First of all, for you skeptics out there, “whelmed” is really a word, though we don’t use it because it doesn’t seem to have any relationship to it’s more popular off-spring, Over- and Under.
1. to submerge; engulf.
2. to overcome utterly; overwhelm: whelmed by misfortune.
So overwhelmed implies misfortune? How does that work when used as “Overwhelmed by gratitude, joy, or excitement?” Are those things actually misfortune in disguise? Or is it the oncoming waters of drowning and submersion that carry the negative implication?
Sometimes, the weird ins and outs of our peculiar language leave me agape. That’s right. Agape. And what do you want to make of it, eh? I’ll whelm you if you diss me, girlie!
Yesterday, we finally got out of the house to visit some friends for lunch. This is a long-deferred date. He was sick, I was sick, Garry was sick, it snowed. Finally, after the last delay, I said “That’s it, we’re doing this.” And we did. We were between colds and nobody ever has anything to do at the end of January in New England. It’s when we all hunker down and wait for spring to come.
Of course, it snowed. We hadn’t seen as much as a flake for weeks, but the one day we finally get out of the house to do something other than shop or go to a doctor, it snowed. The first flakes were falling as we climbed into the car.
“It seems to be snowing,” I said. I am good at stating the obvious.
“Yes,” said Garry who is equally good at agreeing with the obvious.
“We’d better keep an eye on the weather,” I continued.
“Yes,” he agreed.
There hadn’t been any snow in the forecast and while it wasn’t exactly warm, it wasn’t below freezing. But you just can’t tell around here. Our friends live in Grafton — a few towns north of us in the valley. Less than 20 miles and about half an hour of driving, assuming light traffic, which is mostly what you find in this area except our brief “rush hour.”
As we drove north, following the directions of the GPS which, it turned out, were absurdly circuitous. We could have done the same thing far more easily if our GPS wasn’t convinced we had to avoid tolls at all costs. Some embedded command in its software will always send us by any road other than the Mass Pike … even when the Mass Pike would only cost us a few cents and save us a lot of complicated twists and turns. We didn’t know that going, but figured it out going home.
Sorry, I digressed.
It was snowing pretty hard by the time we got there. Not a blinding storm, but definitely snowing. Medium to biggish flakes. Which usually means it isn’t serious about the snow thing. The sky wasn’t that bright white that screams “Hey you, tons of snow is going to fall on you. Yes, you!” This suggested a heavy dusting … an inch or two maybe. But, as I said, you can’t be sure. Living in a valley, you can be in Uxbridge and get a foot or more, while four miles away, Douglas gets nothing. There are a lot of reasons for this, but let’s just say that our weather is whimsical, and has a sense of humor.
We didn’t stay as long as we would have liked because it kept snowing and it was sticking on the road surfaces. Sometimes these relatively light, wet snows are the most slippery. Neither of us likes driving, especially in bad weather. Garry does it anyway.
By the time we made it back, stopping at the grocery to pick up a few items, the world was getting that “winter wonderland” look. Even snow haters find it hard to resist. New England always looks like a Currier & Ives print with a fresh dusting.
I took a few pictures. From outside and from inside. At home and at the mini-mall where the grocery store lives. Cameras. Never leave home without one. Or two.
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