Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Time of Ice

Tempus Fugit - time flies - I remember that from Dorothy Shattuck's Latin class at Miamisburg High School in 1964. But this sundial isn't showing how time flies but how it can drag in the winter, beneath a cloudy Miami Valley sky and a mist which has turned to ice for the past couple of days.

It is hard to get around outdoors. I have managed to stay in - except to get the mail, take out the trash and take these two pictures - working on newspaper projects that allow me to make do with phone calls. It's one of those rare times when people I call are home, too. But where - how - can they go?
I covered a meeting last evening for the paper and the drive home was slow. I covered the five miles (all in a straight line from parking lot to driveway) in about 15 minutes. A light mist fell but in the 24 degree air, it immediately coated all it touched with ice. One other driver - and I only saw one - passed me on the icy roads in a van. Idiot!
I was inside by 8:15 p.m. and that's where I've been since. There was little traffic last night. I didn't hear one car in the whole time I was going to sleep. Only toward morning did I again hear a vehicle pass. Schools, which were initially on a two hour delay, closed.

It doesn't look so bad, does it? Have a look at the shingles and you can get an idea of the icy coating. Grass blades stand stiff and brittle and crack as you step, Your footfalls immediately darken and your path remains etched for as long as it stays below freezing.
I first came outside when I heard the mail stop at our box. I walked to the window and saw him pass, deliver mail one house beyond and then I saw the little jeep leave the road. Soon I saw him backing up, going forward, backing up ... When he at last got back on the road, he was facing the wrong way. But, no matter. He drove back to the lane beside our house, turned around and tried again. This time he made it - slowly - beyond the fateful spot. "Neither rain nor snow ..."
It will warm again tomorrow, I suppose, and we'll be able to travel again. But for now it's good to be trapped. It's not so warm in here but it is sufficient but I am happy to have a roof over my head and a dry bed. These are the times that make me thankful for the least.