The temperature peaked at 60° yesterday. Sixty! Holy crap. It had been snowing for the previous 3-4 days. We were up to about 10 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon. And now we’re in an unseasonable warming reversal. And from what I’m seeing through Weather Underground, we’re not supposed to see a high below the freezing point anytime in the next ten days. Although to be accurate, there are going to be several days in that time period when the daily lows will be in the teens and twenties, so we’re definitely not due for t-shirts and shorts quite yet. This isn’t Texas after all.
Even so, I would definitely say it’s been a snowy winter. Most years I only drag out the snowblower a couple of times, but this year I think I had it out almost six times since November. Certainly to the point where I actually had to refill my gas cans so I could keep it running. It worked like a champ as well, thirty-one years after buying the old girl from the Red Hook Agway. I still remember when I got it, just before a big storm at my parent’s house. I didn’t feel comfortable trying to drag out Dad’s Gravely, so I went to the Agway and bought the floor model. They managed to deliver it that evening and the following morning there was 15 inches of snow to remove. Cranked it right up and it’s been working every since.
Having witnessed what Texans have been enduring with their utility bills, I’m grateful I live where I am, even thought the taxes can be somewhat high at times. Where I live we have a local electrical co-op, so it keeps the utility bills reasonable. When my wife and I lived on Keuka Lake in the 1990s, towards the end of our stay New York State deregulated the electrical business, and in the beginning we got double shafted (or so it seemed) because NYSEG (New York Electric & Gas) didn’t have any competition yet, so they had the lion’s share of customers. Where before 1998 you received one bill for generation and delivery of your electricity, after deregulation you received two. And the new bills added up to way more than the old ones. For the simple reason that when you’re generating a new bill, there are extra taxes added on, so you end up paying for many of the costs twice. Which was really, really unfair. But since deregulation was new, and no other companies were in your area, you were stuck.
I think in the end, just before we moved at times we were paying almost $700-800 in electric bills. And since we heated our rented house with fuel oil, there was a further $250-300 for filling that tank every 45 days or so. Even though it sucked moving from there, where we’re living now isn’t breaking our back with utility costs.
Spring is on the way. But perhaps Winter isn’t quite done with us yet. We still have a little less than a month to go. No time to get complacent, eh?