A Winter's Tale
Your Bloguero left work early today because it was snowing hard, the roads were already slick,it was getting dark, and soon the roads would be impassable.Two obstacles to the trek.First, your Bloguero in a moment of supreme distraction dropped his car keys in the deep, fresh snow. He searched his tracks but could not find them. Thoughts of hitching a ride home for the spare keys and returning for the car. Or maybe staying home and hitching a ride back in the morning. Who to call? Better to search more thoroughly. Better to continue searching. Hence, a painstaking search, with your Bloguero distracted by this: a few years ago he dropped a mailbox key in the snow in the driveway and lost it. He could not find it. He had to wait four months for the snow to melt before it reappeared. Was this the sequel? He sighed. Better to keep searching. At long last, your Bloguero discovered a small hole in the fresh snow, and at its bottom he found the car keys. Crisis averted. Time at last to drive the snow covered road.
Obstacle two. In Eastern New York the weather is beastly. It snows a lot. The temperatures get so cold that car seats make a distinctive “crunk” sound when you sit on them. And when you then turn the key, the engine makes a single metallic sound, “Sput.” It does not start. Then there is silence. The silence of deep snow and zero degrees and an anemic blue sun. You sit in the driver seat, your breath rapidly fogging the inside of the window with ice. Best to give up. Your Bloguero knows this is a common experience. Too cold to start. You’d think with such a harsh, unforgiving teacher everyone in Eastern New York would learn about winter. Wrong.
On today’s after work commute, usually 20 uneventful minutes on two lane blacktop Routes 9-H and 66 and County 9 and Route 203 filled with the hushed sound of NPR, your Bloguero drove at less than 18 miles per hour behind a minivan with tires too bald to go up or down the snowy hills safely. This cautious citizen created a long string of impatient cars and wallowing trucks that crept dangerously close to each other on every up and down for miles. As time elapsed, the string grew longer and longer, the bright lights coruscating, an impatient, floating, halogen and mercury constellation, aimed for the North Star. Your Bloguero eventually arrived at his destination.
Your Bloguero is not dismayed by inclemency. The shortest day of the year is coming. The Holidays. Some vacation time, if you are lucky. Your Bloguero has said it before and it bears repeating: days like today are demonstrations of the reasons why so many farmers left here as soon as they could and headed for more temperate climes. It’s this very kind of unremitting, beastly weather that forged America’s 18th century history and the drive West.
May your Winter be kind, and may you and your loved ones be warm.