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The Good Press - Issue #42: Accumulation

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The Good Press

February 3 · Issue #42 · View online

A newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind


Snow days just aren’t the same when you’ve got a vehicle to defrost and excavate! I hope wherever you’re reading this, you’re nice and warm. If you haven’t already, feel free to grab some tea, coffee, hot chocolate, your warm beverage of choice.

Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press, a newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind.
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A light, persistent dusting (Photo courtesy my lovely fiancée on IG: @scenariosofdrea)
A light, persistent dusting (Photo courtesy my lovely fiancée on IG: @scenariosofdrea)
Accumulation
I remember that as a kid, waking up to falling snow was always a dazzling day. For my brother and me, snow days meant a day of snowball throwing, sledding down some hills, and the pièce de résistance: a day off from school.
Such warm, nostalgic memories. Especially with the hot chocolate afterward.
Once I grew up and had a car to take care of? Those warm nostalgic feelings for snow days felt a lot more frigid. Frozen windshield wipers will do that.
(And those days off from school for all of the kids and the teachers? In 2021, many snow days are virtual days online instead of days off, and frankly, that’s a shame.)
Like many people across the northeast of the U.S., we got hit with a whole bunch of snow here in the Poconos this week. Light, fluffy snowflakes began to fall on Sunday morning and they didn’t let up here until Tuesday afternoon.
On Sunday, I moved my car out of our driveway and parked it over at a family friend’s house down the road, a short hike away. Since we have a much narrower driveway than she does, she offered us a spot at her place; that way, I had a place to park out of the way of the snowplows and snowblowers. Thank goodness for her neighborly hospitality, because that light, fluffy snow kept coming. By Monday at dusk, when my fiancée and I made another trek from our place back to our family friend’s place, the fluff had really piled up.
Suffice to say, digging your car out of a few feet of snow does not inspire warm, nostalgic feelings. I’m grateful that I’ve got a remote control starter that runs the engine for 20 minutes and defrosts my windshield, but I found myself a lot more nostalgic for the all-wheel-drive Subaru of my college days in Buffalo than I was nostalgic for making snow angels and snowmen as a kid. Despite some struggles with my two-wheel-drive Honda, I was able to get out of the driveway long enough for the snowplows and snowblowers to do their thing, and my fiancée and I got to spend time with our family friend (and her 11-month-old puppy), taking a load off and catching our breath for a bit.
I’m very grateful for our family friend here in the Poconos. She was the one who gave us a place to stay after the fire last winter, and now she’s given us shelter from the ice and snow, too. She’s a true, all-weather friend, and she’s been like an aunt to my fiancée her whole life. So on Tuesday afternoon, we packed up our backpacks and hiked over again, where I cleared off my car again and walked the dog before I traded in my boots and gloves for a hot cup of coffee and a comfy place to set up and finish this issue of the newsletter.
Thanks, Aunt Betsy!
All those light, fluffy snowflakes can really add up as they keep accumulating.
It didn’t seem like it was ever really snowing that heavily. It was the type of snow that’s perfect for snowballs, perfect for picking up and building with. Snow you could easily and breezily ski, snowboard, sled, and snow tube upon.
It’s also the type of snow that your snowboots can only do so much against, especially when all those snowflakes keep on falling and falling and falling; until your footprints in the snow get closer to waist-deep than shin-deep.
In Other Words
Despite never being all that nasty, biting, or frigid, this snowfall was very persistent. In times like these, I’m grateful for the snowplows, snowblowers, and shovelers. Dealing with all that accumulation is no walk in the park. Maybe when I have a garage to park in I’ll have more nostalgia for snow days. Navigating these wintery morasses is my least favorite part of car ownership.
I found myself thinking about the dynamic of the accumulation of all that soft snow, flake after flake. How powerful a force it can be as a collective. A whole bunch of light, fluffy snowflakes that just keep accumulating over and over. By dictionary definition, to accumulate is to increase gradually. Nothing “accumulates” rapidly, per se. It’s particularly gradual and slow, by definition.
And those flakes kept falling, never all that heavily but quite persistently, for ~50 hours straight by us. Slowly but surely, the snowfall created havoc in our neck of the woods, and it seems like plenty of other places got hit harder, too.
Like many things since the start of the pandemic, I keep thinking about how fortunate I’ve been that things could’ve been much worse. So many people around the world have lost their lives, their loved ones, and/or their livelihoods from COVID-19. 11 months in, my loved ones are healthy thus far. Adjusting to a sheltered-at-home life is a small inconvenience, but it’s much better to be inconvenienced than infirmed. Every day, we accumulate another day of experience in these oh so interesting times, and that is no small feat.
Day after day, on days that can feel particularly challenging, and on the days that go by more smoothly, we endure, we trek onward, we do what we need to do to survive and thrive, and we accumulate experience along the way.
It all adds up. We’ve all endured plenty, but one day, we’ll be on the other side of this morass. Any time we can take a deep breath and reflect on how much we’ve conquered and how much stronger we are for it is time well spent. Through all these cascading crises, these burdens can accumulate. But our strength—our resolve—accumulates and grows, too. It makes us better.
Never underestimate the fluffy stuff. More importantly, never underestimate your ability to keep thriving in the face of adversity. Even on the days that aren’t easy. Especially on the days that aren’t easy. Keep on stepping. All those steps forward accumulate and will get to your destination, one step at a time.
Parting Thoughts
In what feels a lot like Mother Nature playing a practical joke, today is supposed to be the day that my parents begin a multi-day trek from Westchester County, NY to Delray Beach, FL, weather permitting.
At the time this issue has been published, my parents may well be on the road, driving down I-95 with the family dog and cats as they complete one of the final steps of their long journey toward retirement to sunny Florida. The Westchester house has been sold, and the new Florida home is awaiting their arrival. So what’s one more winter storm for the road before the move, right?
It’s been a long process, selling the family home where my brother and I grew up and came of age. The pandemic hitting shortly after it went on the market certainly didn’t help. But eventually, they found a buyer and the rest is history. Hopefully, the next family can make a couple of decades of warm memories in that house the way that we did. (I wrote about it way back in May.)
Moving Forward: Reflecting Upon 20 Years of Memories | The Good Press on Medium
The Good Press - Issue #6: Memories
In July, my parents will come back up to New York to spend some time with the family, since many of us are still here. My grandparents and plenty of other family members from my mom’s side are well represented in FL, too.
Maybe by July, we’ll all be vaccinated, and it’ll relieve a whole lot of anxiety that I have about gathering with people outside of our household. I’m happy that Aunt Betsy in the Poconos has run a tight ship with her and the pup, and it’s nice to be able to spend time at her place and enjoy the change of scenery.
Stay safe out there, folks. Send some good vibes my parents’ way so that their road trip is as smooth as possible. It’s about 18-20 hours of travel time by car, and that’s not even including the pitstops along the way, like the overnight stay at a pet-friendly hotel. May the roads be kind throughout.
One mile at a time, one day at a time. Eventually, all those miles accumulate, and we arrive at our respective desired destinations. It may not always be a straight-line path, but hey, that’s life. I’m sure it’ll make a good story someday.
Till next time,
-Jon
Previously in The Good Press
The Good Press - Issue #41: Be The Light
The Good Press - Issue #40: The Big Bet
The Good Press - Issue #39: Smile
Catch up quick: The Good Press full online archive
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