Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow country


I bought a full set of winter tires for the Pumpkin Minivan at the end of 2015. I thought that this would guarantee there would be no snow in Pumpkin City. Those of us who live in Japan know how well the winter tire purchase worked. For my friends reading this who don’t live in Japan: Snow was forecast for Sunday night and Monday morning.

Sunday night, when I went to bed, I heard rain on the roof of the Pumpkin Palace. I scoffed.

When I woke that at around midnight, I still heard rain on the roof. I scoffed again and went back to sleep.

When I woke at three in the morning, the room was slightly light even though I’d turned the lights off before going to bed. As a former Midwesterner, I could only think of one way that could happen. I decided there was nothing I could do about it and went back to sleep.

Sure enough, at six, I woke up to this:


Right out of an old school Christmas card, isn’t it? If Pumpkin City had an actual fleet of snowplows that would plow every street in town including the one in front of the Pumpkin Palace, I’d have felt less gloomy. We're not really snow country. (Or maybe we are, due to climate change.) People are using their paid leave days to not show up, which is acceptable except that the work that has to be done is still there, so the people who do show up have to do it.

For the past five days, I’ve gone to work wearing exactly the same thing in different colors: Uniqlo Heat Tech long sleeved T-shirt and long johns, dress shirt or blouse, Uniqlo cashmere pullover or cardigan, and stretch twill trousers, with rubber boots (I change into leather clogs at work). I wear a down jacket and a big wool scarf over all that, and the scarf doubles as a shawl if it’s cold indoors. Forget middle aged professional fashion, I probably look like someone’s grandmother. But at least I'm warm.

One thing I haven't  been able to do is to remember to take an umbrella when it's snowing. The snow here is wet, and umbrellas are practical. I guess you can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl.

Of course, the snow has put a serious dent in my running. I haven’t checked, but the path I usually run is probably frozen over, and the snow has also put any non-essential shopping trips on hold. Trying not to get too down about this, and also trying to remember to do squats and pushups and planks instead…

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