December 21, 2009

The Entrance to our Narnia
snowstorm in the park

The beginning of an 18 inch snowfall. Click image for larger view.

I live in the burbs of DC but on Saturday, like Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia I opened my closet door, I mean my front door to see this scene as the beginnings of what was to become an 18 inch snowfall unfolded before me. You might remember I took a similar photograph when I woke up to dense fog on Thanksgiving morning.

I love the snow (as long as I’m sitting by a roaring fire in a Swiss chalet). What I don’t like is shoveling our walkways and driveway, especially now with my unreliable back. Luckily, my children are growing into the most wonderful shovelers a father could have. (And let me not forget my wife who was their able assistant crew leader.)

Yesterday I decided to venture out late in the day to the drugstore for a few supplies. Our car had been moved to the edge of our driveway early in the storm. Why shovel any more than we had to. And the girls had dug the rest of the way out. Even though our side street had yet to be plowed, it looked like I could ease my way to the main road. As I tried to turn out of the driveway I lightly tapped the edge of a snow bank across the street, my signal to turn and move forward. Except I didn’t move forward: my tires spinning in a useless effort. I was stuck right in the middle of the street blocking all who wanted to pass. With the help of a growing assembly of neighbors (nothing like a little excitement when you’re snowed in) we pushed the front of the car back enough for me to turn and move back into the driveway. My trip to the store was jettisoned.

As I stood there surveying the scene I saw a tractor with a snowplow coming down the street. He stopped and asked if I needed help. Being the cynical suburban I asked “How much?” “Oh, $15 should do it,” he replied. He could see the skepticism clearly written all over my forehead and added with a smile “How much did you think I’d ask?” Within five minutes the whole driveway was clear and those same neighbors were lining up to contract his services.

Our winter wonderland bordered the entrance to Narnia. The snowplow was driven by our Aslan, the true leader of this enchanted land. And I became a true believer.

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