At this point, cabin fever rages. No craft activity has any allure. My frequent short walks, too long curtailed by icy roads and bitter winds, take on the qualities of a rant in motion. It’s time for the big thaw.
After thirty years in New Hampsha, its hard to avoid the truth that we have a lot more winter weather ahead of us. The big thaw is unlikely for another three four five weeks. I pretend otherwise. I grasp at straws. Look! There’s a muddy puddle! See! It was not the act of a deranged person to buy all those seeds.
This time of year, you give us hope with your descriptions of all things thawing, green, and flowering once more. Emails from the south and far west tell of Flowering Quince, Crab Apples and Daffodils. Just as we look for the robins’ return, we also await your annual report of the Yellow Lady Banksia Rose blooming in your California garden once again or the first mow of your North Carolina backyard. As we hang on by a thread of black humor and salty snacks, your descriptions of scent and color and warmth keep us going.
Because frankly, the view here of snow melting between storms is rather uninspiring.
And also unlikely to last. This has been a winter of nonstop sleeze ( snow mixed with freezing rain for those of you whose minds went elsewhere) with more expected ad nauseum.
And I am tired of sleeze, ready to rest on my laurels of sleeze management NOW without any further sleeze to attend to. Why, only last week I had what I hoped would be my peak moment of sleeze management.
Just after everyone else had rolled out into an ongoing ice storm, the UPS guy blew into the office. In a lather, he reported that his truck was off the road half way down the hill. I offered him a bucket of sand and a shovel and then followed him down the hill with the days’ packages piled high in a wheelbarrow and wrapped in an enormous blue tarp to protect them from the ongoing sleeze.
By dragging the runners of the wheelbarrow in the icy road, I managed to stop the wheelbarrow before it crashed into the derailed truck. The driver was in a frenzy of useless engine gunning. I suggested we put sand or a board under the back wheels which were spinning inches above the icy ground. I suggested we load the packages BEFORE I tried to push him out so that he would not have to stop the truck again should he get free. To both suggestions he gunned the truck engine.
So, I shoveled sand under the truck wheels myself and then leaned in and gave the UPS truck a couple of big pushes. Shortly, the truck was free and moving. Sliding in fact, further and further down the road away from me, my wheelbarrow and the day’s packages.
As predicted, this required me to chase the truck down the icy hill with my cargo.
Another hundred yards and the truck came to somewhat of a halt. The driver came to the back of the truck to load the packages. Since he was still on an icy incline, I suggested I load the packages while he keep his foot on the brake. My comment, “This is not worth dying for.” fell on deaf ears. He loaded the packages as the truck drove itself an inch at a time down the hill.
Just as the last package was aboard, the truck picked up momentum. The driver raced to take the wheel for a sassy slide to the bottom of the hill.
I turned to push the wheelbarrow up the long, long hill to home.
And isn’t it great? The weatherman tells us we are in for a humdinger of six to twelve inches of “mixed precipitation” today and tomorrow. In otherwords, more sleeze. William thinks SNOWDAY. I think WHEELBARROW RUN.
Well I am off. I need to go look at that patch of brown grass before its gone again. As we prepare to kiss all brown earth goodbye for another winter go round, it’s become a beautiful sight.
But it might not be enough.
If you go out to your backyard to savor your Redbud in blossom, the one you have been telling me about every spring for the last decade and find me there, you’ll know why. I was onbpard when the UPS truck just couldn’t stop sliding between my house and yours.