Monday, October 27, 2008

The First Snow of the Year

     Well Company, the first snow of the year is here for me and I would guess for most of you. I woke up this morning and the entire town was covered with the white stuff, and more was coming down. I opened the window in the shower and I could smell it. Yes, snow has a certain smell to it. And I am not talking about the smell of yellow snow either. I could smell it and I could hear it. Snow has a certain sound as well. It's not so much that the snow itself has a sound, it just mutes the sound of everything else that is going on under and around it. And it was pretty. Going to work it was lightly falling as big, beautiful flakes and coating everything that had been so wet and bleak and depressing just the day before. Then a big wind came whipping down Division Street and blasted me in the face. That's when I finally woke up, realized that it was snowing, and I did the thing that everyone else does when the first snow of the year arrives. I completely flipped out.
     First thing I did was that I called in to work. Please. They can't expect me to be out in the world when there is upwards of a half inch of snow on the ground. That is just unreasonable. I told them that I would not be in and it might be days or weeks before I was plowed out. Then, I turned around in my tracks and went home. I went into my apartment and laid down in bed under six comforters and a retired sled dog team and I waited for my utilities to go out. Because it's snowing outside, that means all my utilities will go out. The cable, the phone, the electricity, even the water. It's all going to go out because it's snowing and it's Armageddon.
     So I waited a while longer and soon I was hungry. That is when I realized that I did not have the proper stores and supplies for the blizzard that was surely beginning. I needed to go out and buy canned goods, bottled water, anti-bacterial soap, Styrofoam plates, plastic forks, an Erector Set, batteries, gasoline, a generator, 14 snow shovels, candles, and a years worth of issues of US Weekly - everything I would need to survive the unprecedented blizzard that was upon us. Oh sure, those flakes looked benign enough, falling ever so softly and silently like they were falling on Whoville during the opening scene of "When the Grinch Stole Christmas," but I knew, and everyone else knew that we were in store for something epic. But first I had to get to the store.
     I knew that getting to the store was going to be a big challenge, so I did what motorists all throughout the region were doing. I altered my driving habits in the most extreme and unimaginable way possible. I decided that due to the once in a lifetime snow event that was occurring around me, simply being more cautious, keeping a greater distance between me and the car in front of me, slowing down a little bit, and not trying to brake and steer at the same time would not suffice to be able to make my way to the store to get my provisions. So this is what I did:
      First, I went out and put chains on my tires. I am unfortunate enough to not own a four wheel drive vehicle, so I made sure the get heavy duty chains for the tires on the DykeSedan. The chains that I bought I actually special ordered so that they have giant spikes on them, almost like ice climbing boots, as well as large flat panels to help my vehicle ride on top of the snow. This way they can both help my car dig in to and float on top of any snow that might be in my path. So I went down and put my super chains on my tires. But I knew that in this first snow of the year emergency event my chains of justice would not be sufficient to assure my survival. So I put on long johns, a snowmobile suit, and blaze orange Carhart jacket and overalls over the top, hitched a rope to the front of my car, strapped on my snowshoes, and pulled the DykeSedan to the grocery store to get my provisions.
     As far as I could see it that was the only logical and safe way that I could make it to where I was looking to go. I mean, no vehicle known to man would have been able to get through this massive snow event. Not even a snow cat, a snowmobile, or a rocket ship. And I knew that with the most treacherous half inch of snow in the history of history on the roads that no speed would be slow enough to allow for maximum safety and braking. So I just pulled the car along on foot with my snowshoes. It took me three and a half hours to go the four blocks to the grocery store but this was an emergency condition so I figured that I was doing pretty well.
     By the time that 2 pm rolled around, however, I was extremely concerned for the well being of my co-workers. Many of them live outside of town and I had no way of knowing that they were alive. Well, I received word that they had all congregated in the courthouse in order to ride out the storm together. So again I slogged my way through the maelstrom until I reached the courthouse steps. I could barely see it through the now light flurries that were being whipped around by a wind that was gusting up to 6 miles per hour. I almost ran smack into the side of the building. But I had made it. I stumbled inside and curled up in the vestibule for warmth. Soon thereafter, one of the members of the custodial team pulled me in and put a blanket around me. So now I am here in the courthouse waiting out the storm with the rest of my office. It's the only way that we are all going to survive. Because there is has to be almost an inch of snow on the ground by now; it's falling at a rate of over and inch a day at this point, and I don't know if we will all make it. But we will try. We will live even if we are reduced to eating the fish in the tank and the office plants. Because we are survivors and it takes more than the first snow of the year to take us down. And that's on the Internet, so it must be true. God willing.

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