Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

January 27, 2015

BLIZZARD WANDERABOUT

"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all."
ERNEST SHACKLETON

... i remember in the fifth-grade when my teacher announced, "i'm going to give you a catalog to show your parents, from it you'll be able to order books to read" ... even now, that remains one of my life's most exciting events ... at home i perused the little pamphlet over and over, until, given the budget my parents had so generously allowed me, from seemingly several hundred faint pencil check marks i finally managed to mark in ink my final choice, "shackleton's valiant voyage," a scholastic books abridged version of alfred lansing's famous account of this epic tale of survival ... at the time living in alaska, it was a long wait before the day the teacher placed a huge cardboard box on her desk and said, "as i call your name come up to get your order" ...

... i started reading the book on the walk home from school, i finished it sometime during the middle of the night ...

... the next day i got in trouble for reading it during the math lesson ... "i don't need the math lesson, i already know how to do this stuff," i explained to my teacher ... for that i got sent to the cloak room ... she neglected to take the book from me ... "stupid teacher," i thought ...

... now, of course, i know ... smart teacher ...

... ernest shackleton taught me several things, the most important being, "never give in" ...

... today, in the midst of a true blizzard, i decided to go for a little wanderabout ... why, you ask ... george mallory said, "to struggle and to understand—never the last without the first—that is the law" ... perhaps it was that, if only a tiny bit, but, mostly, it was just to remind myself that truly i am a very lucky man ...

... this is a maine optimist ... once he clears off his car his plan is to "four-wheel drive" it through the drifts until he reaches front street ... i wished him luck ...

... perched above the kennebec river, i found my car safe and sound ... several things are going to happen between now and the end of this storm ... first, sometime this afternoon or evening they will plow the lot on this side of the car, creating a huge ridge of snow upwind of the vehicle ... when the gale abates from its current 25-40 miles per hour to a gentle breeze, the ridge will serve as a fence, causing the light snow to completely fill in the space between it and the car ... thus, tomorrow is to be a shoveling day ... i could leave it, but, a lesson painfully learned, i know that if i do and it warms a bit the snow will turn to ice and my car'll be imprisoned for an unacceptable amount of time ...

... making up a bit for a history of poor service, the indian restaurant remains open during the storm ...

... i encountered these two in the middle of main street ... one of them was especially concerned that my "jacket was warm enough" ... i assured him it was, noting that hidden from his eyes my super-deluxe-high-tech long johns were doing most of the work keeping me comfortable ... my apartment is above the middle streetlamp ...

... as i watched, they disappeared not in the distance, but right in front of me ... absolutely dead on prediction, this is, indeed, a blizzard ... 

... if the truth doesn't quite set you free, for sure these guys will ... kudos to the plow crews ...

... a window display in the old stern's building is quite appropriate ...

... i watched her walk down the street, struggle through a waste deep drift, and push the door buzzer for one of the many second-floor rooms which, for want of a more precise term, are of a "low income" nature ... after awhile she turned and headed back ... it seemed to me that on her return her shoulders were slumped ... a sad story, disappointment, or, perhaps just exhaustion ... i do not know ...

... front-end bucket loaders are in and of themselves most amazing ... observing this model with an attached plow blade i wish i owned one for my own amusement ...

... if i'd a set of snowmobile or ski goggles, this would've been a perfect outfit ... as it was, however, i gave up my little wanderabout when i started to worry that the wind driven ice was going to leave permanent pits in my eyeballs ...


"We had seen God in His splendors, heard the text that Nature renders.
We had reached the naked soul of man."
ERNEST SHACKLETON