John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow day 7

At seven o’clock yesterday morning the snow had stopped briefly, with about three inches or so of new snow topping the old accumulation. By eight the storm had resumed, and it kept going for another eleven hours. Heavy snow, whipped horizontally by high winds.

At times during the day I just sat, looking out the window and marveling. We are used to the idea of making plans and taking action; there is, we think, always something we can do. Not yesterday. Most of the state simply shut down. Travel on the roads was forbidden, you couldn’t get anywhere, and there was nothing much to go to anyhow. Noting to do but wait until the storm had spent itself.

J.P. did go out in the morning to clear the walks, and I did a turn in late afternoon. Today we’ll finish up the walks and see what, if anything, can be done about the street. But no plow ever appeared on Plymouth or Roselawn, and there are places where the snow has drifted three feet deep on the street. Our cars are not leaving the garage for some time, and we’ll have to see what kind of bus service will be restored. And when.

Fortunately, the power did not fail, so I was able to pass the first day of my sixtieth year — sounds worse than fifty-nine, doesn’t it? — comfortably.

I blogged a bit and got a good start on David Nokes’s biography of Jonathan Swift. I indulged in a wee dram or two of the good bourbon.

I tinkered some with this year’s grammarnoir series, “Pulp Diction.” The first installment will go up later today, followed by weekly installments and concluding on March 4, National Grammar Day.

I spent some time on Facebook, reading a steady stream of birthday greetings and good wishes from far-flung friends and fans, for which I am touched and deeply grateful.

Kathleen and J.P. collaborated on the birthday dinner. J.P. put together a casserole from available materials: ham, rice, peas, asparagus, cheddar cheese, and an improvised sauce tinged with horseradish. Kathleen labored over an apple-cranberry pie, a remnant of which I am about to tuck into for breakfast. We toasted the day with prosecco and afterward settled down to a quiet evening, grateful that the snow had finally come to a halt.

Today, the digging out begins again.

3 comments:

  1. Hahaha... Yeah, it does sound a little bit (just A LITTLE BIT) worse than fifty-nine, but don't worry: your handsomeness (!) will last for ever. ;)

    (Also: You should not have mentioned anything to us about that remnant of that delicious apple-cranberry pie at this time of the day... Now we are all suffering from a desperate Kathleen's-Pastries-Craving-Disease). :)

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  2. I would like to add my good wishes for your birthday. I've been appreciating your reports from the snow front, and I must say that I am quite impressed that you still have any bourbon and prosecco after being snowed in for so many days. I am not so sure it would have lasted that long at our house!

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