I was talking to a friend this afternoon on the telephone. I mentioned that I had to go because I had to run out to the food store. I began thinking out loud, “Okay, I’ve got my hat, my neck warmer, my gloves, pea coat, boots…” He asked me what I was talking about. I said, “Huh? Oh yeah. You have to get all dressed up around here to go anywhere.” He wanted to know why, because as far as he knew, all I was doing was going from a warm car into a warm store. I had to explain to him that I wasn’t preparing for the car ride. I was preparing for the walk home after the car breaks down.
I’m not even kidding. I had this conversation with a friend in my Jiu-Jitsu class a few weeks ago about how I was kind of smacked back to reality when I tried to drive in the snow around here. I told him how the car was sliding all over the place and about how I was concerned that I’d go over some cliff. He looked at me with all seriousness. He said, “No man, you have to be prepared.” He told me about how he hit a deer on his way to class just a few weeks earlier. The accident broke his power steering pump, so he couldn’t run the car for heat. While waiting for the police, he stood outside and told me in no uncertain terms, “It was cold out there!”
From that point on, I’ve been doing my best to at least dress for the occasion while driving anywhere. Whether it be the food store, Jiu-Jitsu class, a Sunday drive…whatever. If we hit something, run out of gas or the car ceases to drive, I need to know that we’ll be able to maintain our warmth regardless. People around here have taken that type of thinking for granted, but for me, I’ve been walking around in my Croc/slippers for the past year and a half. I gotta get with the program. Don’t believe me? I’m telling you, it’s getting cold. Look at the temperature in this picture from just a few minutes ago.
Anyway, I figured I’d bring the camera with me for the trip to the food store. I wanted to take some pictures of Madison at night. They’ve got a huge paper mill (Madison Paper Industries) that throws out steam and looks amazingly awesome. Ever since the cold rolled in, the steam has been very dramatic. Take a look.
There’s also a more quintessential diner (Good & Plenty Diner) in Anson, Maine that sits directly across from the paper mill in Madison (across the bridge) that has a great sign I wanted to take a picture of. It sits right next to a laundromat, which releases steam from its dryers. I was lucky enough to get this shot:
I think that’s so cool, especially when I’m the only one on the road at 7:30 at night. People around here head in early, so I get the run of the show. Stopping in the middle of the road for pictures isn’t uncommon for me.
Here’s one for you. I wanted to show you how the roads are in this neck of the woods. It stopped snowing about 24 hours ago and this is what they look like in semi-secluded areas. I’m fine with this because it means they aren’t over-plowing. Laura and I joke about the time we were standing on the side of the road in Connecticut as we watched a plow come by, pushing nothing but sparks. There wasn’t a flake of snow on the road, yet the plows were out doing what they do. And all they did was drain my pocket of money, so when I see roads that aren’t perfect, I know it’s a good thing.
There were so many houses decorated with Christmas lights. I took about ten pictures, but deleted them all, except for one. I thought they didn’t come out like I wanted, but this one showed promise. I thought it was cute.
Almost done guys. I want to show you one more thing, just to get it out of the way. I want to show you a picture of the Hannaford food store I shop at in Madison. It’s the smallest Hannaford I’ve ever seen, which is perfect because it gives me the down-home feeling I like. I once went to the Hannaford in Farmington and didn’t like it at all. It was too big. I’m happy to have found the store in Madison, because the only other real option was George’s Banana Stand in Skowhegan, and that’s kind of far. But here’s what the Hannaford in Madison looks like. Peace!