This day, with the sun glistening off the snow, is all the more beautiful because of the storm we’ve been through, a storm that was as punishing as the forecasters had said.
The night of it, as I was reading by the fire, listening to the wind and the flue as it clanked in the chimney, there was a resounding crack that called me and Henry, who was splayed out on the other couch, to attention. I ran upstairs to see if a tree had hit the roof, and ran down and peered out the back. Nothing there. He continued to look quizzical, but I told him everything seemed to be all right as I resumed my vigil. It’s hard to sleep amid such wild uncertainty.
The next morning it was very clear what had happened: two gnarled, thick limbs with many branches had come within inches of crushing our Prius. That and the snow — every bit as deep as they’d said, and very wet — summoned up my wellspring of self-reliance, which is to say that I threw myself, once again, upon the mercy of the Lelands, Bill and Danny, who kindly sawed the limbs loose from their embrace of our car, assured me the Cablevision wire the limbs had taken down was harmless, and scooped out enough of the driveway as to give me hope that I’d be able to dislodge the cars in time.
Perhaps it’s a fear of death, but I can’t stand being snowed in. When, finally, I am able to get out onto the roads, going nowhere in particular in search of nothing in particular — and besides, One-Stop and the General Store were closed — there’s a feeling of triumph. Dare you see the sportswriter at the white heat. . . ?
But who am I kidding. The Lelands sprung me — once again.
With them, it’s all for one, one for all, the best of the American way.