Chicago Sinfonietta and Lake Forest Symphony bassist Alan Steiner sent me the following from a colleague who moved to Ohio a few years ago. It’s a combination of ‘The Shining’ and my own actual memories of growing up in South Dakota. I’m right on board with the guy in the story, especially after enduring a really nasty early winter here in Chicago thus far:
- December 8, 6:00 pm. It started to snow. The first snow of the season, and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
- December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years, and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.
- December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry. We will definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we will have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice person. I’m glad he is our neighbor.
- December 14: Snow, lovely snow! 8” last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.
- December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska , after all.
- December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
- December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but I won’t admit it to her. God, I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.
- December 20: Electricity’s back on, but had another 14” of the da@! stuff last night. More shoveling. The %#!#@ snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re all too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow-blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.
- December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it’s so cold it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel, and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob, who has a plow on his truck, for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think he’s lying.
- December 23: Only 2” of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, … nuts? Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think she’s lying.
- December 24: 6”. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the s.o.b. who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his ____s. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling, then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the *$#^!%!! snowplow.
- December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the %#*^&@$!#&%#%@! slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s an idiot. If I have to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to kill her.
- December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.
- December 27: Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.
- December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. This is driving me crazy.
- December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
- December 30: Roof caved in. The snowplow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to her mother. 9” predicted.
- December 31: Set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.
- January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed??
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