It is official. I am tired of winter.
A record-setting snowfall fell overnight Wednesday, between seven-and-a-half and eight inches. My drive home Wednesday night from the office was frought with peril; it was raining when I left the office, sleeting when I reached the interstate, snowing when I reached the Owings Mills Expressway, blizzard conditions when I reached the Owings Mills Boulevard exit, and whiteout conditions when I reached home. I managed to park the Beetle, though I didn’t get it far into the driveway, and worried because it was an incline I found two bricks and blocked the tires.
The next morning, I went out and began digging at nine. The office was to open at twelve. I dug and I dug and I dug, and I got the Beetle uncovered by two. BWI may have had a snowfall of something shy of eight inches, but there were places where I had close to three feet where the snow blew and bellowed into drifts around the Beetle. I didn’t make it into the office.
I ached. My gloves were torn and tattered. My arms felt limp and immobile. My hands hurt badly; I’d broken the snow shovel’s handle. Worse, I could barely move them, I certainly couldn’t close them.
Friday I worked. The office hadn’t missed me.
Yesterday, I shoveled more. My car was fine at the end of the driveway, still resting on an incline of ice and snow.
This morning, I shoveled still more. And, as I’d cleared out more of the driveway, up to where the driveway went level, I decided to move my car up.
I hopped in the car, I put the key in the ignition, I turned the key, I put the Beetle into gear.
The Beetle wouldn’t move. I put the Beetle into first gear. I gave it some gas. It slid backward.
I put the Beetle into reverse and backed out slightly into the road. I gave it some gas, to get some momentum, and maybe that would put me up over the incline.
I put the Beetle into park. I got out of the car.
The Beetle began sliding down the hill.
Panicked, I got the door open, I got inside, I lunged for the brake.
I realize, now, that doing so was pointless. The wheels weren’t turning. The car wasn’t in gear. The Beetle just wasn’t going to sit immobile on that icy incline.
Still, it was a worrying moment. The very moment I’d been worried about. Would the Beetle slide on the driveway’s icy incline?
And, indeed, it had.
Today actually got mildly warm. Maybe about fifty. There was much melting.
I started the car and moved it over to the other driveway.
I spread salt. I shoveled more.
I don’t think I can shovel any more.
Tomorrow is supposed to be mild, until flurries move in during the evening hours.
Tuesday morning, though, just as I’d be on my way to work, is when an ice storm is supposed to hit.
Followed by rain on Wednesday, and bitterly cold temperatures on Thursday.
I’m reminded of the passage that opens Lance Parkin’s Doctor Who novel, Father Time:
There comes a time when the fall of snow is no longer the start of a marvelous adventure. There comes a time when it means scraping your windscreen and hoping your car starts. It means aching joints and throbbing sinuses and cold hands and feet. It means taking longer to get to work and spending all day sitting in an office where the heating isn’t on. Grey slush and cracked pipes, cancelled trains and influenza, that’s what snow means. You’ll wake up feeling like that, one day, and it will mean you are grown up. I hope that day doesn’t come soon.
That’s how this winter feels. The fall of snow is no longer the start of a marvelous adventure.
I’m trying to figure out when this happened. Was it last year? Was it Blizzardammerung?
I’m done with winter. I just want it to be over.