Monday, February 2, 2015

Little House in the Big Blizzard

My adopted hometown of Boston is experiencing a record snowfall. Over the last seven days, more than four feet of the white stuff have fallen on the pristine grounds of The Tiny Bunaglow.

I grew up in Central New York. I thought I could handle it. 

But, when I came home from work tonight, after the latest 15" had fallen from the skies, and discovered that the plow guy for hire who was supposed to clear the driveway hadn't yet showed up, and the municipal plow guys had pushed what appeared to be all of the snow from the neighborhood streets on my front lawn, blocking the only path to my front porch, I lost it. 

Yup. I was sitting in my car, parked illegally on the road in front of my house, sobbing. So I did what all rational people would do in a similar situation. I called my husband, who is stranded in Florida by a series of unfortunate events, and we had a screaming fight.

After I hung up in a righteous huff, now crying, angry and still barred from getting into my house, I thought, "What would Laura Ingalls Wilder do in this situation?" (Some people call on God in times of trouble. Me? I call on Laura.)

Laura would not let a six foot high bank of snow, hiding 15 feet of unplowed field and two short sets of unplowed steps, get in the way of her making it home. And she certainly wouldn't sit in her car crying. 

So I surveyed the perimeter of the yard, found what appeared to be the smallest section of the snow bank and I waded in. In fewer than five minutes, I was on the porch, and 30 minutes later I had removed the day's worth of powder from the stairs and most of the front lawn. I knew, through the efforts of BMG, that the DPW and police were en route to deal with the deep bank of plowed snow. But they hadn't yet arrived. 

I wondered, "Should I start tunneling through the 6' high bank? Or do I trust that the people who say they are going to help ARE in fact coming to help." I did a little tunneling, and then decided to trust.

While I waited, I counted my blessings. Because Laura would count her blessings, right? 

I spent nearly an hour trying to get into my house. But I am blessed to have a well-insulated house.

I was cold and wet after 90 minutes solving the problem of the impassable yard. But I am blessed to have a warm winter coat, sturdy boots, snow pants and multiple pairs of gloves so I can be sure to always have a dry pair on as I continue to work in the frigid cold. 

I felt hopelessly alone, shoveling in the dark as I waited for the DPW workers and police officers to arive. But I am blessed to have neighbors who both worry about my whereabouts and the accessibility of my home, and offer help in spite of their own exhaustion from digging their homes out from under all the snow.

And when the plow driver for hire never showed up and I had to clear my own driveway? Blessed again, this time with an ergonomic shovel and a strong body that made it possible for me to do the work myself. 

The latter part of my day sucked. But, sitting in the comfort of the little house in the big blizzard, I'm aware that I'm lucky. Really lucky. 

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