The train is full and lumbering into North Station as Greater Boston continues to dig out and recover from one of the most classic nor’easters I’ve witnessed. From the line of shoppers in the grocery on Sunday, which extended along two perimeter walls, to the swirl of snow in the streetlight, we were pounded and then liberated as shovels flew and plows made the rounds. My town got about 30 inches judging by the immersed legs of our backyard grill.
The phone rang just as I entered the house yesterday morning after my shift at digging what I’ve come to call the “down drive,” that grassy area with a rough-hewn entrance off the street and where, for the last several years, a third car or truck may sit depending on who’s living at home or visiting. My view of snow removal is simple: be disciplined and make a plan. Usually my plan, born of Indiana winters, involves some amount of body flopping and wading deeply into waist-high banks in order to create space in which to put the snow you really want to move. This approach offers the added benefits of a change in muscles and perspective. A handy trick in this method is to use the shovel with a canoe J -stroke to push the snow along your side and behind you. This encourages a vision of open water which eases your mind while you literally drift away.
But I digress. I’d done my snow flopping, lying-in, shoveling and throwing. I entered the house pretty well snow covered and tromped over to the ringing phone. I waited, and then a distant and rather disembodied voice said, “Hello. As a senior, you are now entitled to a med-alert system…” I hung up.
What was this, I wondered. Did someone see me lying down in the snow?
I was only making a snow angel.