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Snow Days — Remembering Winters Past

What a difference snow preparation makes in Boston. I remember being there at a conference when a similar storm hit. It was total chaos. Roads impassable, not plowed, skidding, traffic tie-ups. Crossing the border into Cambridge was a little better, but not much. However some town lines were cleared and a blessing. And it was easy home. And snowstorm cleanup in Boston was also pretty good this last storm thanks to good preparation

For fun, just think what snowstorms were like in the past, especially before electricity. A good strong teenager with a shovel was worth his weight in gold. Imagine trying to shovel to the barn to milk the cows. Or get the horse attached to a sleigh.

Or trying to get home while the woods were filling up with snow. As Robert Frost did when he stopped to watch the woods on a snowy evening. Without a farmhouse near. His horse gave his harness bells a shake to ask why he was stopping here. The answer was, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”

Just think before telephone communication. How did you check on your relatives to see if they were OK?

Just think today, before TV and the Internet. This present storm was a Snow Day with free time, which gave us a chance to catch up on people all over. Plus every friend in Florida or California, who watched the news, called to see how we were.

Just think again before the TV and the Internet. We sat warm and dry watching the storm everywhere, minute by minute. New York City deserted. Hugh waves crashing across breakwaters and flooding shore towns, while wind driven snow blew sideways. Enjoying children sledding in the Boston Common. We watched the occasional car or plow on deserted highways.

So welcome this nice Snow Day. A day of enjoying the world around us, doing things we hadn’t gotten around to, or maybe just resting and watching the tennis matches in hot, hot Australia.

Well, maybe a day of rest, except for the shoveling of course. But that’s where the value of a good strong teenager with a shovel was still huge. Some things never change when it snows.