My husband and I have lived in several kinds of places: two medium sized cities, a large city and Suffield. One of the small cities was in the south, with little snow and fewer snow removal resources–one plow for the entire area, as I recall. The large metropolis was full of snow removal problems and challenges, and its vast resources were never enough. We lived in a second small city in New England, on a cul de sac which didn’t seem to attract motivated plowing, although sooner or later it got done. And then we moved to Suffield.
We didn’t expect much by way of snow removal in a small rural town in northern Connecticut, but we loved its ambience, so we bought a house here. That was nearly 32 years ago. I have lived, on a country road in Suffield, through many snow storms, both large and small. I have never ceased to be astonished at the way the crews here manage to keep the roads cleared. How do they do it?
Year after year I have lain awake and listened to the sound of the plows during the wee hours. What a reassuring sound! Music to my ears! In the 20 years that I had to drive from home to West Hartford early in the morning, I never had to worry about whether Suffield’s roads were clear. I worried a lot about the condition of my steep driveway, but never about the condition of the town roads.
On these cold winter nights, I often think about our snow removal crews: about whether they are warm enough in the cabs of their trucks; whether they need caffeine to stay awake; whether they can see clearly in driving snow; whether they can avoid all the rural mailboxes; whether they will become so tired that their judgement may occasionally be impaired; whether the heavy equipment they use is in good working order. Mostly I think with gratitude about how much we owe those skillful, hardy, persevering drivers–heroes, one and all. I hope they are not unsung heroes!