[No more re-blogging. This one’s new!]
What’s been clamoring for attention these last two weeks is that usually very boring topic you bring up with people you don’t know well but have to converse with while waiting for something else to happen. (Nurse in doctor’s office comes to mind.) It’s the weather!
Right now, for those of us on the northeastern seaboard of North America, the weather’s not so boring. We may be used to bad winters, but this one is turning out to be a doozy. No sooner had we survived record downfalls of snow last week (10″ in one night), than it became unseasonably warm for a couple of days. Unwind-your-scarves-and fling-open-your-coat warm. The crazy sun melted the snow on rooftops and the mountains of snow banked against the sides of the roads so that water ran down onto front walkways from the roofs, and flooded driveways and streets and parking lots from the melting snow piles left after snow-plowing. Suddenly everything everywhere outside was grey slushy water or grey watery slush, so that it became an ordeal to slosh from your car in the parking lot to the supermarket door, or even to clomp down the street about 300 feet from your own front door to your mailbox.
And then, just as everyone was telling everyone else that it couldn’t last, it didn’t! The return of bitter cold temperatures froze the water in the driveways and on the streets and parking lots into uneven patches of slippery ice and, more dangerous yet, unseen patches of black ice. After which it snowed again (only 5″ to 8″ inches this time). Fine powdery white snow that covered all the ice, black or not, from view. It was very pretty, until you tried to hobble out for any reason at all, such as digging out your car to go to work after the “snow emergency” was over.
Which is where the advantages of getting old kick in. [If you thought there weren’t any, I’ve been failing miserably with this blog.] No more going to work! No more taking the kids to school! No more need to go anywhere at all, as long as the kitchen is stocked and the freezer is full! Just be sure you have enough candles and batteries of all sizes to keep you going when the next high wind or heavy accumulation of snow on branches knocks a tree down across a power line, plunging you into the dark until the utility company can get their men and high ladders out to those felled trees and fallen wires to electrify your life again. Which might take a couple of days.
[No, Florida is NOT an option. They’ve got hurricanes, and tornados, and boarding up windows to contend with. Don’t get me started, or we’ll be in an entirely different post.]
In short, when you’re getting old, you can put on a pair of yoga pants and warm socks, turn up the thermostat, make yourself a cup of hot tea or cocoa, look out your windows at your neighbors trying to get their cars started, and just admire views about which the word “magical” might appropriately be invoked. [Bill did indeed invoke that very word yesterday. I myself thought it a bit cliche, but better than “winter wonderland.”]
For instance, this is what I saw last week when I looked out my office window on the second floor of our condo unit. It faces an acre of dedicated land on which nothing will be built.
Going downstairs to the kitchen, where sliding glass doors look out onto a deck, the cats and I got to admire the same dedicated land from a slightly different perspective:
What did we see from the downstairs front windows?
And then, venturing timidly into the driveway for purposes of thorough photographic reportage:
But it was much too cold and slippery to stay out long. So we hurried back inside for some last looks at the outside front walkway:
Today it’s not so bad. But I hear there’s more coming. Winter wonderland or no, I think we’ve all had enough of that, don’t you? I can hardly wait till Spring.