Snowfall Derby IV – The Thaw

by Mark on March 12, 2010

“Idus Martias” – Beware of the Ides of March. The voice of my long-deceased Latin teacher, Miss Schlegel, shouts those dire words as I watch the outside temperatures rise in Upstate New York. It is the annual sick trick on the area that occurs in late February or early March. For one sunny week the thermometer moves into the 50’s and four months of snow piles dissolve into rivers of icy water pooling around clogged storm drains. Just when everyone believes spring is near, a snow storm will smother us.

Like hibernating bears, stumbling from our caves, we raise our arms to the powder blue skies in prayer, “Oh God, please make it last!” Block-length lines of vehicles queue car washes. The mall quickly switches the Carhartt bibs and North Face long underwear for more colorful and lighter polyesters. College students pull ligaments slipping in the muck chasing Frisbees.

People forget we are in the final quarter of the Snowfall Derby. Current standings are: Syracuse – 106.1”; Rochester – 89.6”; Philadelphia & Baltimore tied – 79.9”; Buffalo – 74.1”; and Washington D.C. – 55.9”. It is a tough year in Buffalo. First the Bills and now they are sucking the Mid Atlantic exhaust. There is a still a shot to overtake Syracuse if just one storm hangs only an inch to their west.

It is tough to breath-in in that sweet warm air knowing this oasis will soon be an icy outpost. Some believe winter is over. There is talk about how the earthquake in Chile shifted the global axis. Perhaps Rochester is now in the same sun path as Raleigh. Reality is Rochester always averages 100” or more. The thawing Great Lake shore lines are throwing moisture in the air that will be caught by a Canadian cold front bringing us back to salt and shovels.

A formation of Canadian Geese squawks overhead. They never migrate here this early. My neighbor is unraveling Christmas lights from his bushes. A squad of bicyclists spins by motivating me to polish my two-wheeler. Day Light Savings time begins this weekend. Jaymeson got a wagon for his first birthday. Perhaps we can pull him along the canal. “Carpe Diem!”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Winston Plowes July 19, 2010 at 8:01 am

Hi Mark

Used your image on this website. Hope thats ok. I thought it complimented my poem really well. winston 🙂

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: