Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let it Stop!

I woke up today to see that ominous gray sky. Looked out the window down at the street -- oh no, the frosty menace is back.

It wasn't always this way between us.
When I was a kid, I loved snowstorms. The snowflakes inspired those scissor-happy paper window decorations. We'd head for the hills with our Flexible Flyers [right]. (Today, with the plastic-shells and inflatable tubes,  I have a hard time understanding how those two-runner sleds ever worked.) . The best of all was a snow day, when school and time stood still for the blanketing beauty of a blizzard.

I also had some perilous encounters with the white stuff as a kid.  Most notably when I tried skiing on an intermediate slope my second day up on skis ever, and wound up careening into a rock and being carried down in a toboggan, temporarily immobilized (and, for a much longer period, humiliated).

Last week, my dad's car (it's mine now, but I still think of it that way, especially because I would probably not choose a small-trunked, two-door, convertible to ferry my family around and park on city streets -- was buried [above] by the combination of a foot from the skies and two feet from the plows.

This thwarted my chance to get it inspected in a timely manner (more on that in a future blog post called "Check Engine Light"), but also, by the time I had a few hours to dig it out, it had gotten so encrusted that, after turning away two other street volunteer shovelers, I enlisted a man named Tito, who, despite having a broken plastic shovel and no gloves, whipped through the remaining icecaps with lightning speed, for which he was handsomely rewarded.

New York has already had over four feet of snow this winter, after several consecutive winters with only one or two storms the whole season. And today's is just adding insult to injury.

Here's what I've realized: Snow is not for grown-ups.

This point was driven home to me the year I tore a ligament in my ankle. I was working at the time on the short-lived CBS show Love Monkey, and our showrunner, Michael Rauch, had found us a really cool writers' room in a loftlike building in Tribeca. Its only downside was you had to climb two flights of stairs to get to it.  So, being practical (and masochistic), I put off getting my ankle operated on until the job was finished, not wanting to have to use crutches for six weeks going up and down those steps.

The show was cancelled before we could even hold the wrap party to celebrate the filming of our seventh and final episode. The only upside was it meant I could finally get my operation. I did, went home on crutches, and then the next day it snowed. And snowed. And snowed.

"A record snowstorm," crowed the New York Times: 26.9 inches. [right] 

And there was me, on my crutches.

Slip sliding into Central Park to take my kids sledding, (The snow was so deep, we were able to sled down what in normal conditions were staircases). Stumbling around the city and in and out of subways (since no cabs were to be found). It was one of those "God Says Ha!" memories.

This recent spate of snow has even got my kids grumbling. They were excited to miss two days of school...but my older one missed a day of chorus rehearsal and now has to show up for one on a day she formerly was going to have off. The weather was so cold that sledding was short and sweet. And soon enough it was that horrible New York grey piles that make it impossible to cross streets, to park, or to throw out garbage. This leads to some pretty sad sights. 
The only way to remember the childlike wonder of snow is to take out the camera. So that's what I've done.   

1 comment:

pbfperkins said...

Love the photos. You should see our back yard. Poor Bertie is having trouble running around in all the snow now that it has gotten crusty. When it was light and powdery he ran through it like he was in surf, but now he has to move forward by leaping. Poor doggy.