Well, that didn’t work! It really is not possible to snowshoe in three foot deep powder snow. After fifty feet of sinking in as far as my knees, then trying to pull snowshoes out of the hole…well, I turned back toward the house.
Instead of backtracking, I made a big loop, which has now become the puppy’s racetrack. Old Toby was ready to come right back in, but Cassie had not had enough exercise for an eighteen-month-old German Shepherd girl. She romped around the racetrack while I watched from the door, then steadfastly sat at the highest point on her snowbank for several minutes, sniffing the breeze and keeping watch.
As for me, I switched from snowshoes to shovel and started on a path from the driveway to the back door, just in case the oil company needs to make a delivery. The snow is lovely, light powder, as easy to shovel as it is hard to walk through. Cassie likes the shovel almost as much as the vacuum cleaner. I stopped every few minutes to throw a lump of snow into a bank for her to chase—it is as funny as you might imagine to see a large dog swim in snow as high as she is tall.
Predictably, I took a lot of grief for closing our office for two days. Even in a blizzard that now ranks as the second worst in recorded history, Vermonters think one should keep on keeping on. I’m not from here, and I still stand in awe of the vagaries of weather. I still believe cold weather and snow and ice can kill me. So when the authorities declare a travel advisory and ask that Vermonters stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary, I think they are speaking to me. It is not a good idea to acclimate to dangerous behavior, I say. If I take two days off every single time there is a storm that is the worst in decades, I don't think the Vermont economy will suffer unduly.
It is surprising to me how little we have heard of people’s experiences in the storm. Maybe people aren’t completely dug out yet. I am fortunate that my plow guy lives half a mile away and is in the excavating business. He spent all night out plowing driveways, then in the morning brought over the heavy equipment to dig me out. No rush, I wasn’t going anywhere until it was all over.