Jeez, I'm jealous. Everybody else is getting all the good winter. The East Coast got a nice snowstorm yesterday. All day long yesterday my friends out there were sending me pictures. Taunting me. I think there's a snowstorm down south of us, even.
At least we have snow on the ground here. And it's cold enough—but we've gone a record amount of time without a day below zero. North Carolina has better snow right now than we've gotten so far all winter. North Carolina. It's not fair. Although I don't envy them the shoveling.
(There's a TV commercial on in Wisconsin right now that shows a city street buried in snow, with cars struggling to move and bundled-up citizens trudging against the wind. The voice-over says, "In Miami, it's 85 degrees and sunny right now." Then a pause. Then: "I pity the poor souls.")
Speaking of shoveling, I might have told you about my mental index of how lazy we Americans can be. Previously I had a little game of watching people waiting for parking spaces in the parking lot at the grocery store—I was always interested to see how many spaces people would "save themselves" by hunkering down waiting while a closer parking space opened up. For years the record was four cars, which I saw several times. It was a record I imagined would never be beaten. Then I actually saw a woman—thirtysomething, fat but able-bodied—sitting and waiting for a spot that was two cars in from the next available free spot. She was literally idling her car next to an empty parking space while she waited for the closer space to open up. By waiting, she saved herself maybe 16 or 20 feet of walking. It wasn't even cold or raining.
How lazy can you be? No longer a rhetorical question. Not much lazier than that. Kinda made the game no fun.
So then I started noticing how little snow it took for some people to get out their snow-blowers. That quickly became no fun too, as I'd see people here and there firing up their snow-blowers for, say, three inches of dry snow. Snow you could almost clear with a broom, never mind a shovel.
Well, that one got beaten all to crap the other day too. We had basically a dusting of maybe half an inch of fluffy powder—you could almost see the color of the asphalt through it—and I actually saw a woman cleaning the snow off her driveway with a leaf blower.
If you're snowed in, stay warm. And don't feel sorry for yourself. Well, you can a little, if you were inconvenienced. But don't forget to enjoy it, too. I'm jealous.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by politovski: "Greetings from NC! We are currently ~12 degrees here in Waynesville. As for snow, check this out:
"Nothing like nine inches of fresh powder just outside your house."
Featured Comment by Steve Rosenblum: "My favorite is the person who does the 'waiting for the closest parking space' thing when they have arrived at the fitness center where they (presumably) have come to exercise. Even better are my patients who after successful coronary bypass surgery are completely without symptoms and attend cardiac rehab classes faithfully three times per week to get the beneficial effects of exercise, but then ask me to sign the DMV form to get a handicap parking sticker so they don't have to walk more than a few feet into a store. When I point out the contradiction to them they say 'But, Doctor, I have a heart condition!!' "
Featured Comment by DF: "When I was in college, my girlfriend would always work to convice me to find the closest parking space, and it drove me batty. After dating for several months, things came to a head. Upon entering a very busy mall parking lot around Christmastime, I began the impossible task of finding a 'close' parking space with her comments getting more and more frustrating. After 20 minutes of torture, I drove to the very farthest parking spot that I could find from the mall, and I staked my claim. There were plenty of spots closer, but none were 'close enough' for her, so I decided to make a point and choose the farthest. That was a long 10 minute walk to the mall, and, needless to say, that was the last Christmas we spent together!"
Mike comments: On such small foundation stones is compatibility built. I trust if you and she were compatible in other ways, you would have taken to dropping her off at the entrance and parking the car alone!