Nineteen hours ago this very moment, Pam and I were walking across the parking lot after church basking in sunshine, a light breeze and the warmth of 73 glorious degrees. This morning I was awakened by the tingling of sleet against my bedroom window. By the time I climb into bed this evening, I’m told that there will be 6-8 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature will be in the single digits. It is March the 3rd. If I were a Democratic Party politician I would be tempted to launch into an unhinged climate change diatribe. Although that Democratic politician and I have one thing in common, (neither of us knows the first thing about the science behind climate change), I will resist the urge to confuse causation with correlation and simply say, “Wow, this weather really sucks.”
I had two appointments scheduled this morning in my office which have both canceled. There will be nearly an inch of freezing rain and sleet on the roads by the time the temperature is expected to drop over 15 degrees in less than two hours around mid-morning, producing something called a flash-freeze on road services. This is meteorology-talk for “skating rink.” Then the snow is scheduled to begin.
I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. A reasonable man would look outside and hunker down with a cup of hot cocoa and call it a day. I am a famously unreasonable man. I look out of my window at these hideous conditions and think, “I’ve got to get out of here!” After 30 years of marriage, my wife knows better than to argue with me on this point. She just rolls her eyes and yells, “Well, will you at least run by the grocery store while you’re out, you crazy person!”
My condition is often referred to as cabin fever. But how can you have cabin fever when you’ve only been awake for thirty minutes? No, this isn’t cabin fever; it’s more like stubborn rebellion. Every time I hear officials warning everyone to stay off the roads, or don’t venture out unless you absolutely, positively have to, I think to myself, “Why are these people telling me what to do? Who do they think they are?? I am a free man, and if I want to venture outside, no pin-headed government geek is going to stop me. This is America, for crying out loud! Did Lewis & Clark stay inside when the weather got bad? Did Wilbur & Orville hunker down at the first sight of storm clouds? Did the Donner party let a bunch of weather busy-bodies at the NWS keep them at home..er, no wait.
Anyway, standing at my Palladian window watching the ice pellets sliding down the roof, filling up the gutters, I know what I have to do. At some point very soon, I will take a shower, eat breakfast, then come up with some lame excuse for having to go into the office. Luckily, it’s only 2 miles away. I will back Pam’s car out of the garage and disappear from the neighborhood, (even I’m not stupid enough to take my car!) A couple of hours later I will return from my adventures in vastly improved spirits, secure in the knowledge that I can venture out onto the roads any danged time I want to and nobody from the government is going to stop me.