La neige est ici -- 01/08/11

Well, I might as well continue to have a title in French about snow, eh? Mais oł sont les neiges d'antan? the other day and today La neige est ice. And, indeed, the snow is here.

We didn't get as much snow as they did in the Hudson Valley area of New York or in western and central Connecticut -- and we didn't really get much at all until after midnight.

Here's a picture of our driveway (looking at it from inside the garage) taken about 1:30 this morning.

What, you may ask, was I doing up at 1:30 a.m. (besides taking photographs of snow)?

Jill was coming back from Ottawa, traveling by Greyhound from Montreal to Boston. Her bus would reach Boston (in theory) at 10:55 p.m. and the last Amtrak train that stops at our local station leaves Boston at 9:30 p.m. (with the next one not until 6:40 a.m.) -- so Nancy drove to Boston to pick her up. But Boston is not all that far away (it's about an 80 mile -- hour and a half drive), so surely they would have been back home well before my snow photography took place. However, although it did not begin real snowing here until almost midnight, it was snowing in Vermont and western and central Massachusetts all evening. Jill had phoned to say the bus was twenty minutes behind schedule coming down through Vermont.

Nancy left here to go to Boston around nine (wanting to leave plenty of time for the trip and also wanted to be early just in case Jill's bus made up lost time and arrived early) but she called me from Boston at midnight to say that the bus had not yet arrived, Greyhound claimed they had no idea where the bus was nor what time it might arrive (it's just too bad that here we are trapped in 1970 and nobody has invented cell phones or GPS tracking yet), and they were telling everyone to leave because they were closing the bus station until 6 a.m. About twenty minutes later she called back to say Jill's bus was just coming in.

Their trip back home from Boston was not too bad at first, snow was falling but the highway (Interstate 95) was clear, but the closer they got to home, the more snow was accumulating on the road, and by the time they reached our town she was reduced to going twenty miles an hour through two or three inches of unplowed snow on the roads.

Greyhound's contemptuous attitude towards customers is nothing new... and it isn't just Greyhound. I can recall back around Christmas of 1961 when I was home from my freshman year of college for the holiday. My girlfriend was coming over to spend the holiday with me and my family. She was traveling to Kingston (NY) by bus (Trailways) from New Haven and, as is sometimes known to happen in winter, a snow storm moved into the area. Just about the time we were getting ready to go to the Kingston bus terminal to meet her bus, she phoned us from the bus station in Poughkeepsie to say that when the bus had reached that stop, she was the only passenger left for the final leg of the journey to Kingston, so they had decided to cancel that last leg because it wasn't worthwhile traveling through a storm for just one passenger. They were closing the Poughkeepsie terminal for the night, but they decided that they would let her wait in the little vestibule between the inner and outer doors to the terminal, cautioning her that once she stepped through the outer door, it would lock behind her and she would not be able to get back in. What wonderful public service, leaving a 16 year old girl alone at night in an unlighted and unheated vestibule in a more than somewhat unsavory neighborhood. We drove straight there -- in our VW Beetle through a blizzard -- but she was stranded there terrified for about an hour before we arrived.

And Nancy and I went outside about 11 a.m. and shoveled our driveway and sidewalks (and I helped a neighbor with a bit of his sidewalk), probably spent about an hour shoveling. A good workout.

And the U.S. Weather Service says via a "Winter Weather Advisory" that we should expect three to five inches of snow between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. So, I guess I may get some more snow shoveling exercise tomorrow morning as well.

La neige est ici maintenant et plus de neige sera ici demain.

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