By the time you read this, you might be stretched out on a hammock in your back yard. As I type this, the region is recovering from the second snowstorm in a week.
The last time anything of this magnitude fell out of the sky, the local public works department dropped the snowball. I was stranded at home for several days, my truck up to the windows in snow, and the street, save for a path down the middle, forged by pedestrians in need of plastic jugs of sugary fruit drinks and Sprite, was untouched by plow blade or shovel.
My employer eventually got tired of my lame excuses and for several days sent a guy over in a pickup truck to collect me from a nearby plowed intersection. Eventually I returned home one night to find the street cleared of snow. Later there was talk on the street that the neighbors, tired of waiting, had banded together and cleared the street by hand. I was at work.
Last month, the meteorologists and news people got all Chicken Little and predicted snowfall unlike any ever witnessed by living humans. The governor, pausing to put on his rugged foul weather sweater, got on the news and shut the state down. The public works department, aided by police with bullhorns, began plowing the street even before flakes fell. I girded my loins, packed an overnight bag, slapped my truck into four-wheel drive and headed for work. The highways were empty and dry, as a light snow began to intensify. By 10 p.m. it was really coming down. The folks who inhabit the office space at work were camping on every available horizontal surface. Some had been there for 24 hours already, fearing they would be unable to return were they to head home.
The television predicted a grim outcome: zero visibility, downed power lines, frozen livestock, their stiff legs protruding from the drifts.
It was really coming down when my shift was over. I found a place to crash, and when I went to sleep, the end of the world seemed to be at hand.
I awoke the next morning, intending, out of Donner-like necessity, to dine on soap and insulation, but there was a mere six inches of snow outside the window, and the sky was robin’s egg blue. The maintenance men had cleared and salted the roads and pathways. Cars on the road whizzed by and city trucks threw sand and salt on the remaining collected precipitation
I drove home — why hang around at work?
A week later we were hit by a much worse storm. The region shrugged in unison and pretty much ignored it.
Note to self: Buy snow shovel.