Upstate NY Winters

I try to post at the end of each day, but depending on the night sometimes I’m just too tired and it has to wait until morning.  That was the case last night.  Yesterday was my brother Aaron’s birthday, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to wish him a happy birthday through the blog.  Happy Birthday Aaron!

I grew up in the southern tier of Rochester, NY in the small town of Wayland.  I moved away for school and work for a number of years, but have spent most of my life in the area.  When I was younger, there is no other place I would have wanted to be; I loved the area and its seasons.  Winter meant snowboarding, sledding, and snow forts.  The best days were when the forecasters were calling for a severe storm the following day.  Me and my brothers would stay up at night watching the storm roll in hoping it would be enough to cancel school.  If it did, we would be flying out the door first thing in the morning to explore the snow or ice that the storm left behind.  Some of my favorite days.

Ice Storm

Snow Storm

Snow Drifts

Snow Fort

As I’ve gotten older, I still love this area three seasons out of the year, but it has gotten more difficult to appreciate winter.  Winter in Pultneyville means a lot of snow, wind, and cold, but the most difficult aspect is the short gray days.  However, when you are in town for a short time, as we are now, the scenery is amazing.

Pultneyville Winter

Yesterday morning I had a follow up exam with my surgical team: Doctors Mitten, Michalko, and O’Keefe.  My appointments are from from the normal routine of going to the doctors office; I always look forward to visiting Daniel, Tara, Kathi, the docs, and of course my Mom.  From this visit I got silvadene to help with some radiation burns that I’m still nursing, and a compression stocking to help with swelling and lymphedema in my right leg.  Dr. O’Keefe was very encouraged with the condition of my leg and suggested that I may have a little more use with it than the two months previously predicted; very encouraging.

Afterward I caught up with Muhammad and Shayna for lunch.  Two things that everyone from the Rochester area is acquainted with are Wegmans and the garbage plate.  Muhammad is fan of the garbage plate so we went to Steve T’s.  This place always reminds me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld, you have to know what you want and how to order it correctly.  Most commonly, and my favorite, the cheeseburger plate.  It’s ordered as, “cheeseburger plate, mac salad, home fries, with everything.”  Muhammad orders the less common grilled cheese plate.  Shayna on the other hand prefers a plain grilled cheese sandwich.

Steve T's

The Garbage Plate

Bragging Rights

Our great neighbor Valerie stopped by in the afternoon and surprised us with some of her incredible baked goods.  Our neighbors are very important to us and since we moved to Pultneyville, we’ve enjoyed getting to know Valerie and her family.


We are only home for a few days and wanted to be sure to get together with all of our friends that came down to Orlando to spend some time with us on the road.  The best way was to have a small party at our place.  Everyone, Dan, Brendon, John, Bob, Emily & Dan, and their families were able to make it out on very short notice except Ken who was unfortunately out of town; we missed you K-Hawk, but told several stories on your behalf.  You guys are the best; we had a great night!

The Orlando Crew


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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11 Responses to Upstate NY Winters

  1. Aaron says:

    Thank you for the Birthday Wishes Bret! The old winter photos bring back great memories! As with you, winters aren’t nearly as much fun now. It’s nice to get back north to see the snow once a year just to remember why I love Florida! We don’t have Garbage Plate joints though…

  2. Kathi says:

    Hi Bret,
    Sorry I missed you at the clinic, hope to see you and Shannon before you leave town. I Made a quick visit to Tampa for the holiday.
    Glad you hear you are entering a research study! You may be the first to be cured of CCS! I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. Wade Weber says:

    Glad to see you made it home for Xmas. I hope it was a memorable one for you and your family. I am not sure from the blog how much longer you will be home, but I would like to stop by and see how your doing.

    Stay Strong!

  4. Michelle says:

    I think winters get less fun once you own a house and have more responsibility of the snow and heating bills! It was the good old days when all we had to do was wake up and go play in it.

    Love the photos Bret!

    Happy Belated Birthday Aaron!

  5. Debbie says:

    Ho! Ho! Ho to the Hoefens!! (Dang-I really wanted to do that LAST week..oh well).

    Bret–such wonderful news keeps coming! CAT scan looked promising and now your leg shows signs of improvement too! I’ve got my fingers crossed for that holiday miracle I keep asking for.

    Shannon sent me the link to the article in your local newspaper and of course, I IMMEDIATELY posted it on Facebook for everyone to read and look at. You know me–got to get the word out. So good to see so many friends and family coming by to see you and you’re right–you have the most amazing neighbors in the world. If it wasn’t for that little thing you guys call “winter” up there– (Hello! Did anyone see the snow drift tunnel to the door in Bret’s picture? thank you!)–I would absolutely love to live in Pultneyville.

    And it’s also so easy to know and understand why they love you and Shannon so much too!

    Safe travels to Boston and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for continued good news!



  6. Steve Gerke says:

    Following your story/adventure has become so exciting, especially with the more positive news that has been coming recently. I attempted to text you earlier today but i wasn’t sure if it went through, who knows how updated the phone list at work is. I want to make sure you knew that most of the rest of the shift is getting together at Daisy Dukes (Webster) tomorrow (Wednesday) night after shift to celebrate the license class selectees, and as part of the shift you and Shannon are invited. If we dont see you tomorrow night then keep the positive news coming and know that we are all following you and hoping for the best.


  7. Ellen Edmond says:

    OMG! I thought we had snow drifts on Isaman Rd. in booming Perkinsville, but Peglow Rd. has got us beat. We also have pics of Mark and Jason with our drooping trees during the ice storm. You sure are good at bringing back memories to/for everyone. Thank you, thank you and Happy New Year! Dan & Ellen

  8. Reggie & Mary Lee says:

    Ah silvadene… one of Reggie’s best friends – he has a jar in his car, one in the house and another at his shop. As a welder he has had many burns. And then there was the time he took over the pressure canning of the tomato sauce while I went to parent teachers night at school. I came home to tomato sauce all over the kitchen and a note that he had driven himself to the hospital! When I arrived he looked like a mummy and we were given a generous supply of silvadene. It seems like he thought he should add a little more water to a hot pressure cooker that had hot jars of sauce in it – we had tomato sauce on the ceiling for ever! Yes silvadene is great stuff!
    Praying as you make your way back to Boston… also have some suggestions for Texas and will pass them on soon.
    Love, Mary Lee & Reggie

  9. Jill St George Forsythe says:

    Spoke with your mother yesterday. LOVE HER!! Yeah for good news.
    I have also become a fan of Mike. His humor is priceless and I hold him in high esteem for being ruthless at Christmas. Dr. Mitten is the man, and I add not hard on the eyes! Back to my reason for this post. Winter has never been my favorite season. However, my son Dane is a direct result of an upstate winter. He was the product of the ice storm of 1991. What can I say?

  10. Muhammad says:

    Brrrrrr. I’m getting cold just thinking about Rochester…now I understand your desire to ride through warm places.

    Once again, you’ve amazed me with your courage…even after everything your body is going through, your still man enough to put your stomach through the punishment that comes with the original garbage plate. Well done!

  11. Cousin Mike says:

    Aaron–I’m a loser–happy 34th birthday!!! If it makes you feel better, I also forgot my anniversary (for non-family members, they’re both on the same day). Thank you for understanding and being low-maintanence. Not that other people in my life are high maintanence… wait, I’ve said too much… back to the doghouse.

    Speaking of bad WNY weather… I remember going to the G’Town/Syracuse game with Ryan, uncle Jim, my dad and maybe uncle Kevin & Jeff (not positive) but we got back to hemlock in the ice storm and the basketball net at my house was so frozen that if you made a shot the ball was stuck up there. Luckily I wasn’t very good at basketball and got to keep shooting.

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