This week Puxatawney Phil, the ‘winter’s end’ predicting groundhog, said we were not going to get an extension of winter this year, just the usual February 2 plus six weeks. So, assuming he is correct, winter ends on March 15! But, before that, I wanted to tell you about our first snowstorm experience here. When we moved to Medford Leas, I was so hoping that we would not be all on our own to handle all of the negatives associated with a winter snowstorms, like we had been in our previous home. Our last winter there seemed like it had been filled with snowstorms! The first snow here began on Friday January 22. Leading up to that Friday, we had the local TV stations, based in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, giving us updates predicting depths of 14 to 18 inches, drifting, and lots of ice. From Monday January 18 on, we got email and phone advisories from the Administration at Medford Leas all across the range of things people count on on both of the Leas campuses, such as prescriptions, meal schedules, plans for walkways and parking lots being cleared, and plans for helping residents in different parts of the campuses in case any utilities were disrupted. The emails and calls also talked about how arrangements were being made and updated as to which staff might be sleeping over on the main campus if the snowfall seriously impacted being able to safely get to and from work. And, last, we were reminded how residents on both campuses should check on their neighbors and be mindful of the cold. In addition to this, we on the Lumberton campus also got phone and email communications, from Lumberton’s mayor and police chief, on how the storm would affect garbage pickup, and police, fire and emergency services, and the plans for street parking and the associated snow plowing. Last, we got updates from Lumberton’s mayor on the various driving advisories being put out by the state and the town. Sometime around Wednesday, we also started hearing from our neighbors in Lumberton Leas about the traditional ‘first snow of the season’ party, hosted by two of the residents here. This is scheduled for the first afternoon after the snowstorm stops and it is safe to carefully venture out and around Woodside Drive. On Thursday afternoon here, workmen came to look for and cut down the tree limbs that seemed especially likely to break off under the expected snow and ice. When the workmen first showed up, I couldn’t imagine what gardening or landscape work needed attention with the storm coming! Then, as it dawned on me what they were doing, I was really grateful for that level of pro-active care! And, they didn’t just cut the precarious tree limbs down, they collected the limbs and other debris and took them away on their truck, ensuring they wouldn’t hinder the soon to be work of snow shoveling and plowing. The snow started late Friday and continued through to Sunday morning. We all had our cars in our garages and driveways when the Lumberton snowplows first came through very late Friday night, and the plows returned twice on Saturday to re-plow as the snow continued. (The total accumulation hit 18” here on the top of our patio table on the deck.) On Friday and Saturday night, crews of men went around Woodside Drive shoveling out our driveways and front walkways. And, after the snowstorm ended on Sunday, we were able to safely get to that ‘first snow of the season’ party. What a warming, comfortable way to emerge from our 2 days hiding out in our homes! The party started at 4, we were home and showered by 6:30, and (of course) we took a nap before we went! This was our first snowstorm as part of Medford Leas, and with all the Medford Leas staff and the surrounding towns of Lumberton and Medford did, this party was an excellent capping off of a relatively easy storm experience.