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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fringeville #158: Stella, you bitch. Just leave.

Stella is in the rear view (from those of us lucky enough to find our cars) but not gone. Sure, on April 22nd when I am sitting in Beaver Stadium roasting on a hot spring day Stella will be just a memory. She'll be remembered like a bad-ass girlfriend who turned your life upside down, stole your credit card, and hit you with crockery and the occasional baseball bat. But for now, she's too close to home and her damage is still being assessed. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind while doing two days of digging out:

A few years back when I was working at Sears part-time for six bucks an hour (plus commission, which brought the total closer to minimum wage) I made a questionable purchase of a Craftsman snowblower. For the past two years it was barely used, and I thought about whether I'd bought more machine than I really needed. The past two days, despite needing a few parts and being a little stubborn to start in the morning (buy hey, so am I) it performed like a champ. If it never snows again, it earned its keep. Turns out it was an investment in the future. It will probably outlive me.

Off to shovel, one thumb up and one on the snow thrower throttle.


I ventured out once so far because I had to. I went into work for a couple of hours. The roads everywhere sucked, and there were clearly folks out there in vehicles that had no business being on the road. I got held up briefly on East Main Street in Wilkes-Barre, watching a backhoe dumping snow into a dump truck. A lot of people have been hammering Wilkes-Barre and other towns for their response to Stella. Some of the hammering may be deserved, but the fact of the matter is you can't really prepare for a storm like Stella. You can only react, and do a sort of triage. What roads must be open. Which roads should be open ASAP. Everyone else. I also recalled when I lived on Maryland's eastern shore for one year of junior high. We had 3 inches of snow and couldn't get to school for three days. Turns out our county had ONE (1) (Uno) snowplow at the time. At least that's what a relative told me. They may have had a few more, but the point is you prepare for what you expect and then deal with the unexpected as best you can.

From a snow storm a few years back. But appropriate.


I worked hard the last two days. I hardly gave a moment's thought to things like barb-wire peeing, radiation oncologists, and scary survey tools at cancer center websites. I worked my ass off. I was bone tired after each day. It was a good worked-all-day tired. How, I wondered, could I feel this alive and be looking at radiation treatments? Work has its own rewards, chief among them being it forces you to address the task at hand and not dwell on things over which you have limited control. My snow. My Craftsman. My shovel. Clearing the driveway, cutting a path to my son's place, clearing the mailboxes and fire hydrant. This was my universe for two days. Cancer was an alternate reality I had no time for.

My last word on the great blizzard and Snowmageddon of 2017 is simply this:

Stella, you were a heartless bitch: Bite me, begone and good riddance.



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