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The Jaded Eye
Busting a Blizzard
by Gerry Ayers

It kept coming and coming. The snow, that is. And hopefully, was. I'm sure the kids loved it, as they haven't seen massive amounts in quite a while.
  Our grandparents weren't kidding when they told us they walked to school and back in a foot of the white stuff. It does seem like it snowed more when I was in junior high — and with quite a few less cancellations. We were tough(er).
  Anyway, I must tell you I didn't mind the storm that dumped up to 19 inches of snow in our area on Tuesday, March 14th. It was an historic day so I took it all in.
  My day started off unlike yours. If you're a student, you stayed home. And if you're an adult, you probably also stayed home because most everyplace closed. Oh, you still worked; how did it feel shoveling those 19 inches out of the way?
  Me? I made it to work, as they were waiting for me with open arms. And it was to be outside almost the entire shift to move snow and cars.
  Let me reiterate something for the umpteenth time to all of you. Given the choice between strapped to a hospital bed with tubes down my throat and staring at a ceiling or outside living and breathing with coworkers even in blustery cold with wet socks and a runny nose, there is NO comparison. Fogged glasses and teeth chattering? Sure, like a jackhammer. No worries, it's all good.
  So what about after punching out?
  I was tempted to call some pals and get some inner tubes pumped up and head for the hills to slide on down. No takers would be had. Our "undersides" don't have the same shock absorption as it did in high school. Vertebrate aren't up to the abuse. But the memories of gaining momentum down a massive snow packed hill and busting through a snow bank brought a smile to my face.
  When I made it to my father’s house, he needed groceries. After a short rest and watching pro tennis televised from sunny and warm Indian Wells, California, I strapped on the boots and headed outside again. Those guys in shorts and sneakers and all of us with parkas and scarfs.
  Before I left, I found a canvas bag with ornate "route 66" markings on it. I gave that to my mother years ago - finding it at a Carlisle car show and bringing it home for her as a gift. Today it would be used to lug groceries home!
  Gatorade and soup and comfort food would be coming home with me on this historic snow day! Again, another smile on my face as I carried my mothers bag up and down the store aisles. She would be armed with coupons; all I had was an appetite.
  I carried the bag home (sorta heavy) like a newborn. Took two hands. Worth the walk and worth the wait. Incredibly, most sidewalks were free of the flakes.
  Oh, this snowy day wasn't done yet. I had some shoveling to do in the driveway before neighbor Garth Womer played hero and finished off pops driveway with his potent snowblower. Nothing beats looking at a fresh path of cut snow to maneuver through on a cold day.
  Warm soup for dinner. Chicken soup. Anyone remember the Chicken soup for the teenage soul books? And all the others? Just wondering.
  My second job was cancelled due to the inclement weather, so I put on my sweats, plopped on the couch, grabbed some car books and did some research on an old Plymouth Road Runner I bought to restore (bring back to life). Oh, you're gonna love it.
  My mind suddenly raced to the outdoor swap meets where I shall hunt for parts for this bird. Sun, warmth, no wind chill or snow plows.
  Till then, as the Road Runner left Wile E. Coyote in a trail of dust, so shall we bid farewell to the slip and slop of snow. All 19 inches worth. Beep- beep!


 
 
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Gerry Ayers
 
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