Saturday, February 27, 2016
Snow on ground
In some previous winters of the clerkmanifesto we spent many of our happy blog posts conveying our pleasant surprise at our equanimity, aye, even our joy at winter. We could not, in those years, say enough about the wonder of finding ourselves so charmed by sub zero temperatures (Fahrenheit) and by our easy facility in coping and even thriving within them.
This isn't that sort of winter.
This winter we are mostly concentrating on complaining about the snow and ice on the sidewalks. But we're also willing to put in an occasional bad word for snow falling into our face.
Fortunately there was nothing to worry about on this score this morning. The weather has been unseasonably warm lately. When I woke up today it was already a balmy 34 degrees and the temperature was forecast to soar all the way up to 38 degrees!
So why, when I peered out the window onto the backyard, was it snowing? And not just snowing, but snowing with the snow sticking, laying in a wet and appreciable carpet across all the streets and sidewalks sprawled out beyond the doors of my home. Doesn't that defy some rule of thermodynamics, snow at 34 degrees? Had this water become infected with a mild dose of ice-9?
Grumbling, I headed off for my long walk. The half inch of snow was very slippery and icy and very awkward to walk in. My neighbor, a stand up guy, was shoveling our whole section of the block. This was very nice of him but secretly outraged me for the following reasons:
1. To begin with, it was too warm for there to be snow to shovel.
2. The snow would be melting very soon anyway.
3. Won't my neighbor, shoveling my walk, now be thinking "Well, if you were home all this time, why didn't you shovel?"
4. Seeing as, with his mighty snow blower, my kindly neighbor has already saved us from significant toil in almost every big snowstorm, we are already greatly in his debt. Now our debt will only be larger and more difficult to ever repay.
5. And, it bears reiterating, all of this when there was no point to his shoveling because it will all melt on it's own, very, very soon!
I walked on. I think it might have rained some, on me. Oddly this rain had no effect on the snow except to increase it's slipperiness. Damp and cheerless, I came to a dense pine tree, not much taller than me, that was full of the screeching and twittering of little animals. I peered into the tree and found it was alive with tiny birds, a hundred tiny birds in a little secret magical world at the heart of a pine tree. The birds were not shy of me. This cheered me up for a second. But I had to go to work. So I slipped with irritation further along the snowy sidewalks. These sidewalks were so annoyingly slippery and full of snow that I kept wondering "Why hasn't anyone shoveled this!?" Did I mention what a stand up guy my next door neighbor is?
But when I finally got to the end of my walk, late, because of the slow, treacherous walking, I looked around.
Every last bit of snow and ice, everywhere, was suddenly completely melted and gone.