Pretty cool stuff

January 12, 1996|By Dick George

I LIKE SNOW, I really do. I like to watch it fall. I like to see it pile up. I like to roll around in it. I like to ski on it. I think it's pretty cool stuff.

Luckily for me, I live at the perfect place for snow. There's a corn field across the road, about four feet above the level of our little country road. In the big storms, the snow blows across that field and fills in the road, like sugar poured from a fresh bag. This means the deepest snow for miles around is always in front of our house.

This odd happenstance allows us to observe and note some simple truisms of modern life.

* There is no truth at all in commercials for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Maybe you can beat the Baja, but Carroll Manor Road will devour you. With all four wheels spinning, you just sink faster in the white quicksand. This year in our snowy traps we bagged three four-wheel drives. It was a good year.

* When you have a snow shovel in your hand, you are perceived differently. People think you are some sort of snow sentry, that some unknown authority has posted you there as an aid to travelers. I'd see someone coming and wave my arms to warn them away, but they must have thought I was saying ''Come on down. Drive into the deep snow. I'm dying to use this shovel.''

Maybe on your skull.

The woman's edge

* Women definitely have an edge. I'm sorry. When a woman struggles out of her car, staggers through the drifts and says ''May I borrow your shovel?'' it's hard to just stand there and watch. And they all know it, too. I can't just stand there. Something in my upbringing says, ''Dick, get your teen-age son to help this woman.''

* Snow blowers are power. My neighbor ''King Bill'' has one. When he fires up his snow blower, his loyal subjects line the road eagerly to shout acclaim. With reverence and humility they chant ''Long live the king'' and ''Will you do my driveway, PLEASE, O mighty King Bill?'' He walks behind his snow blower, proudly, a plume of white spouting up and over his head. He's ''Moby Bill,'' surfacing to display his awesome powers and win allegiance, gratitude, baked goods and an occasional six-pack from his admirers.

* Blizzards do bring people together. When the sun comes out, everybody congregates on the corner, sort of like waiting for Godot. In our case Godot is a front-end loader. We talk, and wait. And wait, and talk. ''When will it come? Does the county even know we exist? Do we exist? Does anybody have any eggs? If we bake, do we exist?''

Our Godot finally arrived. The machine took a couple hours to dig us out, ripping big bites out of the drifts in its gigantic maw. Then all that was left was to dig out the mailbox. Once that was done, the blizzard of '96 was over.

Rats.

Dick George, of Baldwin, has a treat waiting for him outdoors this morning.

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