The other afternoon, I was brushing snow off my car for what seemed like the billionth time since I have been back this January, and scraping the ice from my windshield and rear windows. The snow piles up, three, four, five, six inches--fourteen during the blizzard--and when it stops, I brush it off with a long-handled brush that sits outside my mudroom door for this express purpose. And when, five to ten minutes later, I get down to the car that is buried underneath, I find that it's so cold out that the last layer of snow is actually ice, and I have to scrape it off. And then, if the plowman hasn't come, or if I wasn't there to move my car when the plowman came, I have to shovel out my wheel-wells and around my driver's side door in order to get in. It's only then that I can slip and slide out of my driveway onto the slushy roads on my way to work, on my way to buy milk, on my way out.
And that billionth time? That time, I stopped, and I asked out loud when anyone in their god-forsaken right mind would choose to live in New Hampshire, choose to repeat this laborious process day in and day out--sometimes multiple times a day--year after year for their entire lives. I am aching for spring.
And then, yesterday, I drove northwest to a place called Stonehouse with Andrew and another fiction writer. We got out of the car, we trudged along a snow-covered road for about ten minutes, and climbed up on a rock outcropping that overlooked a clearing in the forest. And then we stepped out onto the frozen pond, and walked across it, our footsteps leaving tracks in the deep snow. Across the pond is a giant granite cliff, with ice formations on it that Andrew sometimes climbs up, and from the top of the cliff, we could see hills that were further away, although the tallest were mostly obscured by the thickly falling snow.
And then today, I drove along a highway between Durham and Portsmouth, a highway that snakes across an inlet of the Great Bay that is churning with chunks of semi-frozen ice, and through some farmland with fields that are covered in snow without footsteps.
And I realized why.