In the Dark

Yesterday was day two of The Blizzard that Wouldn’t Leave. The weather forecast for Tuesday was that our blistering high winds would abate by nine AM. Instead they got worse.

Tuesday is garbage day in this small town. Keep in mind we had gale force winds Monday coupled with at least nine inches of snow. So the drift at the lower third of my driveway could have been The Wall in the Game of Thrones considering the likelihood of me plowing it out by hand. I checked the town’s Facebook page. No notice about garbage being cancelled. Some neighbors had their enormous black containers out while others didn’t bother. So I decided to bundle up and venture forth, dragging approximately 75 pounds of bulk over about a three foot high drift that was a good ten yards long. In high winds. It about killed me.

I get back inside and it occurred to me to check the cable channel that covers “community announcements”. It said “no garbage pickup today, we’ll try tomorrow.” Oh thanks for the timely fucking update. I was covered in sweat and my ancient heart was thundering from exertion. A couple hours later the high winds had tipped the garbage can over and slammed a cardboard box the size of a large coffin up against our hedge.And then the weather changed. We were back into “blizzard” status. I struggled my way outside and pulled the garbage can off the street and back into the snow drift. I cannot tell you how fun that was.

The power must have browned out at least a half dozen times by supper time. I would guess that the onslaught must have been raising hell with the power lines. Modern electronics don’t do well with power outages. There’s about five clocks in the house that have to be reset, computers to be rebooted, cable boxes thrown out of sync, and my ancient printer squawks incessantly when the juice comes back on. It was a long day.

About ten o’clock we were settled in to watch the Daily Show while the winds howled and shook the house. The power browned out again, staggered, and then died. I knew it wasn’t coming back. Text messages between friends and family revealed that Montana Dakota Utilities figured it would take four hours to restore the juice. We piled an extra quilt on the bed and I read from my iPad.

MDU must have followed the Montgomery Scott estimate because the lights came back on before Colbert was over. I kicked off the extra quilt and eventually drifted off, waking now and then to fight with one of the cats or the damn chihuahua for precious space on the mattress.

This morning I took the garbage back to the curb. The giant cardboard box was now in my neighbor’s driveway. I cleared the snow off the back steps and of course opened up the deck for the dogs, all in a brisk 5 above zero. So again, I’m sweating like an Olympian. Once inside I checked the community channel and it’s totally on the fritz. Who knows if the garbage trucks will show up. I called the city office and left a message about the giant box. I also called my cousin and invited him to come over with his ancient but high-clearance four-wheel-drive pickup to punch through that snow drift. There’s no way the Family Truckster could break that thing and it’ll be at least another day before I can get anyone to plow us out.

Sunday, when it was about fifty above, my wife said she could smell a hint of spring in the air. Oh I certainly hope so.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
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