Comments on life, the universe and everything from an aging Sixties survivor.

Location: Massachusetts, United States

Ummm, isn't "about me" part of the point of the blog?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cabin Fevah

February really is the time that tries the soul. It is the start of four to six weeks, in the up country, when one just clamps down and does one's best to avoid suicide, homicide, or any other 'cide you care to mention. Because you have just about fucking had it.

Two recollections. When I was a high school junior, we had to read Ethan Frome. The experience was lost on us. All of the characters' angst was, for us up there, just slice of life. What, hate each other? What, kill one another? Big frickin' deal! A point comes when one is just a machine for clearing snow and slogging though schmucky roadside crud to get to school.

The chief benefit is that one appreciates the first hints of spring so much more when they come.

The other was that of my daughter. When she went to college in upstate NY, her first two winters there were unusually mild. She was almost disappointed, and sure that everything she'd heard was a lie.

Then came the third winter. As she described things, it rarely snowed very much, but it snowed all the time. Four inches this night, six the night after, then another six, and so on: and it never, ever melted.

When she told me this, I nodded and thought: see?

It just went downhill from there. We went to the kid's final state championship swim meet in Rochester the year after that. While we were there (this was late February) we saw a weather report that said it was the 48th straight day in which it had snowed for some part of the day or night...and then, in spite of this, my daughter went to Rochester for her graduate studies: Yankee girl, meet lake effect snow.

Under those conditions, it becomes easy to think of prolonged sunlight as a freak cosmic accident...something like a solar eclipse, where people gather to look up at this rare phenomenon.

Small wonder the beer in upstate NY is pretty good: they sure as hell need it.


Blogger malevolent andrea said...

In August 1998, my ex whatever he was to me and I climbed Mt Marcy--the highest peak in the Adirondacks! (I always have to throw that part in, 'cause that's the crowning athletic achievement of my life)--and the closest big town to where we were stayig, where we went to eat dinner and shop, was Lake Placid.

I will never, ever forget that even in August there was a mound of dirty, compacted plowed slow that we passed downtown, left over from the previous winter and probably due to be added to with fresh snow in another 6 weeks or so. Just the concept was horrifying.

1:59 am  
Blogger crispix67 said...

Ah yes, wonderful lake effect snow. We lived north of Syracuse- between Watertown and grandmother lived 12 miles south of us. We could have blizzard conditions...shed have flurries.Yay!

Sending you some Southern sunshine...I'll keep the cold here because I know its not cold by your New England standards and I dont want you to laugh at me. Too much. LOL

Yesterday it was 30 at 2 pm, with a windchill of 18. That is cold to me. LOL

Sending warm hugs and sunshine...:)

3:22 pm  
Blogger Uncle said...

One summer my kid did an affiliation in Oswego, sort of the epicentre of lake effect. The city piled all its plowed snow in the dump, and the townspeople ran a pool guessing when the last of the snow pile would melt. That year it had been a "mild" winter and the snow was gone by the end of June. Of course the next winter we all saw footage of people there cleaning their roofs off with snowblowers. Ayuh: eight months of wintah, and four months of durn poor sleddin.'

1:58 am  

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