Getting up the hills

It was tough going in the snow on Thursday afternoon.

We closed the office early and left when there was maybe 2 inches on the road.  I brushed off the snow from my car, with a plastic bag, not being able to find my scraper.  It was light and fluffy.  I thought about the hills that I would to climb in my normal 10-minute, seven-mile commute home.

There are three significant hills. (Not counting Erie Avenue, where, if you’re parked in the TRR drive, you’re headed up the hill, in the middle of the hill, at a full stop.)  

The first hill is getting out of the hamlet of Narrowsburg.  While a short hill, it is steep as it makes it way past St. Francis Church and further along, its cemetery.

I passed a state police vehicle sitting at the intersection of Route 52 and 97 as I began my ascent up Blue Jay Hill.  (It’s called Blue Jay Hill because the blue building on the right as you reach the top used be called the Blue Jay. I remember going there the first winter after I arrived in the valley in the summer of 1978. It was a neighborhood bar and Frank was behind it.

The Blue Jay Hill is a bit of a fright, and in bad weather you need a bit of running start. 

That thought didn't go far, as there were blinkers on the hill in my lane, as a stalled car sat still. Fortunately, there was no one coming in the other direction and I was able to easily (and safely) pass the stalled car and keep plugging up the hill.  When I rounded the curve at the top, there was a van, stalled in the lane. With no traffic in the other direction, and I maneuvered my way around and crested the hill.

Two down, one big one to go. Rock Cut.

Rock Cut is an amazing bit of Route 97 that culminates in a fairly close Rock Cut.  It is a sweeping rolling hill to climb–long and moderately steep. There are vistas where you can sense the river below.

“Yes,” I said to myself as I got to the top.  I am getting home tonight!

Remembering those cars on Blue Jay Hill, I remarked to myself that even though I too do not have my snow tires on my car, my Prius Plugin, complete with a hybrid battery is very heavy.  And that gives me an advantage over the other cars stuck on the hill.

I ponder how important it is to know those things: that I had an advantage because my car is really heavy, over those other drivers of the lighter cars. It isn’t that I’m such a better driver–well, I do know how to drive in snow—it’s that the equipment that I’m driving handles better in snow. Good to know! And good to know that if your car is light, it may not drive well in snow. (There are some who put sacks of sand in their trunks to increase the weight and have something to throw on the ground when stuck!)

For as much as I am not, in any stretch or form, ready for a snowstorm (I’ve got much too much to do! Don’t we all!), I’m thinking that a day of reflection is a day of productivity.

We face serious times.

Our climate is changing.  Our world is in transition.  In my mind, in this moment, there is nothing more important than our focus on nurturing a vibrant and connected community, one that is resilient, one that is equitable and takes care of all, one where together we create our individual lives.

So we need a snow day, or at least a snow morning  (Did I tell you that I managed to leave both my phone and my ipad at the office this afternoon?) I want to think about how this newspaper can begin an exploration with you, dear readers, about what you need, and how you need to be served by community journalism.

We aspire to be partners with you to make sure that we all know what we need to know, and when we don’t, we know the resources in our community and how to connect with them. 

They're naming snow storms and we need to collectively take stock of how we're maneuvering through.

Enjoy the snow day. 

It really is a chance to slow down and reflect on how precious our lives are here in the Upper Delaware River Valley and how we are connected together through community.



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