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12-21-09:Behind the Bench

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Snow. It is beautiful and really pretty and the kids love to play in it. It really is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? I mean until you have to dig out your car or shovel your driveway. I only had to do one of those things yesterday, but one was enough.

            We were in Vancouver when we heard that D.C. was going to get about 20 inches of snow and we did not know if we were going to be able to get home. I just kept thinking that yesterday was going to be an awfully long day. We were really lucky to get back. Dulles opened at 6 a.m. on Sunday, and we landed around 6:25 a.m. We were even luckier that our parking lot at the airport was plowed and that the snow was cleared off our cars. I thought we were going to have to dig out our cars and was worried because not many of our guys had gloves or car scrapers with them. So a special thank you to all the workers that made it possible for us to leave the airport and get home in a timely manner.
I was driving home from the airport and the Canadian came out in me. I wanted to drive fast and pass everybody because you know nobody else can drive fast in the snow. Part of you wants to yell at the other drivers but then you remember that they are not used to the snow. I was passing a guy yesterday and thought to myself, “He cannot drive in the snow, I am going to pass him and show him how it is done.” Then I thought I would spin out and he would laugh at me.
I was really enjoying the snow until I got close to my house because that is when you realize that D.C. does not have the plowing capabilities that they have in Canada or in New England where I have also lived. Our whole street was filled with snow and I ended up getting stuck because I tried to plow through it with the car (I hope Mercedes does not mind!). I got stuck on an incline and then it took 90 minutes to dig out. That was not the best thing to be doing after an all-night flight, but it had to be done.
            After digging the car out the last thing I wanted to do was tackle the driveway. There was a snowplow about 300 yards away doing a neighbor’s driveway. I tracked him down and asked him what house was next on his agenda. He said he did not have any more to do, so he came over and plowed our driveway. He came right over and our driveway was snow-free in a few minutes. It kind of makes you mad in a way because he can plow a driveway in no time at all and it would have taken me hours to clear all the snow. But I am not complaining because now I can drive into our driveway without getting stuck again. The one regret that I did have briefly yesterday was selling my snowblower when I left Manchester.
            The storm we had in D.C. over the weekend would have been a typical winter storm in Canada or New England. The only difference is that in those parts you get about eight of those storms a year so the snow accumulates. I remember my last year in Manchester, the snow was piled up over the street lights by mid-March. It would not melt because there were no 50-degree days. It would snow and then it would be 20 degrees outside and then it would snow again so it would stay on the ground.
One of the things I always think about when it snows is ball hockey. When I grew up, we loved playing ball hockey on the road. When the streets would be freshly plowed they would become real smooth and you could play ball hockey without having to work your way through the snow. It is funny how memories like that stay with you, but it one of the things I always think about. After all these years, I am still on the lookout for good ball hockey streets.
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