Sunday, December 20, 2009

A winter day on the North Shore

Yesterday, Mike told me that he planned to drive up route 127 today to go to Sugar Magnolias and take his dog to the beach. Mike has a truck (that should be a long u truuk.) That is to say he has a giant, bright red pick up truck that (of course) has 4 wheel drive and can handle anything that old man winter throws at us. "We'll play the Pogues all the way to Gloucester!" he said.

I found the idea of driving up beautiful 127 in the snow in a high truck cab with good heat, an ipod input and a cute fluffy poodle compelling. Especially since we'd get to see Gloucester and the beach all covered with snow. And also, you can tell me I have to wake up at 6:30 on a Saturday to go to Sugar Mags and I'll do it happily.

But , although this pains me to admit to it since I'm one of the people who ragged on Mike when he bought the thing, it really was all about the truck. Mike had a shiny tool that could handle this "butloads of snow thing" and I was happy to see it in action.

In execution the plan failed at one of it's objectives (Sugar Magnolias was closed when we got there) but I feel it was a success overall. Mike and Ellen picked me up and we drove on the beautiful coastline and there was no sliding. As we drove (listening to the Pogues and petting the poodle) Mike (who is from Pennsylvania) explained what he was doing and how to drive through the snow to Ellen (who is from Virgina.) I would reproduce their dialogue but since I don't drive myself, I only sort of understood it. It had to do with what gears to use uphill and downhill and with making sure you (and not gravity) were in charge of the tires.

And there was no condescension in the discussion at all. No hint of "I can't believe you don't know this" or "Honey, I'm not gonna allow you to drive when it's snowy." Here Mike knew how to use a tool (the truck in the snow) and he was trying to teach Ellen to use it-the same way I'd show her how to use ccleaner.exe or she'd explain capitalization to me.

So we took the truck to Gloucester and found a place that would serve us breakfast at 2 PM and took the dog to Good Harbor Beach. We discussed whether Tanya Huff should get a new editor, and horrible things people we know have done with toilet plungers (think twice before inserting one into yourself or someone you love) while admiring the scenery and noting the bad driving of our fellow travelers.

When we got to the beach we discovered that the wind had mixed the snow with the sand. We tromped through it and the dog bounced through it. Mike walked down to the tide line and mucked through some of the wetter sand and snow mix and said "oh do you know what this reminds me of? Boston?" As he stood there up to his ankles in sand and snow we could not but agree with him.

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