Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 23, 2019

Last Saturday—all day and into the night—we finally got some snow. It was the kind of snowfall that looks innocuous. You know the kind of snowfall I mean. You peer out the window and can barely make out that snow is actually falling. The flakes don’t look like flakes, but like nearly-microscopic specks. Because the wind is blowing, you’re almost lulled into the sense that, yes, it’s sort of coming down, but the wind is carrying it away…very far away.

The sun sets, and it gets dark out. Is it still snowing? You have to look at the street light to tell. In that small circle of light you once more see those same nearly-microscopic specks. So technically, you know it is snowing. Then you look at the ground and the car, and you begin to comprehend what’s happening. It’s a silent but getting deep invasion.

Of course, you are slow to this realization because, while you looked out every hour or so, you really didn’t see much change in accumulation between the first hour and the second. But by Sunday morning—well, it was enough for me to alert our sixteen-year-old grandson that we were going to need his assistance in the “digging out” department. His mother assured me he’d be by on Sunday at some point to take care of that for us.

I like snow, if I can stay safe and warm indoors and simply peer at it outside the window. I like snow in the Christmas season especially, because, well, all those Christmas cards showing cozy cottages covered with snow, and of course the city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style…. However, Christmas is past. Mother Nature gave us a green Christmas this year, and that’s not a complaint, just an observation.

So snow is pretty to look at and I don’t mind this snowfall, as long as it doesn’t last too long.

I think the lack of the white stuff so far this year has spoiled me. Basically, I believe this is just one of those off winters. The usual situation in our neck of the woods is that we get a lot of snow, that it comes sometimes as early as October and is still here into March. I say it’s an off year because I am hearing of some places in the U.S. that are getting hammered, that usually see no snow and ice at all. I guess that’s where our snow went this season. Of course I know with global warming, everything is in flux. It would be handy if those who are deniers would wake the heck up. I’ll stop there as I don’t want to digress.

Fortunately, I don’t actually have to leave the house until later in the week, though we had planned to nip out and pick up a few things on Monday. That was easy enough to cancel. Waiting until late in the week leaves plenty of time for snow plows and shovels to come into play.

 But while the snow stopped falling, the temperatures didn’t. The bone-eating cold that came on the weekend was a surprise. Yes, I check the forecast each day, and I register that it’s going down to the minus digits, Fahrenheit—but it’s a shock to the system when one actually opens the door and a block of ice tries to enter your lungs.

I don’t mind imitating a hermit. Actually, the older I get the more comfortable that state becomes. One of the questions I get asked at my doctor’s appointment every three months is this: “Do you still enjoy going out?”

That’s not a good question to ask me, because I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed going out. I especially don’t relish the act in winter, when I have to dress carefully for warmth, wear my boots which I sometimes need help to get on, ensure the ice claw is extended on my cane (but not until I’m at the door), and then step outside as cautiously as if I have vials of nitroglycerin strapped to the bottom of my boots and the teeniest tiniest wrong step will result in—kaboom!

Seriously, who can enjoy that? But I usually answer “yes”, because once I’m where I’m going, I always find a way to have a good time—despicable winter weather notwithstanding.


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