February 13, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on February 12, 2018

Snow, snow, snow… so much snow. I asked A. yesterday how much he has to shovel when it snows in Montreal, and he replied, just the walkway. What about the sidewalk, I asked. Oh, the city does that, he answered. Imagine…

It’s 8:20am, and down below me on [state route] I see what for a few seconds looked like dueling snow throwers: two neighbors approaching one another on the sidewalk bordering their little front lawns, snow throwers flinging streams of what looks like very wet, heavy snow straight ahead onto the ridge of heaped, packed snow already piled more than waist-high between sidewalk and road. Just in time they turned their blower funnels inwards, toward their yards. This is not the kind of sidewalk ballet I’m eager to observe, even if it did, briefly, have a comic suburban moment. Considering they live on Rt.[xx], a state road, I think it’s a scandal the city or the state aren’t out there clearing the sidewalk (especially since it’s a walking route to two commuter rail stops). Left to the homeowners, it’s a hit or miss proposition –some shovel, some don’t. So much for “complete streets.”

I hate in so many ways to be bitching about the weather, and then I hate that I hate it, and then I remember to adjust or calibrate my attitude, …but after another weekend stuck indoors – yesterday was filthy, with snow-rain-snow all day, and on Saturday I only ventured out once, to the Y and back, which was an unpleasant walk – after another weekend of this, I can’t help but feel my life-force draining out of me. I caught some momentum with this David Moldawer newsletter yesterday, I’ve felt inspired by Debbie Millman’s Glaser exercise and Cal Newport’s description of deep work. But these days – days on end – of enforced “hibernation” slay me. I need physical exercise, fresh air, walks – often vigorous walks, outside, and this climate …ugh, not my thing. I recall, when I still used a Fitbit, walking / pacing maniacally around the kitchen and dining room, walking circles around the tables and the island, varying the figures eight I could walk, and also running up and down the stairs, just to get some “aerobic” exercise and some steps to bring me up to 10k. It didn’t feel healthy. I don’t do it anymore – I lost the Fitbit anyway. But that’s the kind of crazy shit one might do around here. Equally stupid, in my opinion: drive to the gym to walk on a treadmill. What a symbol… Finally, in the summer when it’s 95º and humid, it’s equally onerous to enjoy being outdoors. Well, 95º and humid is a ways off from today. When I finish these pages, I’m pulling on more clothes and going outside to shovel and snow-throw. Attitude, my dear? It’ll be fine. Right…

E. is supposed to fly out of Vancouver this morning (just after noon our time) to arrive in Newark at 5, then a flight from Newark to Portland ME. I think the Vancouver-Newark leg should be fine, but I wonder how backed up Portland will be – and whether either of the two coworkers she’s traveling with feel comfortable about driving in the snow. They have to drive from Portland to Auburn, and it will be night, and unfamiliar. Fingers crossed it all goes well and they make it intact, as well as return fine to Portland on Friday the 17th. E.’s coworkers fly home, but we’re picking her up there, and she has a short vacation with us till 2/24, flying out from Logan then.

Okay, snow throwing and more calls. Heading out…

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