Tree trimming

We get a little closer to the holidays every day. Our Christmas cards are just about ready to drop in the mail—at least, once I finish addressing the envelopes and signing them, which will probably take another three days. (So if yours is late, apologies). We got the tree up last night with a minimum of loss of life and only two broken ornaments—considering the ornaments went from Kirkland to Arlington with minimal protection that’s not too bad. And our new front door supports our wreath hanger, so I’ll be picking up an evergreen wreath on the way home.

It took about three weeks, but I’m finally getting the holiday spirit. (Ironically, I think it was the cross country sales trip that did it. Being removed from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday makes it that much clearer which things are important.) Alas, I have another three days (at a minimum) in the office this week, so I probably won’t really get into the spirit until the day before.

Catch up: surviving snow in Boston

I didn’t post about this at the time because of time constraints, but December 9—the last time I was in the office prior to a week on the west coast—was one of the most incredibly miserable days I have ever spent in an automobile. I had a morning rehearsal at Symphony Hall to which I drove in light snow. By the time the rehearsal was over the snow had changed to mostly rain, and I figured I was off the hook for weather for the rest of the day.


I drove to my office in Framingham, and even driving cautiously it took me only about 40 minutes. I did a conference call and a couple hours of work; during the call, I realized that the snow was getting heavier. I made a judgment call that I needed to get out at 3 if I wanted to make it back to Symphony Hall for my 7 pm concert call.

As it turns out, I was only seven minutes off.

In the two and a half hours I had been at the office, I got something like a foot of snow on my car. It took me 40 minutes, with two people including my VP of Sales pushing, to get out of our office parking lot, thanks to no snowplow and a steep exit onto the street. It took another 45 minutes to get onto the Mass Pike, less than two miles from my office. The Pike was okay, but thanks to a jackknifed truck on Rt 128 North it took me until 10 past 6 to get to our house in Arlington. To sum up: 45 minutes from Boston to Framingham, three hours from Framingham to Arlington.

Fortunately after that it only took me 55 minutes to get back to Symphony Hall, where I missed my call time by about 7 minutes—fortunately to no lasting ill effect. But the lesson was learned: on days that it will be snowing and I have to be somewhere at the end of the day, just work from home. It is entirely possible to overwhelm the snow infrastructure of Massachusetts: it just takes a little more snow than it takes to perform a comparable feat in, say, Virginia.