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Friday, January 28, 2011

Procrastination Pays

I am sorry to say that the Automobile Oil-Change Fairy has neglected to visit our house lately. So after delaying much longer then was wise for two cars, this morning my daughter and I were forced into the tedious task, which entailed some car-jockeying. I followed her while she piloted her sixteen-year-old jeep to the service center in the middle of our town, brought her to school then returned to the station with my own car. The owner nodded and grinned as he assured me they’d take me first. Mind you, this was at 7:15 and his mechanics don’t arrive until 8:00. “Come back around 8:30 and it will be all set” he smiled at me.

Sigh. What’s a stranded woman to do, but to take herself out for breakfast—guilt-free even, because I worked extra hours this week? Before filling my belly however, I had to negotiate 100-yards through the piles and slippery sidewalks remaining from the 12 additional inches of snow we received overnight into Thursday morning.

The storm ended mid-morning yesterday.  As soon as it did, life continued, which meant that industrious people went about their business and parking lot and sidewalk snow-removal waited until early today. The slow going was worth it though. With the temperatures in the mid-twenties, the dry snow squeaks when you walk on it. A seagull perched on the chimney of the eighteenth century inn next to the garage barked and screeched as it lifted itself onto the freshening wind; as I turned to look at him, an orange sun cracked through bare-limbed trees.

In the pre-business hours, front-end loaders and sidewalk plows scurried and shifted through the downtown, beeping and rumbling and thumping as they reversed, pulled forward and emptied their loads into idling dump trucks. The weather has been cold, so the deposit from this, as well two previous storms weighed down the exposed branches of the Bradford pear trees lining the sidewalk; icicles marched like cables along the edges of the dark-windowed shops.

Perhaps I’ve hibernated inside for too long this winter, but as I slid and picked my way through the snow-filled path, something compelled me to stop. Blocking out the sound of the equipment, I looked far up the icy street, to where a row of antique houses wore hoods of white, towering snow banks humped over every intersection and an undulating ocean of untouched snow layered the town common.

Eventually, the cold slap of wind in my face provided incentive to move on. Kicking the slop off my boots at the door of a tin-ceilinged restaurant, I listened to the grumbles of other patrons. “We’re on pace to break a record for snow this winter,” and “It took me four hours to shovel out yesterday.”

It’s New England. It is our nature to moan and complain about the weather. But shrugging off my coat at a table next to a hot air vent, I was warmed by the pictures still ranging in my mind; a clean winter scene back-lit by a rising sunand the knowledge that the image would soon be accompanied by bacon, eggs-over-easy, homemade jam and sourdough toast.

17 comments:

jbchicoine said...

Gosh, I do miss New England...thanks for stirring such vivid and pleasant memories (in spite of the snow)!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Superb imagery! Makes me feel as if I am there actually enjoying winter time, right along with you. And that takes a lot!

Talei said...

Oh, New England sounds lovely, and I could almost smell the aroma of that breakfast!! ;)

Have a lovely weekend!

Kittie Howard said...

I shared your post with my New Hampshire husband...he smiled from ear to ear...every time we go to NE, those breakfasts are a must *smiles* ... love those NE diners!

Robyn Campbell said...

You need confidence? I could taste the toast and smell the bacon, girl.

And on top of that, I took a trip to New England today. Love it! Happy weekend. :)

Sharon said...

Thanks for taking me with you through a snowy New England morning and the anticipation of that yummy breakfast. I love your writing, Liza.

Rose said...

I'm fortunate my husband is a mechanic so not much walking to get car work done. your description put me in your direction and very much wanting a hot meal. stay warm rose

Wine and Words said...

Woman...don't you have a cell phone??? With a camera??? You couldn't have snapped off a shot of this idylic moment for us to share? It sounds lovely, even for the cold and bother. A perfect moment for a mug of hot coffee. :)

Tabitha Bird said...

Wow! sounds amazing. I think I'd love to see New England.

sue said...

Your town (city?) sounds so beautiful, I'd love to see some photos as well!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I took that walk with you and loved every second of it. You have such a gift for description.

Lydia K said...

The breakfast sounded so good...make me want to get my oil changed, ha ha!

Anne Gallagher said...

I miss home, even with snow. I miss seagulls even more. Thanks for sharing.

Helen Ginger said...

You town seems friendly and welcoming. The cold does not (not to me, anyway. Brrrr). But homemade jam and sourdough toast does sound inviting!

Ann said...

What beautiful imagery you weaved. I felt I was there beside you on the walk to the restaurant. It all felt so real to me. What a wonderful place to live.

Bish Denham said...

I can almost feel it. Today it's supposed to climb all the way to 80then plung back into the 20s tomorrow or Tuesday, traces of that northeast storm. But that's how it is here in Texas, just wait ten minutes and it will change.

WritingNut said...

Absolutely beautiful.. I really felt like I was there! And that breakfast sounds delicious :)