Japanese Garden in Snow

Japanese Garden in Snow

Me: Here she is, Miss Teacher of America!
Anne: Miss Substitute Teacher.
Me: First alternate?

I got up early this morning. Beating even Anne’s all to early iPhone chimes. After dropping her off at school, I headed over to the gardens. I correctly guessed that its walks would be cleared of snow. Everywhere else was still covered. While my camera was still warm, I first visited the Climatron. It didn’t fog at all in the moist tropical air. Afterwards, I swung through the Japanese garden. I practically had the whole place to myself. This burst of morning activity led to an afternoon nap.

Heat Lamp Curl

Emerald Tree Boa

In gyrotonics this week, we practiced arches and curls. Sitting astride the bench, we rotated its arms. First with arched and then curled backs. This mechanized stretching workout really helped sooth the crick in my back and my unfurled back let me stand a bit taller. This was a remedy that lasted until I shoveled snow yesterday. Maybe it is time to do the homework? The snow didn’t stop and eventually recovered where I had cleared. I went out twice and swept the walk clean. With slippery footing, I whisked the walk and like a curler does, it only made the ice that much more slippery. The snow’s novelty brought out the neighbors and with a note of recrimination, Anne asked afterwards, if I had spent more time talking to them, rather than moving snow. I explained to her that it was a heavy, wet, heart attack snow and a pause or two was the only prudent thing to do. Today, with all novelty long gone, she suggested that before school on Monday that I clean off the driveway apron. I had parked the Prius in the driveway on Friday. But Baby, it’s cold outside. 

Shut Show

Smallwood’s Anole

The government is still shutdown and now, so is Saint Louis. We got a respectable 8″ last night and it is still coming down. In truth, ours like the government’s is only a partial shutdown. Our one-block street is plowed, all the way down to black top and the paper was delivered, eventually. We might even get mail today. There is some heavy-duty shoveling in my future that was made only worse, when rising temperatures heated our aluminum awning enough that the snow piled up on it slid to the ground. Now there’s a rampart at the walk’s head.

Local television is serving up a combination of fear and schadenfreude. Be afraid, don’t venture out or you’ll end up like these unfortunates. Don’t they look miserable? If TV cannot find enough misery, then they manufacture their own, by sending out the newest-cutest reporter to suffer in the elements for you.

We’re all making much adieu about nothing. This storm was well forecasted. Because it first hit during the evening rush hour there was additional turmoil, but everyone had plenty of time to fill their fridge. Hunkering down for a day or two in winter is not all that bad. Everything will be right again by Monday.

Yesterday’s sojourn at the zoo was a tribute of sorts. In 1982, Saint Louis experienced its greatest snowfall in living memory, 19″. We still felt new here and called ourselves Babes in Toyland, having ventured out alone onto the world stage. It was a Saturday and we had attended a matinée at the Esquire. Exiting the theater, we were greeted with thunder-snow. We had plans to visit friends that evening, but begged off. The city was closed for a week.

Like today, it was still snowing the next morning. We lived closer to the park then and took advantage of our sudden richness to cross-country ski. None of the roads were plowed and there were few cars moving. We eventually found our way to the zoo. The entrances were closed, except for a service one, where the gate had been wedged open. We asked an employee, who was climbing through the gap in the gate, if the zoo was open? After thinking, he said yes.

There was not much to see. All the buildings were closed. Including the pictured anole’s herpetarium. The only animals that we saw were the sea lions, who were loving the snow. A sole concession stand was open and in it had gathered some of the zoo’s staff. Sipping hot chocolate, we overheard one man exclaim that he had driven 20 miles to get here, because he had “200 herbivores to feed.” Talk about an essential employee.