10 February 2010

Bleak Midwinter and Then Some

"Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter
Long ago."

If I had known what the past ten days would be like, here in the Mid-Atlantic, I would never have posted that hymn...

We have received, where I live, approximately five feet of snow, dropped on us like sandbags, in two storms three days apart. I've lived in New England and Upstate New York, where this is nearly-normal behavior; here in the Mid-Atlantic, this is a 200 year snow. Maybe longer. This is the most snow we've seen since recordkeeping began, in some locales.

Folks around here do not, trust me, deal well with frozen precipitation. Some seem hell-bent on proving that denial kills - they'll go barreling down the slush-covered Interstate at 90 mph, devil take the hindmost. Others hug the shoulder, flashers on, when large, soft flakes are falling at a rate of one every 30 minutes or so. Reality, as the late lamented George Carlin liked to say, is somewhere in between.

But I have to say, I've seen real heroism in the past six days. And although this has to be anonymous, doggone it, I want to say thanks.

Thanks to the brave, inexhaustible souls who plowed... and plowed... and plowed... the parking lot in my apartment complex, Friday into Saturday. And to the even braver souls who were out there in the thick of it, at six a.m. Saturday morning, with snow shovels.

And God bless the crew who were doing the same thing across the street, in the little shopping center whose proximity makes this apartment complex such a terrific place to be. All night Friday I looked out the window and saw truck headlights, plow blades, heard the heavy equipment rumbling and the back-up alarms peeping, as the snow lashed down and sideways.

This is NOT Buffalo, this is just a little shy of Washington, DC. And these guys were going like pros, like they'd done this all their lives.

Heroes.

Because on Saturday afternoon, my elderly neighbor, the one who walks with a cane, discovered that he needed a refill on a prescription that he'd thought was well stocked... and it wasn't one he could afford to skip. So, being the kind who takes care of himself, come what may, off he went to the drugstore across the street.

Which was open.

And he went on foot. [By the time I knew about it, he was already coming back, dern his sneaky hide.]

And he did not as much as slip, because those guys, the ones with the plows, the ones with the shovels, the ones going peep peep rumble rumble all night long, had completely cleared the way.

He strolled along through aisles of snow up to his waist, and didn't as much as get his galoshes wet. It was like the Parting of the Red Sea.

Heroes.

I wish I could put their names on display here. I'd post them in crimson and gold.

2 Comments:

Blogger TH in SoC said...

Your late winter snow sounds like our experience here in Portland in December 2008. After two weeks of it, I never wanted to see another snowflake again. Hopefully you all are thawing out now...

14 February, 2010 17:14  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Thanks, TH. We are, and I have never seen such a cavalcade of icicles. Beautiful, and so far nobody seems to be having flooding from ice dams. And everyone is staying well away from them. These are monster stalactites - some three and four feet long, I kid you not. So when they fall it's impressive.

Thanks also for commenting here, because I've tried several times to post a thank you to your blog SoC to Points North - at Christmas and Thanksgiving - and Blogspot seems unable to process the comment. This has been going on for months now... so now I get to say thank you directly!

I was planning to put up a post dedicated to you and to CZBZ, just to say thanks for the insights and analysis you each provide. I think I will anyway :-) it's neighborly.

Best,

Storm

14 February, 2010 17:43  

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