March 1, 2012

Snow! Wait, what?

“What good is the warmth of summer, 
without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
- John Steinbeck

Yesterday we got our first real snow of the winter! I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "it's March first, how can this be the first real snow?" Well... we're thinking that too. This is New England after all: land of sleigh rides, wood stoves, and bowing birch trees. My mother use to warn us about people who had been clobbered by falling icicles while "stopping by woods on a snowy evening", but there's been no risk of that this winter. Most of January could have passed as a mild (if less colorful) autumn and I've been putting off buying snow boots since that blizzard in October.

oh yeah. The blizzard.

So maybe that counts as the first real snow of the season, but at least at that point of the winter we were ramping up and not down.

Last night I was at the college until about 10:30pm before heading to my car. By that time the snow had pretty much stopped and the rain was beginning. I drove to my normal parking lot and found four (overkill?) plow trucks scooping up ten hours of accumulated slush. The sweepers, cops, late night retail crews, and I have an unspoken understanding: If I appear "normal" and don't draw too much attention to my lifestyle then they pretend I'm just a nearby resident who leaves her car there overnight. Not wanting to get in the way (or raise eyebrows) I parked around back where it looked like they had already plowed. It sounded like a good plan at the time, but it turns out I parked right next to the parking area for those four plow trucks.

There must be a little piece of our brain that stays awake while the rest of us sleeps. We get use to hearing certain things at night, like a partner's snoring, traffic, or, in my case, car doors closing. After a while we don't wake up to those things, but introduce a new sound (like plow trucks going in and out and the beep beep beep of backing signals) and that little piece of brain that doesn't sleep gets awfully irritated. When I woke up this morning it occurred to me that none of it had been a dream and I really had woken up every forty five minutes or so.

So the storm is over and the rain is coming. In a few days it will probably look like nothing happened. Hope everyone's staying warm out there in the great wide world

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