Saturday, February 17, 2007

The St. Martin of Tours Expedition

We had about 3" of snow on Wednesday.
It was fine granular snow topped by a thick layer of sleet and ice - the kind of snow that you can walk on without sinking in - kind of like Jesus walking on water. I liked it because I could push the snow off my car while suspended 3" off the ground, making it easy to clean off the roof. Which brings me to my pet peeve of the day: people who don't clean off their vehicles and drive along cluelessly as huge chunks of snow and ice fly off pelting the cars behind them. Do they not look in their rear view mirrors and notice the chaos they're causing? OK, people who are vertically-challenged (a.k.a. short) have an excuse - it's hard to clean off the roof of an SUV when your head barely clears the side-view mirror.......which leads me to brilliant-idea-to-eliminate-pet-peeve: modify car washes to melt snow off of vehicles (trucks included) - a lot of car washes already blow air on cars to dry them off, why not blow hot air to melt the snow/ice?
Just a thought.

Walking on the snow yesterday brought back a childhood memory that I hadn't revisited in years (cue flashback music)…….
Picture it, 1970 something….My younger brother L and I are trudging off to elementary school the day after a major storm has dumped over a foot of snow on Long Island. It was the same kind of snow we had this past Wednesday, only there was a lot more of it. On our way to school we cut across a wooded empty lot, as we did every day, but half way across the lot the icy snow layer that had been supporting our weight began to give way. We'd put one foot in front of us and for a split second we were walking on solid ground, then **crack-kerplunk** we'd be thigh high in snow. This treacherous dance continued all the way across the lot. When we finally reached the shoveled sidewalk on the other side of the lot we were met with a 4 foot wall of snow blocking our access to the street that we needed to cross. We ascended the mountain only to find that getting over it would entail shimmying down the other side right into the path of traffic.

It had taken us so long to get to this point that the usually ever present crossing guard had packed up and gone home. The school was a mere two blocks away.
I slid down the snow embankment into the street and hugged the snow wall as closely as I could but after nearly getting hit by a car I scrambled back up. I told my brother L. to stay put and I distinctly remember fearing for his safety (which is odd, because normally I was the one who was beating him up).
Of course I'm probably remembering this wrong as it is more likely that L. was the one who jumped down into traffic while I cowered on the snow mound above, but either way, being the older sister I made the executive decision that we would both return home. The path to school was impassible on that day.

We trudged back the way we came (ignoring the shoveled side-walk that circumvented the lot) moving slowly through the thigh-high snow (because it added to the dramatic effect of our hopeless retreat) and upon arriving back home announced to our mother that we had made a valiant effort, but St.Martins was unreachable and was most likely closed as a result of the storm.
She sighed in disgust, threw us in the back of her car and drove us the quarter mile to school. The school was open of course, but by this time L. and I were extremely late and our uniforms were soaking wet from our expedition. As a final act of humiliation we had to wait in the nurse's office and dry off before we were allowed to go to class.

We always remember the one that got away…**sigh**
It was the snow day that almost was.

…and now here it is, you're moment of Zen:

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