THE ENDLESS WINTER
With apologies to the makers of the classic surfing film “The Endless Summer,” this post is a complaint about the winter that just won’t quit. This week may be the worst week of the winter, and it’s only Friday. At 8.30 pm the snow is thick in the cold air. The smushy slushy “snain” that’s underfoot will freeze tonight and be hell on the shoes and tires. On ‘CAP this morning, weatherman Al said two more small storms are coming between now and Monday, with a greater probability for rain in those guys.
I took a chance and sent the snowblower out for repair at Cason’s on Gorham Street a week ago. The machine worked, but it was making a bad sound. Turns out one of the auger blades was bent and rubbing as it turned. I knew something got screwed up in the last big storm when I sucked up a huge mudguard that had dropped off a truck and then disappeared in the snow at the bottom of my driveway. Don’t you hate that? I got the snowblower back yesterday, tuned up and ready for action. I don’t want to use it again until January 2012.
The weird late February thaw last week with temps up to 60 degrees threw everyone’s seasonal rhythms off. To slide back into the frozen valley seems worse than having had no respite. We were driving with our windows down for a couple of afternoons. There’s an astonishing circle of snow hills on the floor of the South Common where the City dumps what it picks up when clearing lots and intersections downtown, I presume—storm fallout that’s a reminder of how hard we’ve been hit this winter. That can’t be good for the playing field grass in the long run, all the salted snow. Let’s hope the South Common renovation comes along sooner than later and that we get an artificial turf surface down there that will have to be carefully cared for over the long term. No more dumping. No more carnivals.
This winter has been tough for the dogs and cats, dogs especially. Cats have the litter box thing down. Taking the dog out has been like running an obstacle course. I fell down down a couple of times, and our dog wound up on his side a couple of times when he tried to climb an icy embankment. It is funny to see a small dog walk on top of the snow pack. The problem is that the dog walker isn’t as light. Hard to follow where the pup wants to go. I stuck one of our dog’s tennis balls in the fork of a big lilac bush branch outside our back door, and we’ve been watching the ball all winter, waiting for the day when I can un-wedge it and throw it on the back lawn. That’ll be the day, Buddy Holly.