So it is Leap Day, that day when dedicated snow-haters grumble, “Of all the months to make longer….” I’m trying to start up a tradition of reading Mark Twain’s Jumping Frog and having a barbecued rib fest on Leap Day, but people just kind of look at me when I suggest it. So never the twain shall meat.
IN ANY CASE, he said, hurrying right along, as people cheer the oncoming spring just as if we’d really had winter this year, I am going to go public with the fact that I like winter. No, before you ask, I don’t like the ice underfoot, and I’m none too crazy about slushy snow in my boots. I will admit the possibility that Richard Adams was right when he claimed people say they like winter because they can come in out of it and that makes them feel clever. I like winter all the same, and I especially like snow, in proper quantities and in proper places.
I wonder if you’ve ever considered the special advantages (and disadvantages) of winter for Book Fair work, both donating and receiving. I hope not, because I’m about to review those for you.
Disadvantages for you
1. That snow that caked up on the roof and back window will all fall in on the books when you open the back hatch.
2. Scraping your knuckles on the concrete as you lift books onto the dock always seems to hurt more in cold weather.
3. You may have to wait a bit longer before I come to the door. It’s not that I’m fetching my coat; it’s that I have to cuss more when I realize I left my coat is in another room.
4. After you have carefully edged your way down the ramp from our door to your car, you have to watch me walk cheerfully down the stairs on the other side of the dock. (The ramp is well-salted, but the gradient is steep enough that no one trusts the salt. They also never see the stairs.)
.Advantages for you
1. If you have to put a box down to get a better grip on it, there’s usually a frozen snowdrift not far away for you to set it on.
2. If you bring a banana box full of National Geographics, you probably will get away unharmed when I slip on the ice while coming after you.
3. That moldy smell from the basement is harder to detect when the books are frozen from being in your car trunk.
4. If you realize your copy of “Breast Implants for Dummies” is on the top of the box, your coat is buttoned all the way up.
Disadvantages for me
1. Filling out the receipt standing on the dock while the donor has a coat on and I don’t makes my shivering signature at the bottom unrecognizable.
2. I stand a good chance of catching a cold while out on the dock sorting your old economics textbooks to toss into recycling.
3. If you set the boxes down in the snow, some snow will always stick to the bottom of the box and get into the box I set it on top of inside. Sometimes I do not notice this until it gets warm enough to melt.
4. The longer we stand and chat at the door, the longer it takes the temperature inside the room to rise above freezing again once you’ve left.
Advantages for me
1. My experience is that it takes at least sixteen inches of snow in a twenty-four hour period to keep donors and their books away entirely. But I can dream, can’t I?