Wednesday, December 12, 2012
No Business Like Snow Business
No Business Like Snow Business
That used to be my mantra, when I was younger. Simply put, I thought snow was the epitome of all that is wonderful about Mother Nature. Silly me.
Judging from the posts on FaceBook, I am in the minority. However, to me, snow is the guest who overstays her visit. Snow is beautiful; I will grant you that, the way it drifts down through the oak trees. But when a person lives on a mountain, and the snow makes a grand entrance, it impinges on every aspect of one’s life.
I must keep both stoves going full-blast, simply to keep the house from freezing. That involves bringing in vast, unlimited quantities of wood from-where else?-outside. Back in the day, when I was teaching, I kept a four foot-wide, by four foot long, by four foot deep woodbox, which I then proceeded to pile up about six feet high with wood. That was all well and good, until it came time to fill it. Then it took about six wheelbarrows-filled-to replenish the wood.
My reasoning was simple. We left for school each morning, still in darkness, and we got back up on the mountain, while it was once again dark. Therefore, that woodbox lasted all week long, and I could refill it on the weekend. Now, to bring in that amount of fuel, is prodigiously difficult. So I got rid of the woodbox, and replaced it with an iron ring, which holds, at most, two milk-crates of wood. That just means that I must continuously bring in armloads of wood, all day long, in order to keep the home-fires burning. It’s a pain, but infinitely better than the grueling task of loading up all of those wheelbarrows filled with oak.
The primary reason for being less than enamored with snow, is the simple fact that every outdoors experience is fraught with danger. To let the chickens out, to start the generator (there is no solar power when the panels are covered with snow), or to venture outside for ANY reason, is to tempt fate. Icy conditions for a sixty-year-old, pose a constant threat. If this makes me sound curmudgeonly, I can only protest that it is self-preservation that motivates my line of reasoning.
After all, old bones are far more brittle than young bones, and I am not getting any younger. A common occurrence is to see the snow pile up, and then have a warm front pass through. If there is enough rain to melt the snow, all is good. Unfortunately, what frequently occurs, is that the rain settles in, the storm passes, and the temperature plunges below the freezing point, and the snow turns to a deadly ice coating, making difficult walking even more treacherous. Ach tung, Chucko. Watch your step!
So when I hear people chortle with glee, or even worse, hear about people venturing up on a rooftop in sub-freezing weather, with a hose in tow, to spray water out onto the front yard, in order to create “snow,” I have to wonder about their mental state.
As for me, I want to book passage on a warm bus to Anywhere, USA, as long as the word snow is associated with cones, and the available flavors are cherry, orange, or lemon-lime.