Tuesday, January 21, 2014


It started snowing before 8AM and didn't stop until well after 8PM.  But once again the everyday world outside my windows was transformed into something pure and still.

When I went out to drive a friend of my teenager's home and then him to his mother's, there was an SUV in the parking lot across the street from the old house my apartment's in, and a couple of men trying to help it back out of the lot because trying to make the turn at the end of the lot had left the SUV stuck.

But now, even with their shoveling the snow from behind the tires, the SUV kept sliding sideways making little or no progress. My youngest son and his friend, another sixteen-year-old, but a girl, grabbed the two shovels my son and I had used to shovel off the porch and sidewalk of the several inches of light powdery snow and helped the men with the SUV while I swept and scraped the six or seven inches of snow off my little Prius. [in the morning I realized the snow was even higher than I estimated]

A street snowplow from the city and a cop car were the only traffic we saw during the almost hour it took to help the SUV finally get out of the lot and then slide around on the street.  With the help of a man who was snowblowing the sidewalk. My son's friend got him to help out in the parking lot, and without my asking he blew the snow away from around my car.

When the SUV finally got out, with all the men pushing it after shoveling and snowplowing, I pulled the Prius out nice and slow and had no problem getting traction and pulling up to the entrance of the lot and stopping for my son and his friend to get in.  He said one of the men said it was like a commercial for Prius.  I gave a ten to one of the men and asked him to pass it to the guy with the snowblower and then drove, very slowly, my son's friend home and then my son to his mother's.

There were no cars at all on most streets with maybe one now and then on some streets. The night was dark, the snow had stopped and the silence and whiteness, contrasting with the blackness of whatever the snow was piled on—leafless branches or evergreens, houses and cars—made the world seem simpler and easily defined.  Snow drifts of a few feet or snow banks created by plows, gave the landscape the count ours of something sensual and graceful.  And all of as white as the memory of whiteness like William Carlos Williams wrote of.

On the way back I descended a twisting steeply declining hill at twelve and then seven miles and hour to avoid sliding. Then when I got to my street pulled into the still unplowed, by the town, parking lot and back into the space I'd started out from.

The guy with the snowblower was now on my side of the street, blowing the snow off my sidewalk by the street, which my son and I hadn't gotten to, and widening the path to our porch that my son had done earlier. He turned his snowblower down for a moment to chat with me, and when I asked if he got the ten I gave one of the men to give him, he said, in his Latin American accent, "I don't take any money, no money." With a big smile on his face.

I know the woman he lives with who runs the Mexican restaurant next door to my apartment and lives upstairs from it with her brood of kids. She had told me how she was now with a really nice man, unlike the father of her kids.  So I told him, "Selena told me you were a good man, now I see that's true. "His smile grew bigger.

Then the temperature, which was probably in the single digits by now, moved me to say goodnight and head into the warmth of my apartment.  Happy for another winter wonderland adventure. The world still pure white, and as still as it gets without a major blackout.


JenW said...

Way to go Prius. That's one little rugged earth friendly vehicle. So funny & true about the commercial. Your winter wonderland adventures sound pretty magical. There's nothing like giving and receiving kindness as you and your new friend with the snow blower know. Warms you up even in the most frigid temps. Stay warm & enjoy the sapphire sky the snow has brilliantly renewed.

Lally said...

Well said Jen, thanks.