Thursday, March 11, 2010

On Frozen Pond

As the sunlight flickers in through the blinds and I listen to a faint breeze from the open patio door, it is more than a little strange that I am gazing across the street at a pond with ice floes still in tact! Spring has made an appearance in Chicago this week. The low-tech dial thermometer on the deck registers an unofficial 60 (ish). And while we know Miss March is fickle and spring will not be staying, it's only here for a limited engagement; we are intoxicated with the promise of what's to come!

We have had snow on the ground in some form or fashion since early December. A couple of times, the meltdown began and just as the last of the slushy old snow was disappearing,
a new layer of the white stuff would follow. It was kind of like the lazy bimbo who doesn't actually wash her makeup off and start anew before she goes out for the night, she just layers on a new coat of foundation trying to freshen up her tired visage, hoping to fool the public.

Since our last snowfall around February 25, our neighborhood has gone from the pristine loveliness of the soft cottony fluff reminiscent of a newborn baby's blanket to the look of that same blanket five years later when its owner is headed off to school. Shrunken, discolored and full of holes, it is anything but attractive but somehow still provides a level of security and cannot be parted with.

The snow banks piled at the end of each driveway that once resembled the sugary dunes of my favorite Gulf Coast beaches have evolved to dirty pyramids a la the Luxor hotel in Vegas and then after thawing and freezing again morphed into icebergs dotting the North Sea with their sharp edges and gray translucence. Finally, by yesterday they had dwindled down to nothing more than used scraps of steel wool, leftover from some project--fuzzy and dirty and flung about the lawn.

Despite my hatred for the snow and my impatience for its departure, I have discovered some creative uses for it. I mean, isn't that what we are all about now? Repurposing? Certainly it is easier to clean up after one's dog when it is surrounded by a blanket of fluffy snow! However, based on what has been revealed since the meltdown, I am apparently in a very small minority of dog owners who think so! And those useless snow piles that linger long after the rest of the stuff is gone? A foot washing station for muddy paws! After all, dogs are like children-take them for a walk on a drizzly day and if there is mud, they are sure to walk in it! One trek thru the snow pile at the end of the driveway and voila--wet paws only! Much easier to clean.

When I awoke to rain this morning, a light mist was rising from each filthy gray pile and I could just imagine the Wicked Witch of the West shrieking, "You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?" just like she does at the end of the movie when Dorothy accidentally douses her with a pail of water. When the sun came out at lunch time and I took Phoebe and Slugger on their midday walks, is it any wonder I felt like singing, "Ding Dong the Witch is DEAD", while we fairly skipped down the yellow brick road, er...I mean...sidewalk.

So, now as I stare at the pond that is dark murky liquid around the edges with grayish-white disks floating in the center, I am contemplating a bucket brigade or at least a hose long enough to destroy the the wickedness that reminds us that after all, it IS still winter. Just call me Dorothy...