In the last seven day stretch of time, Vermont has seen two nor’easters and one hard-hitting clipper system. We’re drowning in the white stuff, but snow isn’t really my issue. The problem is it’s ten below frigid and mind-numbingly cold. I was outside for a little over two hours this evening, trying to unbury our two driveways for the third time, and even though I was dressed more than appropriately for the weather, by the time I hobbled back inside, I was frozen down to my very bones.
After a steaming hot shower, I found my way up to my writing desk, but quickly vacated it to huddle on the floor next to the gas heater with the dogs. My fingers and toes are rapidly regaining circulation, while vehemently protesting my earlier stupidity by aching like a son-of-a-gun.
Now I could go all sci-fi on you and suggest that the government is somehow manipulating our weather, but I’m afraid there is a far simpler answer. My friend, Jack Frost, the crusty little vagabond with multiple personalities has blown back into town with a vengeance this last week.
Jack’s a very popular fellow when he first arrives here in autumn. He makes the air deliciously nippy and covers every face he can find with frosty kisses. In addition, he’s the best company one can possibly keep at a fall bonfire.
In early winter, Jack is still quite tolerable and develops an artistic flair. Stroking the world with his silver crystal paintbrushes, shimmering masterpieces glisten on each glass surface he touches. This year he even left a portrait of himself on one of my windows. Check out his hair. Isn’t it fabulous?
Alas, in mid-to-late winter, Jack loses his mind and goes berserk. He shrouds the world in thick cases of ice. Pipes crack and burst. Cars won’t start. Roofs collapse. Vehicles skid all over the roads, which are slipperier than greased pigs. Tree limbs and telephone lines snap. To make matters worse, Jack Frost no longer just nips at your nose. No, he’s got a knife and he’s happy to cut your nose off your face if you dare poke it outside the door without protection. In short, Jack sometimes makes life miserable here in New England.
Tonight, however, was the last straw. Tonight Jack went too far when he turned murderous. Sitting on top of my slate roof, he launched an avalanche of snow at my head. I heard the slide coming, dropped the shovel and threw myself willy nilly into the nearest snowbank, out of the harm’s way. The only thing injured was my pride, but the shovel was not nearly as fortunate. It was buried alive. I frantically dug it out with gloved hands,while keeping an eye out for more snow slides from the roof. Unable to kill me, Jack made sure I suffered frostbite for rescuing my poor (and now thoroughly dented) shovel.
Not cool, Jack. Not cool. You’re off the friend list until next fall.