Sunday, January 31, 2010

If You Don't Have to Go Outside -- STAY IN! -- jcarolek

Yesterday was a "snow day" here.  We don't have a whole lot of them in these parts, but at least once a year we can count on a couple of inches of the white stuff falling.  Friday night it started snowing and when all was said and done this morning, the tally was in excess of eight inches.  Eight inches isn't a lot of snow to those who get dumped on regularly, but in these parts, eight inches of snow translates into "round the clock" news coverage....

  • of the vehicles in the ditches
  • of the children playing in the snow
  • of the dogs playing in the snow
  • of the news crew "working" er, playing in the snow
  • of the vehicles in the ditches
  • of the announcer reminding us "if you don't have to go out, STAY INSIDE!"
  • of the vehicles in the ditches
I mean, exactly how many times do they feel it necessary to remind me that driving on ice is slippery... that when snow melts in the sun it refreezes into ice when the temperatures fall at night...that it's "dangerous" to drive on the roads...

Nevertheless, I endured the monotony of their delivery as I focused on a more interesting "indoor activity."  Facebook.

Now, to be honest, I know not what I am dong in the great world of Facebook.  I don't farm, I don't engage in pillow fights, I don't send hearts and all of the other cool things I receive from others.  No, I just stumble around trying to understand this strange land of friends of friends.  Yesterday, egged on by the friend request I received from my first roommate in college WAAAYYYY back in 1976, I started trying to find some of MY old friends from high school and college.

It became clear to me, in only a very few searches, that ALL of my friends have VERY common names... there must be a thousand Laura Mathews, and Linda Sullivans out there.  I tried narrowing it down by school, and such, but with little luck.  Then I tried an old friend from one of my math classes in high school.  His name was not so common, and lo and behold, I found him.... the over achiever is a Plastic Surgeon, with very little hair remaining from his once abundantly thick and curly locks, but still sporting the smile I brought back memories of Mr. Dale's class... the short, chubby math teacher who was the butt of Steve's cartoons...hand drawn back in those days before personal computers... I still recall the one with Mr. Dale chasing after butterflies with a butterfly a diaper... cute, since Mr. Dale was also the tennis coach... the butterfly net in place of the tennis racket was nice touch.... still, I doubt Steve would even remember me.... I sent no friend request.

Next I looked for an old boyfriend, my first "official boyfriend."  He'd always been quite gregarious, and I fully expected to find him with 500 friends on Facebook.  I found two of his brothers, but not him.  I thought that odd.  His brothers were always very low key while Roger was always vying for the spotlight.  I decided to go out on the Web... that place outside of Facebook, where I find all kinds of interesting tidbits.  I fed Roger's name into the search engine and was immediately rewarded with possibilities.  The first few were not the one I knew, too old, too young, etc.  But, about halfway down the page I found the story that closed that chapter forever.  It seems Roger had been found dead in October 2008  -- found by his roommate when he did not return home from his nightly walk with his dog... a sad ending to a life... the newspaper stories said the death was under investigation, but that no visible signs of trauma were found.  I found nothing else.

I found an old friend from my childhood days in England and another from my college days in Florida and sent them friend requests.  I'm still looking for my old friends with the very common names.  At any rate, I spent a LOOOONNNNG time doing all of this research, and the only saving grace was that I also managed to get six loads of laundry done, and made three meals so we could keep up our energy for the work that was ahead of us.....we would NOT be able to put off the snow shoveling, once the weather cleared....

Today, bright and early, we were out there, with garden shovels, because we don't OWN a snow shovel... we cleared two ruts to the cul-de-sac....each rut extends the entire length of the excess of 400 feet....

My back is sore and my arms are sore.  And I realized I COULD have just stayed inside... I mean, I didn't HAVE to go outside, did I?  Really?


So tonight, as the weather person incessantly reminded me, the snow that melted will turn to ice, and my ruts will be treacherous... but I really don't care, considering the 400+ feet of ruts we dug only lead to a cul-de-sac and another 3/4 mile of uncleared gravel road before I could EVER get to a paved road... which MIGHT be cleared.... and I DON'T have to get out until Tuesday.... what WAS I thinking??? I could have spent another day inside, vegging out at the Facebook website.....  (yeah, but then I would never have be able to take pictures of the dog running on the frozen pond, and I wouldn't have "RUTS!")