Last year when Monk’s Cafe did their Lost Abbey dinner with brew guy Tomme Arthur, I had my first cataract operation scheduled the next morning and had to decline. As I remember, it snowed like hell that night and the operation had to be postponed.
When I awakened to snow this morning, no matter how light, I should have been worried, given my inclination to figure out when and how the universe is conspiring against me, but I remembered none of the above and just sighed a bit and went about the day’s work, which included, not by coincidence I am convinced, an early morning visit to the eye doctor for follow up checking of the old eyes. 20-20 vision for distance, which was the primary incentive for the surgery, so that was the good news of the day.
All of it.
It kept snowing all the way home from Phoenixville, but no big deal. I worked here at the desk until early afternoon and then walked up to get the mail, discovering to my surprise that there was maybe half and inch of snow on the ground and that it had turned bitter cold. Why was I surprised? Since the winds sure can blow cold way up
there here, I keep the blinds down and shut tight on the big picture window in the living room/office area and the only other outside window is in the bedroom where I do the same since I turn the heat off when I’m in there sleeping at night. The only time I see the light of day is when I go outside or I put the dog out. She hadn’t required that service since I’d returned home.
Around 3:30, I talked with that nice Matt Guyer on the phone to check the weather on the Main Line, about 25 miles east of here, where I was going to meet him at the train. Nothing happening he said. I got in the car and drove around a bit to see if the snow on the ground and sidewalks here in the apartment complex (they’d plowed the drive but it was slightly covered again) was misleading. Seemed to be. All the roads were clear and, if not dry, hardly damp.
A nice long hot shower at 4pm was the next step, following which I fed the dog and bundled up for night and was in the car around 4:40. Gee, was it snowing really hard all of a sudden? Was it like a big booming voice had yelled down from the sky “NOW!”?
Nah, that would be paranoid.
I drove down the now snow-covered driveway to the also snow-covered street and up and around to Rt. 724. A glance to the left showed a backup at the ramp onto Rt. 422, the expressway between here and King of Prussia and the Main Line. No matter. I turned right and headed down toward Phoenixville, where 724 turns into Rt. 23 through town and wends up through Valley Forge National Park. It’s the route I take most often when I go into toward the city since it gives me lots of options, the one for the evening being to get to the Devon Train station to catch a 5:39 train into the city or, if things were slow, the 6:06, for a 7pm dinner.
Fifteen minutes later, I had progressed less than a mile. There were cars lined up stretching as far in front of me as I could see and, trust me, I could see a really long way even through the steady snowfall. Things were no better on the other side of the street, oncoming traffic paralleling our own slow-moving line. Ten minutes after that, I gave up, figuring that I’d not get anywhere near the train station until 6:30 or later, if that soon, which would make me 45 minutes late for dinner if everything else stayed on schedule, and the trains rarely do when the snows start coming down. Besides, the radio weather report’s promise of more snow, sleet and freezing rain out here in the western ‘burbs for the rest of the night was, shall we say, not especially enticing.
I called Matt and my would-be host, Tom Peters, to give them the news, which they took surprisingly well. I’d have thought their whole evenings would now be ruined. First chance I got, I turned off onto a side road and slipped and slid my way home (with surprising ease, I must admit). And now here I am, a can of soup heating on the stove and a glass of Gang Aft Agley in hand. There are worse places to be.
There’s a lesson in all this. The obvious one would be that really cool guys such as I are not meant to live 40-plus miles away from center city if we want to enjoy a fine evening out on a night the gods decide to play with our fortunes.
The alternate? It could all be Tomme Arthur’s fault. Bad karma in our houses and all that mystical stuff.
Either way, I got screwed.
(Beer Geek Special: to understand how bummed I am about this, I list for you the beers which will start pouring at Monk’s any minute now: Cable Car. Gift of the Magi. Veritas. Red Poppy. Amazing Grace. Angel’s Share. I’m sure I’ll read about how excellent they were in the morning from some guy who lives really close to the trains. He might even do a spreadsheet.)SHARE