I can’t believe that it’s just the middle of November and it’s 4 degrees outside. Four degrees, which means the wind chill is even lower. I’d love just to stay in bed today wrapped up under a blanket. However, I’m going to be teaching all morning. I’ll be teaching three classes. They will all be the same class, but I’m looking forward to it. I get to talk about one of the few times Thomas Jefferson was proven wrong. Jefferson was known for believing he was the best and brightest. It is likely he had Asperger’s syndrome, but that’s hard to prove nearly two hundred years after his death. Today will be a busy day all around, because after the classes in the morning, we have one of our public programs. It will be a talk about railroads in Vermont, and I hope it will be interesting. I know it will be interesting to train enthusiasts. After the program, I might be able to take a breath, but I’m sure there will be more to do. All this, and now it will only reach 24 degrees today.
The snows came yesterday. We got at least 6 inches of snow. No snow plow came to my apartment before work, when at least 4 inches had accumulated. When I got home, no snow plow came to get the 6 inches of accumulation. I texted my landlord to see why no snow plow had been by. They had been everywhere else around us, including the property he owns next door, yet no plow for us. The funeral home across the street was plowed 5 times yesterday; we were not plowed once. After waiting hours for a response from my landlord, I finally got one. He said he had talked to the plow driver and they had decided to let it melt on its own. He said it would be warm enough last night and today to melt it. I’m no physicist, but doesn’t the temperature have to get above freezing for snow to melt. The high today will be 22 with a low of 7. Tomorrow the high will be 28 with a low of 23, and Friday, we are expecting another 6 inches of snow. When will it melt? How will it melt? Am I missing something? Please tell me if I am, because I really want to understand.
The Snow Storm
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.
Yesterday as I was leaving for the Armistice Day celebration in town, I slipped on the icy outside steps leading from my apartment and fell on my back. I should have been paying closer attention to where I stepped. I got up fairly easily, but as the day dragged on, I became sorer and sorer. I’m fine; there was no major damage that I know of, but I’m still quite sore. I will probably wake up this morning even more sore, but the good thing is that I have the day off and can recuperate.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9
The Great War was over. One hundred years ago — just before 3 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 — The New York Times received the first bulletin of the Armistice, which had been signed aboard a rail car in a small village in Northern France. A searchlight on the tower of the Times building, previously used to announce election results, gleamed rays across the city until daylight broke.
After more than four years of fighting, 8.5 million soldiers had been killed, including more than 100,000 Americans, and 7 million civilians were dead. In that time, modern warfare was born, and the trenches of Western Europebecame a charnel house.
As news spread of the war’s end, people gathered in parks, streets and town squares, overwhelmed with jubilation on what is now officially celebrated as Armistice Day.