One of the young adult books I still have, which I got from the Weekly Reader Book Club, is called Snowed Up, by Rosalie K. Fry (I think; I’m going off memory here, even though it could be just a couple of rooms away). A family of three children have been left at a bus stop to head back home (still going from memory: from Wales to England), because one of the relatives they’ve been staying with has broken a leg.
While waiting for the bus, the kids head up a hill to explore an old farmhouse — and then a blizzard blows in, trapping them there. The snow comes up to the attic window, leaving them no way out, and nothing but old turnips (maybe they’re parsnips) to eat. Hardship indeed.
Using their ingenuity, they manage not only to get themselves rescued, but they also save all their relative’s (grandfather? uncle?) sheep from dying in the blizzard.
All of which is a way of saying, I won’t be riding my bike today.
Easy to say, from here, but I might have ridden it, were we still living in town. Probably not this morning; Oz and I would have walked, and then I would let conditions dictate my mode of transportation this afternoon. It wouldn’t be just a matter of how much snow falls from the sky, but how slippery the roads might be under the snow. They’ve been pretty slick, and if we only get a little snow, that just hides multiple hazards and makes bike riding a death-defying adventure.
Here at Prognostications R Us (official motto: “we’re almost never right”), I frequently look out at a snowstorm like the one we’re having this morning and confidently predict it is going to continue all day. Which I use as an excuse to not shovel before going to work.
Inevitably — 100 percent of the time — when I do that, the snow stops falling before I get halfway to work and then Lynn, who has never met a snow shovel she’s liked, drives and walks across the unshoveled snow, along with any UPS delivery people, mail carriers, peddlers of religion (who used to come by weekly; out here we are blessed to be missing out on this) and anyone else who could possibly come along to pack down what I just should have taken the time to lift up in the first place.
At our new address this isn’t such an issue. My shoveling responsibilities have diminished, and all I need to do is the tiny apron in front of the garage (which Lynn mashes down on her way out of the garage) and, at some point, the deck. I did see a bunny hop it across it one day, but since I don’t have to worry about a lot of traffic on it, I don’t worry about getting to it on any timed schedule.
The rest of it is all up to Kara’s husband Geoff. He has the contract to plow the roads here at Riverwalk, so we just have him do our driveway while he’s at it.
So my big decision becomes: when do I take the truck and get it out of his way? I think today I may be taking the truck this morning and afternoon, because as Lynn is getting very tired of hearing, I probably need new tires on my Leaf. My traction seems to dwindle by the day.
Well, it is now lunchtime, and just as not predicted, the snow that looked like it was going to last all day stopped right around 10:30. And all the shoveling I didn’t need to do at home I did at work, just in case you were worried about me shirking snow responsibilities.
I did take the truck, because I wasn’t sure I would even get the Leaf out of the driveway, which is now plowed (good thing I got my truck out of the way), and even though I just got gas at the tire store, I forgot to ask how much tires for my Leaf might be. My new electrical hobby might have to go by the wayside in order for me to afford new tires.
Heading this way from the gas/tire station, I was trying to decide if I would really have been riding my bike back this afternoon. The city has plowed most of the north-south streets, although I forgot to look to see if they had done the Palisades. Maybe since I no longer live there they do those streets first thing, but when I was there they frequently didn’t bother with them at all.
Plus, the sun is shining and the temperature is higher than it’s been, but there is a nasty biting wind, and I might have let myself get talked out of riding back.
From here, there’s no question: the bike path is unplowed and now wind-blown, and everyone whose driveway intersects the path has left giant berms of snow for a navigation nightmare, particularly on the return in the dark. So now I’m back to: car, or truck? The roads are plowed, as long as I go north-south once inside the city limits, and I’m reasonably sure we’re done with snow for the day (although you know my track record) . . . Perhaps I’ll just finish my lunch and see what I feel like. But I can promise you it won’t be the bike, even if the snow didn’t quite make it clear up to the attic window.
Update: At breakfast yesterday morning we learned that all three households that live north of the city experienced the little power outage, so I needn’t feel special, although I was held responsible for it. And Lynn corrected me: her robot vacuum was only $150. But my math was bad, so we’re still on target for $1,000 worth of electrical issues. I might be holding off on those tires.