Friday, January 30, 2009

A Winters' Morning

It was a cold morning and it had snowed and iced throughout the night. It was one of those snowy mornings where all the sound is absorbed by a surrounding blanket of snow. I use to love that deadening silence when I was a kid and had just emerged from a noisy house out into the tranquility of a fresh snowfall. I typically anticipated the cold and the wind by putting on gloves, scarf and a hat but the attenuating sound that usually accompanies a blanket of fresh snow always took me by surprise and on each snowfall I would pause and experience it anew as if for the first time. Once the streets are fully plowed, the cars are cleared off and the trees shed their excess snow thru melting due to the morning sun the volume of the world expands back to normal and the feeling is once again forgotten. Later in life I was to find out that it was not unlike the feeling of entering an anechoic chamber, which I experienced while performing sound testing on small cryogenic coolers. Today was a school day, we managed to stick with our typical routine which is best described as controlled mayhem or maybe more like trying to use a blender without a lid.
I managed to get James fed, dressed and out to the bus stop for 7:30. Daniel was excited by the snow fall and was dressed earlier than usual and asked if he could go outside and search for a “Prize winning” ice cycle. After getting him fitted with boots, hat, coat and gloves he went outside and I saw him pause on the porch and look around before heading out and I wondered to myself whether he was enjoying the same experiences I did as a kid. As I was getting Rebecca ready for a meeting at the school Daniel came in to ask if he could knock the snow and ice off the car and I said “sure, go for it”! About the time I was finishing up with Rebecca I heard these loud thud sounds and as I looked outside I saw Daniel laying into the windshield of the van with this rather large pipe I had stored under the side porch. As he later explained to me he had retrieved the pipe in an effort to break the ice on the windows (which were frozen solid). The car was covered in ice, I told him to put the pipe away and it never occurred to me that any damage was done. Daniel eventually got on his bus later that morning and I warmed the car up for our trip to Rebecca’s meeting and as the windshield thawed it became apparent that

Daniel had put a few holes in it with the pipe. At this point I had no one to yell at, which was actually a good thing. Sometimes releasing anguish in solo is a good thing, especially since Daniel didn’t do it intentionally or know any better…… as my neighbor used to say “It’s always something”…. It turned out insurance covered the damage and they sent a person out to replace it in my driveway, which was nice and easy…….By the time Daniel got home from school it was pretty much a nonissue with the exception of a short tutorial on the dynamics of metal pipes coming in contact with glass at high velocities.

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