When you live in the south, seeing snow is a rarity. I mean, if a southern weatherman says that there is a .001% chance of snow, people suddenly get a craving for french toast and flock to the stores to buy out all the bread, eggs, and milk. I’m not kidding.
Anyway, with that much of a chance of snow, everything shuts down and the kids are sent packing home from school. Everything, except for Home Depot and grocery stores.
That’s not the case in the north, as I soon found out.
It's was October 2000 and my first winter in New England. I was excited to see snow. It was around the middle of October and it would be the first snow of the season. Damn, I could have almost pissed my pants from the excitement.
That evening, while watching TV and preparing for the night, I looked out of the window to see the biggest flakes I had ever seen. I didn’t bother getting my clothes ready for work. I was sure they’d close down and call it a, “snow day!” Geez, what would I do? I could build a snowman. I could make a snow angel. I could throw snowballs at the dogs. While thinking about my plans, I made some coffee and sat by the window to watch the beauty. It was starting to cover the ground and began clinging to the trees. It was absolutely picturesque, like a postcard.
The next morning, I peeked out the window again and all I saw was sparkling white. Breathtaking! I got dressed and put on my snow boots, grabbing the snow shovel so I could go outside and pretend I was a typical New Englander and shovel the driveway.
Except, when I went to open the door, snow was packed so tight that I couldn’t open the screen door. The snow drifts were waist high. I couldn’t get out. I tried the back door. Same thing. So, I opened a window and rolled out. Snow filled the inside of my pants and shirt. It was not pleasant, but I was determined to enjoy it.
I happily shoveled the driveway and sidewalk, snorting at the neighbor who had a snow blower, scoffing at the notion and chalked it up to me getting much needed exercise. When I was finished, I stood back and admired my handiwork. It was art! However, I was utterly exhausted. It's not easy shoveling snow.
Then I heard it…
A large truck was approaching and sure enough, when it reached the corner, I saw that it was the snow plow scraping the streets. How awesome is that? Very efficient. The driver honked and waved as he passed by, filling up the end of the driveway with even more snow. I started to shovel it again, but this time it was damn near back-breaking. The snow from the street was slushy from all the salt, making it heavier to shovel. I was not pleased, but I did it, knowing I was getting a good workout. Don’t think there wasn’t cursing involved, because there was.
Again, I was exhausted and went back inside to take a nice hot shower. I figured I’d make me a nice hot breakfast and enjoy the view from inside.
The phone rang. It was my manager, wondering why I wasn’t at work yet.
Me: It’s a snow day.
Manager: Not in Massachusetts, it’s not. Get your Texas rear end to work.
Me: Hmmph. Well, alright then. It'll prolly take me a while to get there. I'm not familiar with driving in the snow, ya know?
Manager: We'll be here waiting.
I went to work, but while there, it snowed another 8 inches. This would be an interesting drive home, I thought, but the efficient plows were back to work on the highway. I was white-knuckling it all the way home. New Englanders don’t give a shit how fast they drive and you just better stay out of their way or you get the old, “One Finger Salute.” I quickly learned why they were called Massholes. But hey, I was living out my dream of living in New England. Nobody was going to suppress my happiness, damnit!
I got home and the driveway was full of that white shit again and the plow had already made his way down the streets, blocking the driveway even more with the slushy crap. There was no way I was going to be able to pull in and park the Tahoe. I did the only thing my Texas ass knew how to do: I backed up, revved the engine (while in neutral), threw the Tahoe in drive and rammed that shitty white snow all over the front of the house. It was fun!
I shoveled again, praying that it wouldn’t snow again. And to think, it was only mid-October. I had 6, 7, or 8 more months of that crap to live through.
But the same thing happened the next morning. So when the plow truck driver passed by waving and honking, dumping more back-breaking word at the end of the driveway, I flipped him off.
More from living