Gray Days

I spent an hour today checking out the cams.

You see they got two feet of snow in Vermont yesterday, actually, it’s still snowing.

First I went to Mad River Glen, just over the hill from Middlebury, albeit a treacherous journey. Mad River still has a single chair, it’s locked in the past, and it’s intimate, sans the real estate b.s. of the last century that put ski resorts in the dumper, now it’s all about lift revenue. Anyway, I go to the cam every day, and Mad River makes almost no snow, but suddenly…

It’s SNOWVEMBER as they say in Vermont. It’s blowing and snowing and the cam is frosted over and I only want to be there, where they got nearly two feet of snow in the past twenty four hours. Being out in the elements… You’re alone, no matter how many people are with you, it’s private, you feel alive, and when you get back inside, you feel like you endured something, you accomplished something, you’re smiling.

Turns out Stowe, which is further north, got less. But the temperature had been warm, how far south did the snow go?

They got it at Sugarbush right next door. And over the pass, at my alma mater… The Middlebury College Snow Bowl was open for the very first day, I don’t ever remember it being open in November.

And Killington got hit. But I know the further south you go, you get rain, but at Bromley, my home mountain, where I grew up, they literally got twenty four inches, TWO FEET! This is so rare. It hasn’t happened in November since 1968. That was a great year, ’68-’69.

And then I wondered, did my alma mater now have cams? It’s at a much lower elevation, but the campus was covered in snow.

And it was blowing and snowing in Mammoth. Most of this year’s precipitation has been in Colorado, Vail rarely opens the Back Bowls this early. And California has gotten stiffed. But not today, it’s happening.

And then it started to get gray outside. As if…

It was about to rain.

Now you’ve got to know, rain is rare in Southern California. But it happens. But it wasn’t supposed to start until long after dark. But I checked the app and now it was coming early, which is so unusual.

So I put on Elton’s “My Father’s Gun.” I’m not sure what the inspiration was, something I read in the newspaper, and then I needed to hear all of “Tumbleweed Connection,” which I listened to every day of January 1971, after getting back from the slopes. And “Come Down In Time”…remember when music could be beautiful?

And I’m reveling in my mood but also thinking about a return to what once was. That’s what fascinated me in Reykjavik, everyone came back, no one left. And then I thought of Connecticut, so many people I grew up with stayed in New England, but not me. I’m in a better place, both literally and figuratively, but I yearn for what once was.

Saturday we finished “House of Cards.” It’s so bad, I wanted to throw the remote at the screen. Speaking of the power of one person, without showrunner Beau Willimon the program is useless.

But scanning Netflix for something new, I came across “Deadwind.” Felice wanted to start a new series. I don’t usually do it like this, I go to the computer and triangulate, I want to find the best series to watch. But the synopsis of “Deadwind” intrigued me, so I asked her to pass the iPad and when I saw it got a great rating on Rotten Tomatoes, we dove in.

It’s a murder mystery. Shot in Finland. In October.

And it never gets light and bright. It’s always gray. But the people live on, everything they do seems more important. And the lead never brushes her hair, her son says she’ll never find a new man, but she doesn’t want one. But it draws me to her, because she’s like me, how she looks, what she wears, is secondary to the mission, to the drive.

And I’ve been thinking about it all week. That’s where I want to go, back to “Deadwind,” to Helsinki.

And I’ve actually been to Helsinki, for one afternoon about five years ago. To the Rock Church and the Cathedral on the hill. I saw the Cathedral in some of the aerial shots!

But mostly I wanted to not only go there, but be there.

Funny world we live in today, no flight is long enough to disengage, you can be anywhere in the world on a whim, and many people take advantage of these flights. Then again, some people are ensconced in their domain, they never leave.

I left.

But I want to go back.

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