Snow day.

Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:18 pm
dalesql: (Pi)
Well, not for me. But things actually went well. I woke up early, anticipating having to do battle with shovel and blower against the evil white stuff coating the ground. As I am getting dressed, I hear the telltale sound of snowplow scraping along the pavement.
Great! I sez to myself. Murphy just came along and plowed in the driveway. But wait, there's more. I hear the sound of truck backing up and plowing again? what? I look outside, and there is someone plowing the driveway. We don't have a snowplow company under contract here? We have shovels, a snowblower, and cursing and muttering about where's my damn global warming when I need it.

So I go outside, clearing the front walk, exactly one shovel width wide and get out to the driveway, wonderfully cleared of snow. The plow truck finished up and drove away before I got outside to see who it was, and I couldn't read the name on the side of the truck. So I scraped the snow from the car, cleared the small berm of snow from in front, and went off to work.

Work was fairly uneventful. But everyone was late in today, what a surprise. We are switching to a new health plan at work. I'm not sure I am entirely sure about switching to a new health plan that has a start day of April 1st. Just a small, niggling suspicion about April Fools day.

But what I wanted to write about was snow days, back when I was a kid. Snow days were hoped for, magical, unpredictable holidays from the drudgery of school. And we had the best sled run in the world right down the street. The house is located at the bottom of the hill, and there was another street running across the hill about 500 feet horizontally, and maybe 200 feet vertically above.
My grandparents house was up on that street. Starting from right behind my grandparent's house was an old dirt road that curved down the hill, passing behind a couple of houses, and ended up down on our street. It was the perfect sledding run. Not too steep, fairly long, and except at one spot near the end where it squeezed between a fencepost and a large rock, free of obstructions.
Every snow day, we kids could be found out there, trudging up the hill for another run down. and when we got cold or tired, there was grandma, who reliably had something good to eat and warm drinks right there at the top of the hill, and down at the bottom, it was only a few hundred feet down the street to get back home. I had a lot of fun on that sledding path every winter. In the summer time, there were groves of trees, and rock formations that provided endless venues for play there as well.
Out in the swamp behind our house was a small pond that froze over early, and I made my few attempts at ice skating. I never liked it, but my brothers did. I imagine the pond is still out there, frozen over under a coating of snow.
I never asked, but since my grandfather laid out these streets and built the houses on them, I pretty sure that he saw the potentials for sledding on that old road and left it there for future kids to use. He had this amazing vision. He could tromp over a piece of undeveloped land, taking measurements and seeing things. I never saw anything but trees and rocks and thorn bushes.
He would see the interesting rocks, and the good trees, and the lay of the land, and then plan out a housing development that provided great lots, good solid houses, and places for kids to play not on the street. I never realized that he only built five or six basic house plans. Because he would turn them around in different directions, put the garage on one side or the other, add a porch here or there, add a breezeway and hey-presto! A development full of all different homes. All with good view, privacy, and the potential for good neighbors.
Unfortunately, years after my grandfather died, another developer got ahold of the land that the old sled run went through. He managed to squeeze in two lots, with a common driveway, obliterating the old sled run. Except for the last hundred feet or so. That was protected by the presence of an old indian artifact found there, which still remains, unmarked except by the decaying remains of that split rail fence we dodged around on our sleds.

I think I'm gonna take a walk up the old sled run in a few weeks. Once the snow melts.


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