When Winter Calls (12 cents)

I have discovered that the biggest activity you undertake when you have basically been housebound for a week from the effects of two major snow storms dropping more than three feet of snow on your yard is to walk from one room to another in the house. To do anything else is too much like giving in to the snow: “OK, I’ll read a big; it’s snowing.” “OK, I’ll clean up my [whatever]; it’s snowing.” It makes you feel guilty. But walking from room to room, looking out window after window……that’s something.

Actually, I have read two books, and am well into my third. And the newspapers have come, more or less, on schedule. Well, I’ll temper that. Last Saturday, nothing came. On Sunday, we got the Sunday Post, but not the Times. On Monday, we got the Saturday and Monday Post, the Saturday and Monday Wall Street Journal, and the Saturday and Monday Times. I am, it is true, a bit hesitant to say that we never got the Sunday Times, because it just might be there….somewhere. On Tuesdsay, things got a bit more confusing: We again got the same two Wall Street Journals and the same two New York Times. We also got all three Monday papers. Today, we got the Post and the Journal, but again, as far as I could see, no Times.

We hired three neighborhood kids (brothers) to shovel our two front walks, sidewalk, cars, and driveway in front of the cars. I felt very guilty when there parents showed up to help them, but their father was insistent that I keep my guilt under control and that this was good, because it was teaching their sons responsibility and cooperation. They did a great job. They told us what the three of them wanted to charge as a group; we paid each of them the amount they wanted the total to be.

But when I saw them yesterday afternoon, before last night/today’s snow, they did not hint that they wanted to do it again, so perhaps I am on my own. It started snowing last night, but in fact everything was pretty much in control when I awoke this morning. I went out to get the newspapers and decided to shovel the walk to the street, knowing that there would be more snow, but thinking that it would help in the long run. Wrong. It is as if I had never touched it. In fact, our entire snow removal exercise/expense of last week is ancient history. Between the new snow and the blowing, it looks to me that all the walks and the cars will be under more than a foot of snow again.

The government has been closed all week; I am sure it will be closed tomorrow. Perhaps with the temperature rising to the upper 30s and sunshine, enough will melt so that it will appear that there is some hope we can get out before May, but you can’t be sure. My guess is that everything will remain closed tomorrow and Friday and through the three day holiday weekend, with the hope that we can all begin anew on Tuesday. We shall see.

So far, so good, with the power. This is a big concern, of course, and parts of Montgomery County (not far from us) have had no power since Saturday, and who knows when they will get it back now. Today, the DC and Montgomery County snow removal folks were kept inside, and PEPCO brought their repair crews home. It was too dangerous.

And, I must say, that I have been sitting at this computer most of the day, and have not seen one car try to make it down the street. And, as opposed to the heavy pedestrian traffic of Monday and Tuesday, I think I saw only two groups of two walking down the middle of the street.

There is some consolation in all of this. DC has now eclipsed its all time record for snowfall in the winter – something like 45+ inches. We all like champions. And, remember this is only February 10. As Punxutawney Arthur says: we have six more weeks of winter.

We shall see what happens.


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