Breaking news: Today New Jersey schools will be cancelled. Offices will be closed state-wide. Why? It snowed a foot or two overnight.
Old Man Winter must have eaten some bad fish. He's been in a foul mood and has been for the past six weeks, which have seemed like six years.
Here's a taste of what's been going on: snow one day; ice storm the next; then a day off to shovel and chisel the ice and slip and fall; then a day off of school and work; then a day off because, well, just because it's really cold outside or probably going to snow tomorrow; then a foot of snow falls again; then schools close for a few days; then it's sunny for a few hours (known as a Big Tease); then everybody goes to the garage to see if they have enough petroleum in their snow blowers or have sharpened the edges of their shovels; then it snows again (four inches, eight inches, whatever); then schools are closed for another day; then it's sunny for a few minutes; then it snows again another foot or two; then the roads get paved; then the ice thickens; then it snows again; then it snows again; then it snows again; ice
builds; ice stays; ice bothers; ice strikes fear; ice won't leave.
During my 50 or so years living in the Northeast Pole, I don't remember more ice and snow accumulating in one Winter. Particularly disturbing are the ubiquitous snow/ice drifts along roadways. Graying like aging men, they stare back at you with disdain. Snow drifts are caked upon other snow drifts. They have been there since, seemingly, the Ice Age. Life has congealed into an iceberg.
2014 hasn't been a year yet. It's just snow and ice, which I don't call a year. There are no lives, no routines, no real consistent friendships, not even much energy for family bickering. Frigidity has frozen the human spirit. Snow and ice have been like Batman and Robin, the Dynamic
Duo, the Caped Crusaders or whatever. Life is an unsettling and finger-stinging hockey brawl.
But it's not all misery. When it snows I eagerly and deliberately go to work regardless of how much slow I have to drive through and how often or how far my car slides on ice patches. Going to work means I don't have to shovel my driveway. "Sorry, honey, gotta go to work, pay the bills, you know."
She can't argue with that. Going to work has never been more convenient and pleasurable. Often I'm the only one in the office, a Lonesome Dove, a pioneer of sorts, a yeoman.
At some point all this snow and ice will melt and I'll be obsessed with baseball season. Right now, however, it's getting hard to believe melting is even a concept anymore. It feels as if I'm on a cheap boat at sea in a thunderstorm. The boat keeps rocking up and down, the rain keeps falling, the wind gusts furiously. I can't imagine what it would be like if the storm ends. There is too much dominating my senses of the here and now to cut through to the other side of life beyond the current. I forget what it's like for the weather to be normal. I can't believe I will ever escape. I crave normalcy, a day with the sun out with a slight breeze and no gray clouds and no snow and no slipping. I crave major league baseball but maybe the season will be cancelled due to snow and ice wiping out all 162 games.
Snow is everything and the only thing - except for ice. Will we ever escape this dark, tenacious and tiring tunnel of tumult? I don't see it. My eyes are frozen shut.