Story by George W. Forman

Last month during the holidays, I was reminiscing about the houses along the waterways here on the Shore that decorated their houses on the waterside, as well as the street side. Given the weather pattern of snow and freezing temperatures that we’re in, I thought I would paint another, calmer picture for you to take a little stress out of things.

With those subfreezing temperatures, it’s a safe bet that most of the bays and many of the rivers, lakes, and inlets have a lot of ice on them. Had we not had Thursday’s “Blizzard of 2018” (and I hope that will remain singular for this winter), the ice would be getting thick enough for skating, or even iceboats. But now we have this blanket of snow on top of it, foiling the skaters and boaters, but adding a layer of sound insulation to our world.   However, there is one necessary sound that disturbs the reverie along the river, particularly for anyone with a dock. And that’s what most people refer to as a bubbler system, which has nothing to do with Lawrence Welk. These are motors that pump air down pipes and/or hoses down the dock pilings to keep the ice from forming and pushing the dock out of the water when the tide rises. Take it from me, it’s not a pretty sight if these don’t work, and your dock ends up looking like a takeoff ramp for Evel Knievel.

Most of these motors are temperature controlled, to start up when the temps are below freezing. Looking at the forecast for this coming week, we might see temps in the 40’s around Wednesday. So here’s the picture…the water covered with ice and snow, no bubbler sounds, hopefully very little wind to disturb things. I always found that to be so peaceful when I lived along the water, particularly at sunset. As much as we love the summer here in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, it’s not a bad time to head towards the water, or rather, ice, for a few moments and, to borrow an album title from Diana Krall, “turn up the quiet”.

Are you someone who loves the quieter times in winter?

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