Friday, November 16, 2018


Very icy drive home last night.

On Tuesday I was in the driveway of the condo my brother and I inherited. I was on the phone wearing a pair of cargo shorts, and no shirt.  Had flip flops on as I walked back and forth while shmoozing.  Thought if the conversation went on much longer I'd have to go back inside for the air conditioning.

Now, as I write this in Boston the wind is howling and there is a sheet of snow/ice on the ground. When I arrived at the gym last night for my evening dance with the elliptical machine, a thin shower of snow had begun to fall.  When I left two hours later, it was--even for a fellow who lived in Buffalo for eight years and Albany for five--icy and treacherous.

The problem with first snows of the year is people aren't used to them.  In March if we had one of these, motorists would have gotten the hang of it.  In November, it is two hands gripping the steering wheel and cars sliding back and forth.  I took my normal route home which involves negotiating a steep swerving road.  That probably wasn't the smartest decision as on two occasions I had to do the snow mambo once to avoid a skidding car going down while I went up, and another time when I was on the way down.  The mass pike was not plowed and there were two kinds of motorists. Type A, going as fast as always, Type B moving cautiously like snails.  On South Street, the road that leads to our house, there were blue lights all over the place marking accidents and skidded cars. Very glad to pull into the driveway.

Inside a home on a snowy night when all are home safely, is the comforting antithesis of driving home on ice.  I wondered last night about the wisdom of having left Florida on Tuesday night.  I remembered how my dad was sold on Florida the minute he stepped off a plane in February the first time.  He said something about having shoveled his last snow flake. (Meanwhile, as I recall it, my brother and I did most of the shoveling, but a story for another day).

So, here I am. Cozy at home. No classes today.  The weather is warming up, so the snow will likely melt before I have to go anywhere.  Maybe I will start a fire. My university has a men's basketball game in Charleston at 11 am which will be broadcast on ESPN 2.  I have some chapters to edit and a book to read.  The plumber came yesterday to replace the water heater.  Hot showers are available. All seems well. No doubt some aggravation will surface during the course of the day, but having arrived safely after ice skating home I feel content.

Not everything is a metaphor I know, but doesn't this seem to be one (at least when you are inside and can muse about it).  Our days are trips on sometimes dicy highways.  If you aren't careful, make bad decisions, have bad luck, you wind up derailed. 

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