Sunday 23 Oct 2016

Freezing Cold & Snow
Matt Seinberg

I am a lifelong New Yorker, a native so. You'd think, I'd be use to the freezing cold weather we have here every winter, but no freaking way. Maybe when I was a kid and enjoyed playing in the snow all day, sledding up and down big hills and not having a care in the world.

Those days are gone with my hair and my youth.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone. With those bygone years having disappeared so quickly, just like my hair and youth, I certainly don't have the time or inclination to go sledding down a huge hill as if I were twelve-years-old, again. I don't even think my kids have the desire to go sledding and that's wondering if we could even find a good place here on flat Long Island.

I was telling someone today about the hill we had in our neighbourhood, when I lived in Poughkeepsie, New York. Across the street, past the Snyder's yard, was a huge hill that felt like it was mile long, but of course wasn't.

One winter, we built a ramp so we could go flying off it with our sleds. My one memory of that is not quite hitting it the right way. My sled was flying down the hill and I only hit half the ramp, and I went flying and tumbling off the sled, all the while hoping I didn't break any bones.

I went back up the hill and tried again.

Of course, I went back up the hill and tried it again. I made the ramp just the right way. I went flying through the air. I made a perfect, if slightly bumpy landing.

When IBM was a huge computer company in the 1960s and 1970s, it had a country club in Poughkeepsie area. In the winter, we'd drag our sleds over there and fly down the ice-covered hills. Forget about the snow. These hills got so much use the snow got compacted to ice. Getting down was easy, but climbing back up was a chore.

We couldn't go back up the same way we went down, since people were flying down on their sleds. We had to go all the way, around, where the hills weren't so steep and not covered in ice.

Here's another icy memory. I had taken my mother’s 1977 red Oldsmobile Cutlass SS to go to a friend's house; it was right after a snowstorm. I was going a bit too fast on the highway and suddenly started to do a 360-degree turn in the middle of the road! Luckily, someone behind me saw what was happening and slowed what little traffic was behind us so an on-coming car would not hit me. The fellow came over to make sure I was okay and drove quite slowly after that.

Last week New York City missed another storm of the century.

Last week we were supposed to get the "blizzard of all blizzards," but the city got lucky; the storm moved 75 miles offshore; New York City and Nassau Country missed the most severe part of the store. Suffolk County got the brunt of it; it took them several days to dig out from under it.

Sunday night we're supposed to get another storm, which could last into Monday night. I've always said one of the reasons I had kids was to do the jobs I no longer want or could do. One of those things includes shoveling around the house.

Children are for shovelling snow.

While they may bitch, moan and complain about having to do it, they simply don't have a choice. With my back problems, I am no longer able to shovel as I did when I was a kid. It's hard enough to move my snow blower around.

One other problem I have with this freezing cold weather is staying warm at night. Since my wife is going through menopause, her hot flashes drive her crazy. Sometimes she'll have two blankets, and all of a sudden throw them off because she's too hot. That also disturbs Daphne, who sleeps on the bed with us. If she's on the foot of the bed, most times, she has to find another place to sleep.

I've taken to sleeping with two blankets, always hoping that Marcy won't steal it. She accuses me of twirling the comforter and ending up with hardly anything on her side.

I can't wait until spring.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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