Thursday, January 6 2005
The snow that had fallen yesterday had left six inches of accumulation on the ground, and by the time I got out of bed it had turned to little ball bearings of sleet that, judging from the sounds they made bouncing off the metallic woodstove flue, were coming in with remarkable momentum. And so I remarked.
Gretchen had to be somewhere at 2pm and I knew that a $330 load of fuel oil would be delivered today, so I had to get cracking on shoveling out the driveway. Sometimes when I procrastinate, it's with a laptop computer in my lap, a hot cup of coffee by my side, and my feet propped up beside a raging fire in the woodstove. This morning I was doing these things when Gretchen came down the stairs wearing a very stern face that indicated my procrastinating had to come to an immediate end.
So there I was, out in the driveway, shoveling the accumulated precipitation. It was a most peculiar set of strata, with a hard sticky crust of freshly-fallen sleet concealing a dry, fluffy foundation. The snow was heavy and tended to stick to the shovel, so clearing the driveway took me a long time. I kept thinking I'd done enough to earn myself a break, but then the thought of how comfortable I'd be once I made it inside helped me realize that I'd never be able to finish the job unless I did it all in one go.
Not long after I'd finished the driveway, the tanker came with the fuel oil delivery. The driver seemed a little shaken from the experience of climbing Dug Hill Road in these conditions, so we suggested he continue northward and get out on the road's junction with 28A and avoid trying to go back down the escarpment the way he'd come up. By now the road and our driveway were covered with a quarter inch accumulation of sleet, each droplet like a ball bearing, only more slippery. It was still possible to walk on them without slipping because they tended to stick to one another under pressure.
Normally in this climate nothing is ever delayed or canceled due to nasty weather (such "inclement" weather can't be considered "inclimate" here). But today's sleet storm was bad enough for Gretchen to cancel one of her jobs.
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