By Larry Gordon –
Did I ever mention that I detest the snow and what it does to inconvenience us and change so much of our lives? At the same time I just have to also say that there is a special place in my heart for snow days.
Snow creates havoc in our lives but it also gives birth each time that it accumulates to a healthy industry that calls for mostly industrious young men and sometimes women offering to shovel the snow from the front and sides of our homes for a sliding or negotiable price. Last week’s snow was our first of this season and it has been quite some time since we had a considerable collection of the white stuff. Apparently the men with the shovels were so excited about this entrpaneurial opportunity that my front door bell was rung at 4:40am last Friday morning.
I was already partially awake but the bell at that unusual hour grabbed my full and immediate attention. I jumped up from my bed to look out the window to see three men bundled up against the frigid cold morning air standing at the door with shovels resting on their shoulders. My first reaction after I realized what this was about was to wonder what these guys were thinking. I admired theor drive and initiative but, I thought, this was overdoing it. After all it was for all practical purposes the middle of the night.
I don’t know if it was the same crew that backtracked later in the morning but they got the job and did a very nice job. For a few extra dollars they also removed the snow from our cars so everyone down the line was pleased. I know you’re thinking that this sounds a little elitist, but please, I’m not Bill De Blassio and I wasn’t just elected to anything so I don’t have to deal with shoveling snow especially of others are offering their services.
Unlike the situation in Israel of a few weeks ago when most of central Israel was paralyzed because of a half of foot of snow, here we kind of take these snowfalls in stride. The best reminiscence of snow days from our childhood years was the excitement at first receiving the news that Yeshiva would be closed for whatever combination of reason which really did not matter so long as the schools were closed, shut, sealed and not opening. The other day I just curiously asked two of my six year old grandsons if they were happy that school was closed. They are in first grade and immediately shook their heads in the affirmative. It is either their DNA or nothing much has changed.
And don’t get the wrong idea, it wasn’t that we didn’t like going to school. Most of the time we had a lot of fun together. It is not that we liked it in particular either. Put it this way, we were more or less at peace with the idea that we had no choice. That was our fate and that’s the way it was going to be for a while. But then the snows arrived and the concept was deconstructed, stopped in its tracks and turned upside down—you see there really doesn’t have to be school and we can survive without it.
Of course there were other options in those days that one had in order not to have to go to school. In my elementary school Yeshiva building it wasn’t unusual for the boiler to breakdown and for the building to be without heat. I don’t know if that happens anymore today, that is I don’t think so. It may have been because our Yeshiva did not have enough money for a fuel oil delivery or that an old boiler just plain old malfunctioned. I didn’t matter that much, no school was no school.
I recall once when there was a consider able amount of snow but a few of us decided to walk to Yeshiva anyway only to find that when we got there the boiler was broken and there was no heat. I mean a lot of snow and no heat on the same day; isn’t that like double jeopardy? More in this week’s 5TJT