As we approach the wintry commuting season I have taken the brazen liberty of adapting the wonderfully picturesque poem of Robert Frost* to describe the perils of today’s motorists struggling to reach their work places during winter storms and, hours later,(perhaps another foot of snow later) struggling to return to their homes.
There are two distinct types of snow. There is the snow that delights us with white Christmases and which decorates our holiday greeting cards. This snow falls gently onto sleeping villages, forests and farmlands and turns our world into a hushed magical place.
The other kind of snow piles up on our highways during rush hours and is a completely different type of precipitation. Apparently Irving Berlin never experienced it. Currier and Ives would have found it unprintable and Robert Frost, had he been a modern winter commuter on Route 280 in northern New Jersey, might have written something like this:
Whose road this is I think I know…….. His office is in Trenton though……..He will not see me stuck out here……..watching his highway fill with snow.
My little Colt must think it queer……..moving sideways in third gear……..between the plow and salting truck……..the slickest evening of the year.
She squeals as I apply her brake……..to ask if there is some mistake……..The only other sound’s the moans…….. of spinning wheels and whirling flake.
The road is buried, hubcap deep……..That drift ahead, a frightening heap…….. And miles to go at this slow creep……..And miles to go before I sleep.
*Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. (Available online)