming this website. Ana never got to write for the site she named, as she was institutionalized.

CCM beat out “Chowderhead Thawtz,” “Nor’easter Blues,” “Tales From The Swamp Yankee” and several others.

Our office is essentially located on a triangle point where the South Coast, the South Shore and Cape Cod meet.  We cover all three regions, and decided that it would be easier to just create a supercounty for Branding purposes.

My first instinct was not to launch a lawsuit, a state of mind which probably explains why I live in a 484 square foot house with one of the  windows taped in. I was flattered. Our supercounty made enough sense that someone else ran with it.

However, they ran too far with it. Northwestern Lakeville is closer to Boston than it is to the Cape Cod Canal. Their regional designation removes Mattapoisett, Marion and Wareham from their more valid South Coast designation. It does perform the perhaps necessary action of removing the villages of Buzzards Bay, Bournedale and Sagamore Beach from Cape Cod.

Hanson, where Ocean Spray was founded, doesn’t make it into Cranberry Country.  They instead end up in the South Shore, landlocked, 15 miles inland from any beach.

Buzzards Bay, Sagamore and Bournedale have enough cranberries to group them in with Carver and Middleboro and just drop the Canal Region part. Shoot, the Cranberry farmer picture at the top of the page was taken in Buzzards Bay.

You get a sense that the map guy was being hurried as the publication date neared, or that two people of equal influence disagreed on whether it should be Canal Country or Cranberry Country, and a compromise was reached.

Either way, whoever signed off on it should be taken out and maimed… or punched for real by Braun Strowman.

Next…

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Metro South.

I don’the know who named the South Shore. The South Coast was named by Todd Gross, a TV weatherman, most likely to shave a few syllables off of “Greater New Bedford area” during his forecasts.

Metro West was named by the former Middlesex News paper, which now bears the MW. It was suggested by reporter Greg Supernovich, and I want it on the internet somewhere that “Supernovich” which would be a pretty cool name as well.

I have not seen Metro South used anywhere but on this map.

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a cool name. I like it. It has rhythm, is catchy, plays off a successful precedent and takes less time to spit out than “the greater Brockton area.”

They have it as Brockton, the various Bridgewaters, Raynham, Whitman and Abington.

Metrowest was named to cover the metropolitan area between Boston and Worcester. This Metro South is everything between Holbrook and Middleboro.

The real Metro  South would seem to be the Quincy/Braintree/Randolph area. Brockton would be a fine southern border, but Abington, Whitman and the Bridgewaters seem to be more Cranberry.

For all I know, there is a Greater Norfolk County booklet map with the Quincy-to-Brockton part labeled as Metro South. That is a problem I can leave to some Quincy-to-Brockton writer.

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These areas do need a nickname. I get negative reader feedback if I lump Dighton  or Freetown into a South Coast article. It is difficult to work Brockton into the South Shore with Duxbury, even if they were the same town once.

Regional pride demands better nicknames. Greater Taunton and Greater Brockton would suffice, with some sort of Cranberry designation covering everything inland from the Irish Riviera. The Cranberry part would be physically large, but sparsely populated.

Plymouth, while only one town, is very large physically and her stand-alone designation works on a map.

The division of Cape Cod into regions is a whole other article… an article which cannot begin until we define Cape Cod’s western border … which is also a whole other article.

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Tuesday Night Tsunami

Heavy thunderstorms hit the New England last Tuesday. While it was not a strong storm or hurricane, there was a sharp drop in barometric pressure.

Amazingly, this produced a tsunami.

No, it was not a Big Kahuna style tsunami that you see on Hawaii Five-O trailers, nor was it an Indonesian-killing wall of water that reached 10 miles inland. To my knowledge, this tsunami, if it even reached the shore, had no discernible effects.

This was a meteotsunami, and I sure hope that I spelled that right. Unlike normal tsunamis, which are born from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or even asteroid strikes, a meteotsunami arises from atmospheric conditions.

They happen more than we think they happen. The Great Lakes get 100 of them a year, I am told. Most of them are very small, although there have been damaging ones in the past. Meteotsunamis have killed several people in Chicago within the last 100 years, and one struck Massachusetts in the last 5 years… heck, one may have struck us in the last 2 days.

Tuesday’s meteotsunami registered on as NOAA buoy off of Conneticut, and the wave ended up hitting the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The wave was 10 inches tall, not even Gary Coleman could surf it. However, it was officially a tsunami.

Did it hit New England? Not that I am aware of. New England has been hit by tsunamis before. A strong thunderstorm offshore in 2013 produced a meteotsunami, which hit both Massachusetts and New Jersey. Again, it was small, but not small enough to escape notice.

Massachusetts may also have been hit with a real tsunami of seismic origin during the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake, which put a 20 foot tsunami into parts of Canada and snapped all of the transatlantic ocean cables around here. The arrival of the tsunami in Massachusetts was unnoticeable, due to a strong Nor’easter hitting the region at the time.

They may have had a tsunami wash ashore Tuesday, I am not sure as we are going to press.

So, while it was minor, a tsunami did form in the region Tuesday night. More will come in the future.

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Cape Cod Road Trip

31404109_10156225277767510_2286550140674113536_oSome days you have ideas for a story, some days you just ride around and see what comes up.

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Bass River Bridge, above and below…

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31416727_10156225316447510_2931035182012039168_oWe also got our bad selves out to Smuggler’s Beach…in Yarmouth, home of Mattacheese.

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Docks, both great and small…

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31433659_10156225240862510_1228575064308318208_oAbove, a personal-use lighthouse at the Bass River Bridge.

31437512_10156225277717510_5390269563768143872_oLifeguard stands always look cool in the offseason.

We got in some Parker River Beach,  below…

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‘merica!31472640_10156225266957510_2169058660297211904_o31486871_10156225266942510_3882592526539948032_oStash these for Memorial Day…

31495284_10156225315362510_6640780353202028544_oI do a lot of shore photography and I have always had a weakness for curved jetties. Plymouth has a nice one, but this is Yarmouth.

31503415_10156225240902510_8518996579972022272_oBass River dock…

31505960_10156225334657510_7287034401374863360_oCottages in Yahhhmuth.

 

31518964_10156225240842510_4944410365980049408_oGood spot for the Dab Pen!

 

31398321_10156225312192510_5262918633775955968_oI am nothing if not a romantic, and will risk the creepy shot of people who don’t know I am shooting at them to bring you, the reader, a cute picture.

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Indoor pool, at the beach. There’s an indoor sand box on the hotel’s backside.

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I never tire of lighthouses, a good trait in a Cape Cod photographer.

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It is my intention to go through all of my photographs and compile enough for a book on Cape Cod wind vanes.

31403472_10156225352282510_6933487408126099456_oHad to stop at the Beach House.

31403779_10156225333512510_4135603101417603072_oSmall seawall here, strange, I need to chat up a local…

31403921_10156225334472510_8581313841017651200_oThe good part about the offseason Cape is that you can get some pretty nice beaches to yourself.

 

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Hey, that duck is from a Rehoboth article, what’s he doing here?

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Above and below, Plymouth… because we just emptying the photo gallery on the camera at this point.

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Let’s get back to the Cape…

20180429_115254“C-o-m-p-t-o-n and the city they call Long Beach…”

 

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A couple of beached boats…

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20180429_111457This looks like Captain Bob got married, had a bunch of kids and had to vastly upgrade the sea shanty.

20180429_104827How you ‘dune?

20180428_155311S’up?

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You know you hate yourself when you take behind-the-wheel pictures on suicide alley. “Suicide Allie” or some similar spelling thereof would be a great stripper name at a dive bar.

20180428_171229Rip Skull!

20180429_104546Thanks for checking us out!

Defending Donald

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Hurry down to Cumbys on Main Street in Buzzards Bay today before the deep state stormtroopers move along the LaRouche people.

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You may remember them from a few years ago in the same spot, where they had a Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache poster.

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The guy seemed nice enough, although he got told to f*ck off by a few passing cars. I don’t think anyone beat him up last time, so things should be A-OK down in Bee Bay.

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Donald can’t do it alone, which is why God made Russia. It may have been the third Fatima Secret. Stacey is our only hardcore Catholic on the staff, so I took the liberty of leaving her contact information instead of mine. “I know a guy named Courtney,” said one of the guys sympathetically, as he checked my info and deduced that he was looking at a 6’5″ Stacey.

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I don’t know what eastern Australia did to run afoul of the Larouche paradigm, but it must suck when Yemen gets invited to a party and you don’t.

My man breaks it down for you, below…

 

 

Provincetown Shipwreck

WRECK OF THE ARTEMIS

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If you know a guy who misplaced his F/V Artemis, they may have it out in P-Town.

 

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The Artemis broke free from her mooring last month, washed across the harbor and came to rest on this breakwater.

 

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The town contacted the owner, who has yet to comply with their demands that he remove the vessel from the the breakwater.

 

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She’s a bit of a fixer upper, as they say down in the scrap yard. She is no pollution threat, and has been stripped of everything except her engine and her winch.

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My people told me that he was planning on fixing it up, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  It may also be safe to assume that he hadn’t gotten around to securing the mooring.

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Race Point Light couldn’t do anything for the Artemis before she crashed, and right now isn’t looking too good, either.

 

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Few articles are lessened by the sudden, needless introduction of a purple/pink boulder.

 

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There’s another ship up on a different jetty somewhere else in town, but checking out two shipwrecks on one road trip is sort of like what World War One guys felt regarding lighting three cigarettes off of one match… a sensible man just doesn’t do it.

April Snow Monday

April is when our thoughts turn away from Winter, and turn to face the warmer weather of the upcoming  spring and summer.

However, winter isn’t quite done with us yet. After this rugged winter, and especially after the insane March that we just went through… well, don’t try selling me that Out Like A Lamb stuff.

Panic you not… this won’t be a vicious blizzard, a brutal nor’easter or a series of flood tides. This looks like one to three inches.

Call it 1 to 3 or Southern Bristol County, Southern Plymouth County and the upper Cape. The Outer Cape and the northern part of Southeastern Massachusetts will get a coating to an inch. There could be a “jackpot” area of 3-4 inches between Bourne and New Beffuh.

Is this the last storm of the season? The way this winter has gone, I would not bet on it.

There is no official science to it, but it’s usually after the Marathon when I am surprised to see snow. Most coastal residents put off any lawn repairs until mid April, lest a late season nor’easter arrive and lay waste to to their efforts.

Some late season snow info, below…

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Spring Snow History For Massachusetts

Late-season snow facts:

– According to WBZ, Boston has had snowfall of 12 inches or more after March 20th once, in 1997. More on that in a sec.  Boston has 6 instances where 6 or more inches of snow fell after March 20th. Worcester has had 12 such events.

– Spring started just before this last snowfall.

– The average date of Boston’s last snowfall is March 25th.

– The latest measurable snowfall for Boston was a half inch on May 10th, 1977. The latest we’ve had non-accumulating snow in Boston was June 10th, 1955.

This source tells me that New York and Atlanta both have the same day, in different years, for latest snowfall… April 25th.

– Most of New England had frost on August 23rd in 1816, and lake ice was seen around the Bay State into August.. This was due to the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which gave everyone red, smoky skies and drove worldwide temperatures down. New England had her corn crop fail, and all sorts of food prices skyrocketed. June snow fell in some parts of New England. It is known as The Year Without A Summer. They had one period where it went from 95 degrees to 35 degrees in a half day.

– Three late-season snowstorms stand out in our history. One was that May 10th, 1977 one from The Farmer’s Almanac. The record is a bit later in the year for the Berkshires. The other late-season trace snow events of note in our history are the ones I was yapping about up above.

– Our second storm of note was the 1997 April Fool’s Day Blizzard. Over 25 inches of snow fell on Boston, and coastal flooding tore apart the shoreline.

– Our third late-season storm of note was a 17-21 inch blockbuster that hit Worcester and areas north on April 28th, 1987.

I was a freshman at Worcester State College for that storm, and had just picked up a girl from West Boylston High School for a date… because that’s how I rolled in 1987, playboy! We went to a movie, came out, and there were 6 inches of snow on the ground. We had an Italian dinner somewhere, and there was a foot on the ground when we came out of the restaurant.

I had only been driving for a year, and had zero savvy. We nearly hit a plow when we skidded all the way down a hill on Route 9. We also drove into a drift in some guy’s yard in Berlin, Massachusetts. It ended well… the homeowner called his sons out to shove my car from the drift, and they came out single file… and each one was bigger than the last. “Don’t worry about it, just steer” is how the father replied when I offered to make Katie drive so that I could get out and help shove the car. They literally lifted my car and threw it from the drift.

I got zero (0) play from that date, too. The only time I even got a hug as when we nearly crashed into the plow, and that may have been a case where she was trying to wrestle me into a position where the plow blade hit me first. I really can’t blame her.

Anyhow, 17 inches of snow is about as much as we get that late in the year. If you get snow on your lawn after May 10th, you just saw a regional record.