All of the news stations were a buzz — The snow is coming… The snow is coming! And sure enough, at about 10pm last night a silent shower of cold whiteness came down upon Boston.
My wife, although sick with a cold, was giddy at the prospect. “It’s Snowing! Yeaaa!” She exclaimed as she turned off the lights in the house to see outside the window into the nighttime snow scene.
Within an hour, everything was covered in a cozy layer of white. And the the non-stop news coverage seemed to indicate the end of the world was coming…by snow storm! There were reporters standing by the major highways and in vast parking lots, covered in wet snow, hoping to deliver their live report in perfect sync with the snowplows that occasionally passed by (for without that, the scene was pretty calm and desolate).
I particularly enjoyed watching each of them (all 5 I saw) bend over to pick up a snow ball while doing their routine walk and talk towards the camera, as if to prove to the audience that the snow was there. “See? I can hold it – it’s real snow!”
And in part because of their overzealous reporting my hopes were lifted. Was this the first major snow of the year? Would I wake up to a good 6-12″ of white fluffy goodness? Would my wife be able to make her first snow angel ever ever?
The harsh reality began at 6am the following morning. I was suddenly awoken by a harsh scraping sound coming from outside my 1st floor window. My attempts to sleep through it were thwarted as more frequent and louder scrapes echoed through the otherwise peaceful snowy nighttime scene.
I sat up in bed and for a moment, it was quiet. The air was cold and the only light was coming from the streetlamps — the sun was still about an hour away from rising.
“SCRAAAAAAAPE — Scrape–Scrape” — there it was again. Who could be shoveling at this time of night??! I looked out the window and to my dismay found my landlord, an 85 year old woman who can best be described as “stubbornly feisty” shoveling the front sidewalk at 6 in the morning.
It should be mentioned that I made a verbal agreement with my aging landlord to shovel when a snow storm hit. But the terms of when and how much shoveling should occur were never set. Nevertheless, I knew I had to go out there.
After suiting up in full winter gear, I trudged out into the darkness and greeted my landlord, who greeted me with, “I suppose I’m waking everyone up here, huh?”
After a lengthy debate I managed to convince her to go inside but not after learning a pearl of wisdom I’ll never forget when I explained, “it’s only 6 in the morning, we don’t need to shovel this early.”
She replied, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, if it snows, you don’t sleep.”