Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Il tombe de la neige . . . Noel! Noel!"

From The Enormous Room, by E. E. Cummings

It snowed on Saturday, then again on Sunday. Really dumped on us on Sunday, such that the Young Women were awakened at 0800 to pull on their cold weather shovelling gear and go shovel the walks at church. I went to help them, since 66% of my daughters would be involved anyway. I shoveled so hard I got a huge blister on the palm of my hand, which popped when I was breaking up ice in the driveway, so that now it looks like the beginnings of stigmata (if I believed in that sort of thing).

Monday I believe we had a respite, but Tuesday it was at it again. I was trying, again, to get Small Son and Daughter #3's passports renewed, having showed up on Friday without birth certificates to prove they were actually my children. They turned me away, of course. Bureauacracy. So after my 10-hour shift in Sandy on Tuesday, HH and I drove the 17 miles in the heavily falling show, threading through one accident after another, to get back to the same Bureaucrat. Daughter #1 was in charge of picking up #3 and SS from school (early, on his part, which caused no end of glee) and bringing them to meet us downtown. As I stared out the window at the snow and bent fenders and cars facing the wrong way, shuddering at each 18-wheeler that roared past at the Posted Speed Limit, I thought of what would happen if #1 should meet with one of these crazy drivers who was not as good at mathematics as HH (he loves driving in the snow; says it's a series of math problems: physics) and end up in the hospital (or worse) just weeks before she is scheduled to depart for her mission.

It did not bear thinking about.

So I prayed. I prayed that she should not meet with any accident that would delay her going. I was hoping, at best, for no accidents.

What I got was a miracle.

Not 7 minutes later we drove into a wall of . . . no weather: the heavy snow-clouds sat behind us, and sunshine and blue sky arched ahead. It stayed like that all the way to the post office, and all the way home again. Looking southward all we could see was the huge grey and white monster clouds still sitting on the city, dumping snow on all and sundry.

Those kind of mile-thick clouds don't just "blow away", and they extend for miles in all directions. Before they leave you, they have to first dump their load, then think grey thoughts overhead for a day, and then roil away looking for someone else to annoy.

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