I had intended to go somewhere else today and not mention the snow or the weather again, but the permafrost has permeated me. The good news, I suppose, is that the winter has created a sense of semi-community in our Pennsylvania neck of the woods, something I have never felt before. Usually it’s simply the getting-and-spending dynamic (emphasis on spending) that joins us.
Last night the dark and cold, Jane’s absence and something I saw on television reminded me of my most memorable winter homecoming journey. I was returning from Deluxe in Chicago, as I always seemed to be, on a Friday evening in a snowstorm. After several delays at O’Hare we eventually landed in Newark sometime after midnight. My car service had waited for me, thank heaven, and we drove north toward Tuxedo along 287 in the worst snowy weather I had ever seen on a highway. The driver, an immigrant from Pakistan, performed splendidly and I wondered what the weather was like where he grew up. We arrived in Tuxedo, passed through the gate, and headed up the hill toward my house. At the bottom of Ridge Road, it was clear we’d reached the final safe place to drive and I told him I would walk the rest of the way.
Caroline and Jane were upstairs sleeping, but I’m sure various cats JOINED ME in the cat-bird seat of our glass house kitchen where I drank Scotch and viewed the maelstrom for a little while longer. I thought to turn on the television before going to bed and for the first time saw Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” show, which was horrible. When I heard TRUMP say “You’re fired,” I turned it off and would never consider watching it again. He really drains life of its mystery. I would have added a perfect link here to Peter Blegvad’s song “Swim,” but it isn’t on Youtube. You can find it on his “King Strut and Other Stories” album, which I recommend. It is a masterpiece worthy of Ryder, Calder, Caspar David Friedrich and other Northern masters.