Sunday, March 21, 2010

(Ac)Counting On An Early End To Winter

It's 7 o'clock and still twilight. Lovely this early daylight savings. Only thing is ... the temperature dropped thirty degrees in one day. Throughout the house clunky radiators, quiet for nearly a week, hiss and spit steam. Brrr. Must remember it is still winter in northern New England. Planting time two months out. Not until after Mother's Day up here. Pity. The past few days of warm sunshine, nothing but a tease. But hey ... this girl can take a joke so bring it on.

May be jinxing the whole early spring thing. Snow tires off tomorrow. A bit early, but the car also needs an oil change. Efficient time management. Risky perhaps. I should know. It can snow until what seems like summer everywhere in the country. March blizzards occur frequently. Sometimes later.

So you can imagine the surprise, no total shock, to awaken early the morning of May 10, 1977 leap out of my bed for my much dreaded accounting final, throw open the yellowing rollup shades to find that a fluke spring storm dumped 8 inches of the white stuff. My snazzy Fiat 128 Special (that's Fix It Again, Tony), the one that the Chevron station at the corner of Huron and Concord jump-started every morning courtesy of AAA and a faulty choke ) was shrouded. And the test was at 9 sharp. Two hours of pure panic ensued.

Metro Boston roads and highways were snarled. Jonquils were a'bloom peeking from under inches of fluff. Trees cracked and branches toppled to the ground. The wet snow too weighty for winter weary limbs bursting with newborn lime green leaves. Everywhere the streets were blocked. Yikes. No broadcast announcements of any kind for school closings. Or at least not for Babson. No cell phones so once you were out there. You were out there. My exam was on. Drove the seventeen miles from the grey, asbestos shingled Cambridge double-decker apartment on Tierney Street to the Wellesley Hills campus circumnavigating roadblocks and fallen limbs.

Debits, credits, T-charts and accrued depreciation rules swirled inside my head. Crammed there until the words "Pencils out. Begin" were uttered. The slightest provocation prior to that unique moment in time would have tempted their flow prematurely into the stratosphere. I had to take that test. Quick. Or, horrors, my over-stuffed brain teeming with GAAP would melt releasing the gobbledy-gook into the universe.

I arrived haggard and late. Slid into an unplowed parking space, gathered my canvas LLBean bag with trusty HP-22, two Pentel mechanical .5MM pencils and a white eraser and ran at top speed into Horn Library. It was empty. Totally devoid of activity. Out of the corner of my eye I spied my professor heading out the door. Begging and cajoling teetering on the verge of quiet hysteria somehow he agreed to allow me to sit for the exam unproctored. But I had to pledge my first born if I breathed its contents to anyone.

So it happens. A burst of spring followed by winter's wrath. Only I pray not this year.

Cheers to the weather gods ...

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