December 28, 2010


It was shaping up to be a pretty normal morning. It was time to head out on my hour-long commute. The sky was just starting to shy away from being pitch-black. Sunrise was still 30-45 minutes away, but that’s what happens at this time of year. I actually like driving in the dark. The “zen experience” I feel when driving is enhanced by motoring at night.

I hit the Thruway a few minutes earlier than I usually do. I was going to be able to relax and not worry about making it to work on time. The roads were clear, but the impending dawn revealed ominous clouds dead ahead.

Just as I was making my way over Shumaker Mountain I started hearing that familiar noise often heard this time of year: the pelting of ice and snow on the windshield. I fired up the wipers on their most infrequent setting. I slowed down a bit and made sure I had two hands on the wheel.

The ice continued and mingled with snow. The blackness of the blacktop was disappearing into a covering of white and the trees showed the wind that was picking up. I slowed down some more.

The sign led the way to my exit and as I urged the wipers to go a little faster, I noticed that my windshield had completely iced over. The car made that “we’re going through slush” noise and then the wind started blowing some snow around.

Now, if I was your average American in this day and age, I would immediately pull the car over to the side of the road, threaten to sue the National Weather Service for not warning me about this calamity, sue the Thruway Authority for allowing the blacktop to go away and then promptly starting screaming uncontrollably and then cry into my gloves, because it’s obvious that the foot or so of snow being blown around was the beginning of The Great Blizzard of 2010 (the third one!) and I was going to die right then and there.

But you see, I’m not an average American. Aside from that whole gay thing, I realize that we live just south of the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole and that means that when our part of the world is at it’s furthest point away from the Sun, otherwise known as “winter”, there’s a really good chance that I’m going to have to deal with inclement weather here in the Northeast.

I pride myself on the fact that my parents raised their only boy out of some pretty hearty stock and I’ll be damned if I’m going to get whipped up about a few flakes of snow and a few patches of ice.

Now I know that the folks down in the other part of the Empire State don’t get to experience blizzard-like conditions on a regular basis like we do up here in the part “that resembles a snowy Alabama” (to quote a blogger from the other part of the state), but nevertheless, life does go on, despite all the desperate attempts of the media to scare the beejeezus out of you.

I listened to a woman talk about how she just HAD to fly from Hartford, Conn. to Houston today and to accomplish this she was going to rent a car, make her way down to Raleigh-Durham, catch a flight to Chicago and then hopefully make it to Houston. I wanted to throttle her right through the radio. Just balls it up and drive to Houston. It’s practically going to take the same amount of time and you might see something between here and there. You might actually see that the world doesn’t revolve around the megametropolis of the East Coast.

Now, I might sound a little cranky in this blog entry and quite frankly I’m not. I have plenty of friends and family members that live along the East Coast and I love them.

Especially when they don’t buy into the hysterics.