Sunday, March 16, 2014
My snowshoes finally quit.
Granted, they were old … fifteen-plus years … but the snow-slushy-gunk we’ve trudged these last couple of months in search of sunlight and exercise and walks for the dog has bested them. The grommets that held the little tooth-like spiky grippers have popped: the shoes flop uselessly when I attempt to walk in them.
I’m trying not to feel crazily trapped by this latest gear malfunction. I mean, I can get out. I just can’t go far, or too fast. The snow is either too deep (requiring showshoes) or the roads too icy. I’d like to drive to a groomed outdoor center, but the nearest one is up a winding, ear-popping rural road, and I’m not feeling confident about the car. Just before the flopping snowshoes debacle was the Failure to Climb Van: our big red Dodge simply couldn’t make it up the vertical-ice-rink driveway to our house. Spinning wheels, gravel flying, the smell of burning rubber … luckily, neighbors let us park in their drive at the bottom of the hill. Until May. When it thaws.
I know what you’re thinking: Dude. Get a life. This is a seriously First World Problem. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re thinking: Are you kidding? Who wants to go outside when it’s 16 degrees anyway? Stay inside and drink coffee. Or hot chocolate laced with Schnapps. And by the way, stay inside and GET SOME WRITING DONE.
Ah, there’s the rub. Writing. I should be gleefully tap-tapping away on the laptop, now that I have every imaginable excuse to stay indoors. In winter, the Muse wears a fur-lined bomber hat, complete with ear flaps. This is the season of first drafts, and completed manuscripts. Productive days spent by the woodstove.
Okay. Yes. All true. Especially the part about the Muse. But in March, when you’re ready for the sweet wood-smokey smell of maple sugar season, and the return of birdsong, you hate looking out the window to a scene right out of The Shining. A little too much snow, and the Muse starts wielding a hatchet. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy ….
I know I should be writing, but it’s sooooooo much more fun complaining about the doozie of a winter we’ve had. All the falling and broken bones and ice dams (my poor brother returned home from a lovely ski trip with his family to discover water dripping through his living room ceiling, soaking into the plaster and the wood floors … ) and skidding and missed flights.
Of course, in parts of the country where the local economy depends on snow, this has been a bonanza. Yay for the restaurants and inns that need skiers and snowmobilers! This stuff is like manna from heaven. Yay.
There. I said it. I do love snow, I really do. Snow is a good thing. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing …
My friend, Mary, and her writer/photographer spouse who spends so much time in the Arctic he’s practically an honorary Inuit, head to St. John, in the Virgin Islands, this week. I’m so incredibly happy for them. They will be HOT and they will snorkel in aquamarine water, and nap on white sand, and hear all sorts of birds. I’m so … deeply, wonderfully happy. For them. Yeah.