Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With An Icicle!

I think everyone in the tri-state area is talking about it, or has been for the past few days. It starts as a murmer as soon as the local news forcasts snow: Everyone rushes to the post office and grocery store (usually for bread, milk, eggs, and bottled water) and you hear people saying to one another, "Did you hear? We're supposed to get snow tonight."
"Yep," says Person Number Two. "Two to four inches."
This theme is repeated in a number of variations until the actual snow fall, and then you hear snowblowers and shovels scraping sidewalks at intervals all day, and by the time you get to the post office the following day, the theme has changed to "Did you hear? We're supposed to get snow and ice tonight!"
This is the first significant snowfall we've had so far this winter; the total was something like three and a half inches of snow and a quarter inch of ice pellets, of which the latter arrived during the night. The plows and salt trucks were out at 2 AM, and I sure hope the town crew is getting paid overtime for it. In the past, snow, especially of this... volume... wasn't enough to keep intrepid elderly ladies from hiking to the post office, and it certainly wasn't enough to shut down the whole of the commercial district. Yesterday, however, I went out to the grocery store (yes, I drove) to look for caviar (at FoodKitty? A total pipedream!) and as I drove down the main street, I noticed that only a couple places were open: the bakery, the public library, and one or two restaurants. All the other establishments were shut. *sigh* Including the shoe store that doesn't carry shoelaces, but that's another story.
The university is closed today, as are the county's public schools; the university may have had a delayed opening yesterday, but I think the schools were closed then, too.
For some reason this makes me lose a little faith in human spirit. "When I was in school..." It's true. It took more snow to close school back then, all of ten years ago, and it certainly took more than three inches of snow to make the commercial district come grinding to a halt. We are not amused.

On a completely different subject, I found out a few days ago that one of my professors died. She was 70, which seems far too young to die, especially of something awful like congestive heart failure. I remember how much she hated having class in the winter, and if there was snow in the parking lot, she'd turn right around, drive home, and leave a voice mail message for her students saying class was cancelled because she had no desire to risk life and limb--either hers or her students'--to impart the intricacies of American Federal Government. She made us laugh one winter afternoon after just such a snowfall, by apologizing for not telling us the class had been cancelled; she drove to the school, found a mostly-clean parking space, and wedged her car into it, only to start spinning her tires.
"I got back out by rage alone," she told us.
I didn't know her very well, but I had lunch with her a few times, usually with mom since she, too, once took Mary's class when she was a student. I dropped her class, which mom did, too, way back when, and ended up taking Fed with another professor as an evening class.
I'm quite upset about this...


Rachael said...

I don't get why places shut down over snow... I saw on the news, President Obama was complaining about the people in DC shutting down the schools over a few inches of snow and ice. He said his daughters were confused by their school being canceled. They said something like, "Dad, we go out for recess in Chicago in weather like this." LOL! Maybe it's because your area and DC get snow less often now, and so people aren't as used to it as they used to be? I dunno...

I'm so sorry for your loss. *hugs*

KnitNana said...

It's hard to lose folks who are close to us - teachers represent security and stability, I think, so they hurt a lot, even if they weren't the closest of friends.

I'm so sorry about Mary.

And yes, a little snow makes a big difference these days, doesn't it?

theyarnwhisperer said...

It would be cool if we would get some snow down here. I'm jealous.