It's Sunday morning. The street outside my house is lined with snowmobiles. Sleds. That is the proper, "in the know" name for them here in our winter dominated Town. In fact, if you use "Skidoo" as a genereric term, someone here is sure to remind you, in a somewhat patronizing tone, that "Skidoo is a BRAND name." Well, if I use the term "Kleenex" or "Xerox" as generics, pretty sure you know what I mean then, too. But I've decided to pick my battles.
After a snowy November, a mixed December, and an ass-breaking cold January, February has come in like a lamb and remained pretty lamb-y. It's been unseasonably warm and sunny and consequently the traditional hardest month to get through in our winter Town has been a time of cheerful walks with kids in half the gear I'd usually have to fight them into.
But this morning it's snowing again. The sky isn't too dark, so it might pass and return to our sunny holiday. But right now it's coming down softly.
The sledders are here for some sort of annual trip to our Town. I haven't had to deal with them much before this year as we've always lived off the main street. Now we live right on it, across from the main hotel in town. Last night the restaurant at the hotel was open, and it has not been for most of the Fall and Winter, so we took the family there for dinner. Locals were thrilled to have a rare alternative to the one eating establishment that stays open all year, while the visiting sledders were perplexed by our quaint ways: "Can I get a glass of wine?" "Sorry, you need to leave the restaurant, cross the lobby, go into the pub, order it at the bar, pay for it, then carry it back to your table yourself." It makes perfect sense to all of us. We're just happy to have a Pub open in the winter. We are happy to fetch our own booze if it means we have a place to get some of it.
Speaking of the Pub: the whole town was abuzz yesterday as we woke to the news that, in the small hours of the night, some thug a-holes had driven from the nearest bigger town (which is really, still a small town) to our tiny Town to look for trouble. This doesn't happen often, but it happens. So, these two idiots went to the Pub and started taunting one of our local boys, trying to get him mad enough to fight. They chose the admirable technique of talking shite about a friend of said Local Boy's. The friend they were disparaging happens to be dead. Local Boy is a sweetheart, but he is also tough as damn nails. I've known him since he was a kid and he is one of those small town combo kids who is charmingly polite and respectful to the older local ladies and yet can turn around and mop up a barroom full of jerks with his fist and then go right back to being polite. I love guys like that. So Local Boy deflected the taunts, but when one of the a-holes (after being thrown out of the Pub) sucker punched the owner of the hotel/bartender when he went out to remind them that they hadn't payed for their drinks, Local Boy and his friends took care of business, fist-wise. It happened right outside our front door and we all slept through it. But, yesterday morning it was all over Facebook and quickly became the talk of the town. We were all giddy with the news that our Local Boys showed two a-holes who came here looking for trouble that you don't mess with our Town. David and damn Goliath, right outside my house. Everyone was talking about it in the hotel last night, and everyone will keep talking about it until something else happens.
Oh...right now, as I type, the sledders are firing up their machines and heading off into the mountains. It sounds like a chainsaw revving contest. The sun is breaking through the clouds now, and the snow is slowing to a soft sprinkle. And the kids are bugging me to go outside.
So this is a February Sunday morning in our Town.