Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Blizzard Chronicles Redux

The Blizzard Chronicles Redux

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

My earlier blog post must have resonated with somebody with a whole lot of leverage over the affairs of men and the natural universe.  They did a Frank Sinatra on it and came up with an average of four more inches of snow on the ground.  Chalk it to the dividends of experience but Long Island did not close shop this time around.  We cannot but be thankful for small favors:
Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare 
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare? 
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not? 
And if a Curse--why, then, Who set it there?
~~Omar Khayyam, The Rubaiyat

There definitely were tangible downsides, depending upon which side of the fence you hang out.  For instance, since the usual suspect venues were open for business, rather than wrap herself up on the couch enjoying YouTube, my wife did report for work and got amply rewarded for her due diligence with a 4.5 hour trip back home on what normally was a forty-minute drive.

This was just proof positive that under the proper mix of circumstances, no good deed would be left unpunished.  As the drinking Persian, good old grandpa Omar, had appropriately counseled above, any manna that comes our way can no longer safely be classified whether or not it’s a blessing or a curse.  It all depends on how we dispose of it and handle the consequences, incidental or otherwise premeditated.

It had caused the frustration and exasperation of the powers that be, even (or especially) those charged with disposing of other peoples’ money.
“Speaking at a press conference this morning, the new mayor repeatedly sighed and expressed his exasperation at Mother Nature, . . .”
Liberal Progressives exemplified by New York City’s mayor just seem to have difficulty reconciling with the reality of powers far more overreaching than our preoccupation with mundane concerns.

The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes, 
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes; 
And He that toss'd you down into the Field, 
He knows about it all--He knows--HE knows!
Mother Nature’s second serving left a soggy landscape whose manifestation on our front yard, viewed from the main door is depicted by DSC0478.

The left side of the picture shows my wife’s commute chariot, with a moderate dusting of snow, resting on the driveway.  DSC0480 shows the same front yard viewed from the dining room table.
Fast forward another week, it’s Super Bowl 48 Sunday. The MetLife Stadium, the predetermined venue for the game, in East Rutherford, NJ is about a Hail Mary’s throw away from the western end of the Lincoln Tunnel.  The Lincoln, connecting Manhattan to the mainland of continental North America under the Hudson River, is some sixty-nine or so miles from my front door.

As if to spite the sadistic proclivities of the football-following public, who own the reputation to enjoy watching the contending teams battle it out for the coveted Lombardi Trophy, the prize hardware for every Super Bowl, Mother Nature promptly brought in a simulation of early spring.  Weather prognosticators in the area uniformly tagged ambient ground temperature hovering right around the 50-degree mark.

Even our friendly neighbors, the pair of cardinals who had laid claim on the evergreen holly that canopies our garage to be their very own abode, were deliriously if prematurely celebrating an early spring.  To paraphrase and bastardize Shakespeare, it is “the winter of our discontent made glorious by these cardinals.”

When they first caught my attention frolicking outside the window, I mistook their constant collision with the glass as an attempt to play with their image as reflected by the glass pane of the window.  I later realized that they were actually attempting to fly through the glass window. 
Having no clue on the anatomy of the birds’ eye-view, I don’t presume to know what they see behind the window, i.e., inside the room.  My guess is they don’t see anything at all.  This is based on my observation that if I leaned motionless at the window frame for an extended period, the birds come bumping on the window as if I was not there at all.  My wife, with her charitable wisdom, interprets this as my not getting any respect from the cardinals.  I find it difficult to refute the evidence.
Alas Mother Nature was neither sympathetic to the lamentations of Mayor de Blasio nor to the celebrations of the cardinals.  She promptly deposited yet again another, in this neck of the woods, five inches of the white soggy stuff on the ground.  They predicted four to eight inches.  Five inches should not be construed as a bad bargain.  Compared to last week it seems a token.
This is not to denigrate the travails of those who actually shovel the stuff off the ground.  The temperature having barely gone south of melting point, the carpeting is compact, wet, and heavy.  It is more pleasant to behold than to walk upon.  It certainly makes the oak tree look chillingly pretty, though.

The lady who operated the plow truck clearing the main court of Howe Court was gracious enough to assure my wife not to dump on the entrance to our driveway.  Other operators in the past were too nonchalant to be cognizant of such small amenities.
This being the first week of February, I anticipate a couple more episodes of the looming blizzard. The cluster of cypress growing close to the house walls designed to conceal the laundry room from street view seem too over laden with the soggy precipitate they are bent out of shape.   Whether or not they would regain their dignified accustomed poise come spring would be anybody’s guess.
While we wait and see, we share the optimism of Frank Sinatra and deep in our hearts perhaps partly and silently sing along with him Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago thus:

Somewhere, my love, there will be songs to sing
Although the snow covers the hopes of Spring
Somewhere a hill blossoms in green and gold
And there are dreams, all that your heart can hold, etc.


  1. The tree towering between the garage and the main building is the Evergreen Holly now the claimed abode of the cardinals. Its top was just level with the top of the garage when we first moved in. It now towers taller than the top of the main building. Either we have been here really a long time or trees just grow faster in the proximity of our abode. We might claim to be a tree-friendly household.

  2. This morning I was shown proof positive that 1) the cardinals don’t know what they are doing and 2) I’m anything but a good Christian. Here’s how: after having been awakened by the sound of a persistent tap-tap-tap on the window pane, I peeked from behind the door and watched the cardinal seemingly testing the consistency of the glass with its beak.
    Then it flew away from the window, alighted on the farthest branch about 6 to 7 yards out and at full speed flew smack straightly onto the window as if intent on breaking the barrier. I was amazed the bird did not drop dead onto the roof of the garage. It just bounced off the glass seemingly unharmed and flew away. I was more than flabbergasted at the bird’s antics. I was disgusted at the display of mindlessness. I forgot one of the Christian admonitions uttered from the cross { http://biblehub.com/luke/23-34.htm}, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing."