Things weren’t going well even before the snowstorm began.
The day started with a leak in the kitchen ceiling – and a basement that’s flooded again.
My regular plumber came out, but said he couldn’t do the job OR install the new water heater. And the plumber he referred me to can’t come until Monday. So, no running water at all over the weekend.
The packers came to box up everything for the basement reconstruction, and my office and living room filled with boxes, computers, and bins. I can barely walk through my office. I had to disassemble Tom’s very complex network of computers so that they can be moved upstairs – it’s like separating a nest of snakes.
Then the crew discovered that my art closet was also flooded.
The water ruined a very expensive set of my Afghanistan photos that had been printed on satin. My eyes filled with tears as I kept pulling waterlogged stuff out of the closet.
And then the snow began.
It was snowing heavily and sticking.
“Go!” I told the packing crew. “You have to get out now or you’ll be stuck here until tomorrow.”
They finished the job anyhow, ripping up the closet carpet and hanging up the wet satin prints. They barely got the truck out of the driveway, tires spinning furiously.
It snowed about 3 inches in just a few hours. Once again my plans were thwarted – I couldn’t get to the gym. And I really needed exercise to deal with the stress.
So I pulled on my Gortex hiking boots and grabbed my hiking poles.
The street was silent. Just the sound of my boots pushing against the wet slush.
I began to sweat in my heavy coat. It felt great.
All around me, the black limbs of trees slashed through the white like ink in a Sumi painting. Nothing but black and white.
The air was cool and crisp like the first apple of fall. My legs ached from the hill climbs but I trudged on, breathing deeply.
I saw four stranded cars on my walk. The hills where these cars were stopped go up at about a 45 degree angle or more.
We move to the mountains because we supposedly love nature, but we keep fighting gravity and snow.
Then I heard the loud roaring, crunching noise from across the valley, grinding its way toward me.
It was the community safety guys – they have a truck with triangular tires like a tank’s that can drive on pretty much anything. They use it to rescue all the people who MUST drive in the snow.
They turned on to my street. One of my neighbors had slid halfway down the hill coming home, and the car was sideways across the road.
I stared for awhile.
And then I smiled and went inside and kicked off my wet boots and clothes. I scooped up big potfuls of snow from the deck, and left them in the kitchen to melt into lovely water.
When life gives you snow, take a walk.
Today’s penny is a 2005, the year that the Michigan company American Track Truck started working on its design.