I can totally relate to this thread, particularly since I lived in the Springfield, MA area from 1986 until 2001. (Except for some notable exceptions). From 2001 to 2007 I lived in the Albany, NY area, from 2007 to 2011 I was outside of Worcester, MA and since Nov of 2011 I've been in Northern New Jersey.
I've been chasing being in the bulls eye my entire life and I'm 50. For years I've wanted to see a 30 inch plus snowstorm, a 150 plus winter, or at least be the one to get the most snow. If the max in one storm was 20 inches, I wanted to be in the place that got that. Not down the road with 15 inches. The deepest snow I myself has measured is 23.5 inches. And even when the places I've lived did get a big one, it was when I was away somewhere else.
I finally had to make piece with all of that, realizing that no amount of wishing, praying, hoping, teeth gnashing, was going to get this for me. I've learned to be happy with what happens, particularly since I now live in New Jersey and realize I'm not likely going to see any of those things.
True, there are times that still try my soul. Such as the first snowstorm this year in January. I went to bed that night with a forecast of 24 to 36 inches. I thought maybe I finally got "lucky". But I awoke to 5 inches. That one did me in for awhile. I mean, really, 5 inches? We couldn't even muster a foot? Sigh. Then each succeeding storm in Feb was 4 to 6 inches, while Eastern MA was getting 12 to 24. Big giant Sigh. So I finally had to look at the positive. It was very cold. We had snow on the ground from late January till mid March. March itself has been pretty snowy for down here. So looking at things from the perspective of New Jersey, it was a pretty fine winter.
Here are my biggest disappointments.
1. April 1982. I was in High School living in Southern Ma. But from Feb to early April I was on an extended stay in Colorado. I was on the bus home and it was snowing. But I was in Rochester, NY for the storm. 10 inches. Not bad. But then my sister called me from Maine and they had 24 with a true Blizzard.
2. Winter 1993-94. The first great winter for Springfield, MA after a lackluster 80's and early 90's. Of course that was the winter I spent in Phoenix, AZ. Of course the cold and snow finally came when I was out west. My best friend who lived in Westfield, MA kept sending me letters with the blow by blow and measurements all winter.
3. Feb of 2001. I had just recently moved to Schenectady, NY. We had a nice 8 inch snowfall. But my parents in the Springfield, MA area had 27 inches at their house. I had moved just 2 weeks earlier.
4. Dec of 2002. Big Christmas snow in Albany, NY. 21 inches. Of course I was visiting my parents in Springfield and I got 8 inches at their house.
The best times I can remember:
1. Winter of 1995-96. I was living with my parents in Russell, MA just west of Springfield, MA. I measured 143 inches that winter, with the big storm in Jan of 96 giving me 23.5 inches, tied for my deepest. If it hadn't been for that horrific warm rainstorm in late January that pretty much melted all, it would have been the best winter ever. I did measure 40 inches on the ground before that rain hit.
2. Winter of 2002 -2003 in Albany, NY, Although I missed the Christmas Storm, we did get another 20 incher in January, and that winter had 105 inches.
3. Early Dec of 2003. I was in Cohoes, NY and we had a great storm all day on a Saturday. 23.5 inches. The timing was perfect. It was the best storm of my life. I got to enjoy it all day on a Saturday, and then clean it up on Sunday.
So I've had good times and bad times. Par for the course. I think about all the successes, all the great times, and I feel good about my time on the planet.
But if I could time travel I would love to see these:
The 1888 storm. I'd be in either Albany or New Haven.
The Feb 1899 storm in Houston or even New Orleans. That must have been wild for so far south.
Any time it snowed measurably in San Francisco in the late 1800's.
Jan 1950 in Seattle, WA area.
The great snow of 1717 in Boston. (Which this winter was probably a dup of).