Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

by Maggie Sefton

This is a really strange Winter this year.  Weather systems move around the country and bring all sorts of systems----rain, snowstorms, and brilliant sunny weather.  And a lot of surprises along with it.  I'm posting some photos of the Big Snow that fell in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area this past weekend.  New York, New Jersey, and parts of New England also got a snow dump.  As some of you may recall,  my daughter Maria lives in Arlington, Virginia (the part of Northern VA closest to the Potomac River and Washington, DC).  Meanwhile, here in Northern Colorado and Fort Collins, we're having high 40s and into the 50s this entire week.  Go figure.

This is a view from Maria's condo apt looking out toward Arlington Blvd (Route 50), normally filled with traffic

In fact, Maria's beautiful condo building is located only two blocks from my childhood home, an older house (built in 1910).  Her condo is actually built where a smaller shopping center was located----complete with grocery stores, drug store, bakery, barber shop, and various other small businesses that operated many years ago.  My old neighborhood is still there.  And all the houses are still intact even though they're very old.  The reason:  Real estate values of those homes are out of sight.  Six figures, and not in the low range.  My oldest childhood friends Nancy & Diane and I marvel at what has happened to real estate values in our old neighborhood.  Even though most of the homes are the same age as my old home (over 100 years) or very close to it, very few people have "scraped" them as real estate agents call the process of demolishing older homes to build new ones in their places.

These are all simple homes.  Nancy & Diane were across the street in a slightly larger home with more bedrooms, but both our houses (like the others surrounding them) have a modest front yard and more spacious back yards.  So why are these older homes kept and still lived in?  The oldest real estate reason there is:  Location, location, location.  My old neighborhood is only three blocks away from the busy and vital artery, Route 50 (Arlington Blvd), that is a vital and heavily travelled artery that runs quickly from our neighborhood down past the Marine memorial Iwo Jima and gives access to two of the busiest bridges that cross the Potomac River from Arlington, VA into Washington, DC.  Francis Scott Key Bridge crosses the river from Rosslyn, VA and opens directly into Georgetown, which is part of Washington, DC.  And Memorial Bridge crosses the Potomac right past the Iwo Jima memorial and opens directly at Lincoln Memorial.

Can you tell there's a car parked on the left side of the street?

Daughter Maria took a couple of photos of the snowy scenes when she ventured outside  today.  Federal Government offices were closed.  And Maria just sent another text to us all saying the Government offices will be closed tomorrow Tuesday as well.  Washington doesn't handle snow well, folks.  International crises, sure.  Snow, not so much.  People can't get to their offices, which are scattered all over the metropolitan area including Virginia and Maryland suburbs.  They can't drive in snow, either.  So the roads can become treacherous, not from the snow but the other drivers.  :)

How does your area handle snowstorms?