Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Halloween snow

An accumulating snowfall here from a nor'eastern. It's sticking now at 1 pm so I suppose it'll keep sticking right up through night. Not just unusual, but in my memory unprecedented in this part of Jersey.  I don't recall many specific snows by year, but I remember two  substantial April snows,  & even one brief early May dusting when I lived in Linden NJ in the '80s.   Light snows around Thanksgiving surprise no one, & we've had  early December snowstorms. A Halloween snow? The ocean water temps off Jersey are still in the high fifties F.
I was walking back from 7-11, light wet snow, little wind, sloppy sidewalks. I wore my thick, ugly leather shoes with the heavy treads - shoes I have just for this kind of weather; my winter parka & a WFMU knit cap,  no great hardship. As I approached my building, the little Hispanic man from the first floor was floundering around on the sidewalk. Same gray thin  jacket he always wears, same thin pants,  I know he's had knee joint problems. He was holding a foil-wrapped sandwich. I took the sandwich, steadied him by the arm, & he got to his feet.  This fellow also drinks, although I can't tell the difference when he does. I handed him his sandwich & said, "I guess you're going inside, too." He said, "I'm going to the store," which at the hour could only be Bruno's Pizza, one block around the corner, or more likely, 7/11, two long blocks up a mostly unshoveled hill littered with tree limbs. I don't know what he wanted there or why he was bringing the sandwich along. But I knew I wasn't gonna walk it with him at .25 mph. There's a lot of people going in & out of apt buildings all along that route. If he falls down again,  he won't be down long.  Decision won't win me sainthood, but you gotta make some judgment calls.

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