Wednesday, December 09, 2009

After the Sky Clears

After the sky clears...it gets fucking cold. At least in the winter. Unless you haven't been paying attention, a major snowstorm has made its way across the bulk of the nation, including where I live. It was the first major snow of the year, which is always, ALWAYS, bar none, the hardest to cope with. It would snow 56 inches on the Ides of March and while everyone would be sick of it and they would all sort of want to stab themselves with a rusty pen knife, they would all just be like "Whatever" and keep on moving.
Not so much with the first major snowstorm of the year. Not so at all. Roughly eight inches fell here at the Worldwide Headquarters and everybody freaked out. Hit the freaking ceiling. KA-BLAMO! It wasn't helped by the good folks at the National Weather Service, who put out all sorts of warnings that showed in all sorts of colors on all sorts of maps. But you know, that's sort of their job, isn't it? They often get a lot of flak for crying wolf, and making things out to be worse than they actually be, but that is what they have to do. I know, it's a pain when you get ready for 10 inches of snow and only 4 inches fall on you, but you know what? If they told you 4 and you got 16, you'd be dead. So there. Be glad. In this case, they managed to hit the proverbial nail on the head for the Worldwide Headquarters, because if my mathematics serve me correctly 8 inches is smack dab in the middle of the 6-10 inches they were calling for.
So, it began to snow and everyone went nuts. It was sort of like the world was ending in a way, because there were runs on all sorts of canned goods and meals in boxes and eggs and bread and milk, similar to the runs that people have on grocery stores right before a hurricane shows up, but not as bad. They all ran out to tie up their loose ends and run their errands before the snow buried us all dead. Because there is nothing worse than being dead and having your dry cleaning still sitting at the store, right? I mean, come on. What if you die buried in your house by a million billion inches of snow and when they dig you out they realize that you don't have any deposit slips in your checkbook? Scandal! You'd better run out and do all that stuff before the snow starts.
The problem with this is that everyone has to drive to get where they are going, unless you actually live in a major American city and not out in the suburbs or exurbs or countryside somewhere. So all these people with all these crazy thoughts running through their brains went out driving. And let's be honest, they weren't great at driving their SUV's when the roads were good. So you can imagine how bad it was during the first snowstorm of the year. It's by far the worst time to have to go somewhere, because everyone forgets how to drive in the snow. They forget that four wheel drive doesn't make you stop any better. They forget that turning the wheels and stomping on the breaks at the same time doesn't work well. And they forget that their driveways aren't shoveled.
So of course there were cars in ditches, on front lawns, just about everywhere that cars normally aren't. And the road crews weren't doing a whole lot to help. They were out working on the main roads, and they did okay to keep them passable, but they just sort of left the rest of town to struggle. I mean, I understand that there is no reason to be plowing the hell out of everything while the snow is still falling, but for two days? Sorry, you've gotta do something better than that. Now, I know that I have been a little harsh on the road crews in this little town before, but I have to throw them a bone here. When they did finally get around to cleaning up the streets, they did a really, really good job. I mean, not quite bare but removed of all the snow and the streets look good. Really good. And they ARE working hard at it.
I guess that my point here, Company, is that I live in the Great White North. And so do the people who live around me, but you already figured that out. Winter has come here every year for the last, at least 10,000 years, so this shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone, unless there is someone in town who just moved here from South Texas that I don't know about or something. We have all played our part in this fiasco before, so let's not get all up in arms. In the end, I suppose that things turned back to normal pretty quickly. In fact, I got my first glimpse of the snowmobile trail groomer last night. I have to remember to stay out of its way. But it's all good. Winter is here officially now I suppose, and we can all get on with it. Because it's just winter. That's how it works. It snows. We clean up. Then the sky clears. And it gets cold. Because it's winter.

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