My husband was born in Vermont, in the middle of January .I am certain there was snow, probably a considerable amount, covering the earth at the time of his arrival. I never thought to ask his mother about it and of course, it is now too late.
I, too, was born in January. I was born in Mullens, West Virginia. Even though most of West Virginia is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the state does get snow. I know I have seen pictures of me where the snow was over my head.
You could say that snow was part of our being from our beginning. So why do I look out my window at the falling, accumulating white stuff and cringe?
My husband used to love to drive in the snow. I remember a day, about 20 years ago. It was during the time I was living away from home, doing my residency in funeral directing. The funeral home was only 35 miles away but since I was on call 24/6-I got one day off- I had to live in an apartment above the funeral home. In order to make the trek home to Cambridge weekly, I bought studded snow tires for my Volkswagen Fox. Snowy roads or clear roads, I wanted to be able to get to my house. I missed my home.
There was a BLIZZARD predicted when I was at home one week. My boss called and told me to stay home for an extra day or so and not try to travel into work. So now that I didn’t have to go to work my husband saw this as a marvelous opportunity for A ROAD TRIP IN THE SNOW—the perfect opportunity to see how those studded snow tires really worked!
We headed north making the first stop at the funeral home in the next town. We didn’t own our funeral home back then. My husband worked for Mr. Ackley and would sometime help out tin the neighboring town. (I was only a lowly resident.) Jon, the owner of the funeral home, was busy preparing for the storm, making sure his plow was working since he needed to be able to get out in case there was a death call. (People do die during storms and want us to respond.) Well, since we were already out, my husband thought we should drive over Rupert Mountain and go to Manchester, VT and do a bit of shopping. Oh well, he was driving and I have the utmost confidence in his driving in the snow ability.
We ventured onward. We saw hardly anyone else out. We rounded a corner and slid. How in the world he did it, but the car slid right between a utility pole and a mail box, perfect, just like it had been planned. We were at the bottom of the mountain when this happened. “Perhaps we should turn around and go home,” I piped up. “Oh, it won’t be bad. Let’s just give it a try,” said my crazy, Vermonter husband.
We crawled up that mountain, inch by inch. I know when to keep silent and this was one of those times. I do have to admit, it was beautiful, and eerie and scary. We made it to the top and down the other side—at least part of the mission accomplished. On the way to Manchester we stopped in the J. K. Adams Woodworking Store. Even though there were few customers, it was opened, so how bad could the storm be? I bought a cutting board that I refer to as “The Blizzard Board”.
Next stop, Manchester and the Bass Shoe Outlet. The snow was coming down hard, visibility very limited but when we got to the store it was opened-so I ask you, how bad could the storm really be? There were a few other customers so we took our time looking around for loafers for my husband, something he had decided he wanted. We had been there around 10 minutes when a young man approached us. “Could you please make your selection immediately. Somehow we just got the word that we were supposed to be closed an hour ago. It is blizzard conditions and there is a state of emergency declared. No one but emergency vehicles should be out!”
We looked at one another. It really is a storm and it really is bad. He bought a pair of loafers and we headed home.
The ride was beautiful all along the Battenkill River with no one out but us two, a very Dr. Zhizago world. He drove slowly and with great confidence. Yes, we were glad to get home, safe and sound. But it was a wonderful adventure that we would always remember.
Today I look out the window at the falling snow, a possible 8 to 12 inches. That means a lot of snow to plow and shovel. It is times like this that I wish we lived at the funeral home and only had one place to clear. Every year it gets harder. Every winter, Florida looks better. The thought of A ROAD TRIP IN THE SNOW seems crazy– but I think I will suggest one!
I started writing this thinking how the snow made me feel Old but after recalling that wonderful adventure, I think I must put on my boots and go out into that beautiful snowy world. Maybe I can convince him to go to Manchester for some shopping!
We both have birthdays this month and we need to remind ourselves to enjoy every day and that we are only as old as we let ourselves be!
Onward! I just asked. He’s willing. Pictures to follow.
The minute I posted this, the phone rang. we are off on a road trip but it is for a death call. That’s life in our profession!