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Friday, November 15, 2013
Staying Put with a Snow Shovel
November 15, 2013: Snow
It’s snowing here in Montana. It has been snowing for the past two hours, but the ground has been too warm for the snow to stick. As the sun goes down, however, the ground is losing the battle and the relentless falling flakes are starting to whiten the yard just outside my window. As long as I am inside, it’s cozy to watch. But when I think about tomorrow, getting up at 2:30 am to go to work by three, trudging in below freezing temperatures and then driving on the first serious snow of the year, I get a little nervous. I have been here before, and I know that it’s not that big a deal – drive slowly, take your time, watch for black ice (which usually isn’t there at 2:30 AM), and hope the heater in the car revs up within a few minutes. It could be worse – it always can be worse. Ah – the snow is really sticking now. Nice, big, juicy flakes falling straight down.
I took two days off, setting the blog aside and barely checking my emails on the computer. I did write a few poems during that time, playing with words and ideas as I always seem to do. Even on a day off, the work sometimes won’t let you go. If I can call writing poetry work – I have so much fun doing it that I sometimes want to crawl inside my own brain and just hibernate there. But humans do not hibernate. We weather through, so to speak.
The weatherman predicted one to five inches will fall over the next 36 hours. With the accompanying cold, this means tomorrow late morning I will have to deploy my snow shovel for the first time this season as well. We will have Xander for an overnight. He likes to help, and I have a snow shovel just his size. This year I hope I can convince him to throw the snow away from the path.
I don’t mean to complain. I have no cause. The winter is beautiful here. It’s just that I never had to deal with winter before we moved up here three years ago, so I am still not properly winterized. My idea of cold and snow was to go somewhere to visit it. Now I live in it, work in it, photograph it and write about it as if it were part of who I have become. This is because it is. And, really, it’s just a minor inconvenience that in the long run means plenty of water for the summer.
The snow is really sticking now.
I can always take myself far, far away from here by writing one of my travelblogs. I have been to a handful of amazing places, as you already may have noticed. So far this month I have been talking about places in Holland, but I have seen amazing things right here in the USA – in California and Indiana and Arizona and Oregon and Montana. In fact, my own front yard is an amazing place frequented by wild turkeys and white-tailed deer, a wondrous array of birds and the occasional squirrel. Two squirrels live right by. We call them Jumpy and JR – Jumpy Redux. They try to set up a seasonal retreat in our little outdoor shed. I try to evict them. It’s a dance we go through. It started last winter, and they won. This year the battle is on again. I get the feeling that they’re not that wild about winter, either, but, like me, they just want to get through it cozy and warm.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..