My recollection is that The Weather Channel recently asked viewers to send in their accounts of ways the winter weather has disrupted their lives.

I looked on TWC’s Web site for confirmation of this, but couldn’t find any at first glance and didn’t feel like taking the time to look for it, so I watched a video of a squirrel falling out of a tree, instead.

For one thing, the winter has prevented me on two occasions from going somewhere to eat a meal that I didn’t have to cook or clean up after myself. (My father used to say that any such meal was a good meal.)

By the time you read this on Sunday, it may have loused up even more things for people.

On the other hand, winter uncomplicated a situation I had managed to complicate far beyond what was necessary. It was my own doing, and I needed no help from anyone else.

Some friends of mine live in Tennessee, and they planned to come to this area the weekend of Jan. 29-31. I’ve never met them in person, and you might say we’re electronic pen pals.

Whittling Joe (what he can do with a knife and a chunk of wood is a gift from God) and his buddies are Confederate re-enactors. They were supposed to attend a regimental conference in Winchester on Friday and Saturday.

Some of my friends who live around Cumberland wanted to meet them, so I spent part of the preceding week trying to figure out the logistics of the travel that would be involved.

Joe and the others wanted to meet my friends and me, but they also wanted to come here and visit someone who is, for all practical purposes, unable to travel. Since they would be this close to Cumberland, I thought maybe they could drive on up after they were finished in Winchester.

However, Joe e-mailed me that after they were done in Winchester, they had room reservations in Fredericksburg.

He said he didn’t know how long it took to get to Fredericksburg from Winchester, and I wrote back that I didn’t know either — but it probably wouldn’t be as long as it what it took Ambrose Burnside and the rest of the Union Army.

I assumed they would not be coming to Cumberland, then began lining up things with my friends who live here to see where, when and how I was going to meet them, and what route we would take to get to Winchester.

From my house in Keyser, it’s a straight shot through Romney and down to Winchester ... except that one of my friends (who is a Yankee re-enactor) lives in Mount Savage and for the moment has no transportation, and the others live in Oldtown, Bean’s Cove, Pa.; and Carpendale, W.Va.

The Weather Channel reported that a horrible ice and snow storm had begun out west, was headed straight for Virginia (where Winchester is), and had included Tennessee (where my friends live) in its travel plans.

By Thursday, my friends in Oldtown and Carpendale had to cancel for one reason or another, my friend in Bean’s Cove thought he might be in Martinsburg on Saturday — in which case he’d meet us in Winchester if the timing was right — and my friend in Mount Savage was still ready to go.

As I was getting ready for work on Friday morning, it occurred to me that Joe must already have left Tennessee if he were going to stay ahead of the storm.

Now, I knew what hotel he and the others are staying in ... but they don’t know what I look like, and I don’t know what they look like, and the place would be full of people who have Southern accents. Joe has my cell phone number, but I don’t have his, and we’d made no arrangements about how to meet each other.

On top of that, I have an idea of the travel time to Winchester from Keyser, but no clue whatsoever of how long it would take to go from Keyser to Mount Savage to wherever I was going to meet my friend from Bean’s Cove, and then get to Winchester by noon, when Joe’s regimental meeting ended.

It looked like the snow was going to stay south of Winchester, Keyser, Mount Savage and Bean’s Cove. However, the map on The Weather Channel showed a bright red oval of ice that covered every square inch of Tennessee.

Waiting for me at work on Friday morning was an e-mail from Whittling Joe, expressing his regrets that because of the weather, he and the others wouldn’t be coming up this way, after all.

He said he was “really bummed out” because they had been looking forward to coming to Cumberland to visit their other friend ... the one who isn’t able to travel.

It turned out they were intent on coming to Cumberland, after all. I still have no idea how they were going to manage all that in one day, but I suppose Joe had it figured it out.

I wondered at what point we would have passed each other on Interstate 68 without realizing it — him heading west and me heading east — and decided it may have been just as well the weather had loused everything up.

Maybe it wouldn’t have happened that way, but you never know. This has been a screwy year, so far. And, of course, I woke up like everyone else here did on Saturday morning to be greeted by a snowstorm that neither The Weather Channel nor anybody else expected to come this far north.

Joe said his regiment’s major had canceled the trip because he didn’t want to jeopardize his people by making them travel in bad weather.

One mark of a good officer is that he puts the welfare of his men ahead of everything else. It’s because of a good officer that Joe and I have become friends, although neither of us was ever fortunate enough to meet him.

I’ll tell you about him next Sunday.

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

Tags

Trending Video