In case you haven’t heard it, there’s a good yarn going round at the moment about a guy who moved from San Diego to just outside a place called Truckee, California, with his new wife, to be close to her parents who lived just over the state border in Reno, Nevada.
Now, Truckee is a small mountain town which gets very cold in winter and sees a lot of snowfall. In fact it sees a whole lot of snowfall – an average of over forty inches of snow each month in the winter, and snow falling even in June, make it the snowiest town in the lower 48. Seymour, coming from San Diego, didn’t really seem to be able to get his head around these numbers. He was thrilled that he was going to live through a white Christmas and he was determined to enjoy every day of it. Having been born and raised in southern California, and lived there his whole life, he hadn’t really seen much snow at all.
At the end of October, Seymour started to get excited. They had had their first snowfall. It wasn’t all that deep, but he turned up the electric fire and asked his wife to share a glass of red wine with him by the window. This was exactly what he’d imagined – watching the flakes fall from the warmth of their house, holding hands just as newlyweds should. His wife decided to save the ‘by the time winter’s over, you’ll never want to see another snowflake again’ speech for another time.
Throughout November it continued to snow. Seymour had his shovel out for the first time and savored every moment of it, just like a child who plays in snow for the first time. The snow plough started to come out and that meant Seymour needed to use his shovel again to start digging them out. They changed their tires to snow tires, went down to the store and bought another shovel. His wife suggested that they buy a wood stove for the house, but Seymour thought it would be a lot of work to put it in at the moment and that they already had plenty of electric heaters in most of the rooms in the house anyway.
Seymour’s wife continued to be amused by her husband’s dedication to shoveling the snow. Every time the snow plough went past, it covered their driveway in snow, and Seymour was spending pretty much all day outside, shoveling. One evening, he’s just finished clearing the snow from the whole driveway and was walking back to the house with a proud look on his face, when he slipped and fell onto his back. His wife giggled from the doorway and then began to laugh out loud as she saw the snow plough approach again. Seymour barely had time to get up before he saw his driveway being covered with snow all over again. He didn’t talk much that night.
The next day, his wife didn’t talk to him. The power was cut off for half of the day, as seeing as they only had electric heaters and no wood stove, they had to sit around wrapped up in blankets and multiple layers of clothing, trying to keep warm, and Seymour trying not to irritate his wife any further. That evening he got on SnowShifts and tried to order himself a snowblower.
The following day Seymour got into a fight with the driver of the snow plough. He had been shoveling the driveway when the snow plough started to go past, undoing all his good work. In frustration, he threw his shovel at the plough, causing the driver to get out, and Seymour went for him. His wife didn’t become aware of it until the police showed up later and gave her husband a serious dressing down in the doorway. They said he was lucky they didn’t take him downtown right there and then. He closed the door on them and opened a bottle of whiskey.
The following morning Seymour woke up to find himself alone, with a note next to him on the bed. His wife had written that she hadn’t known about his violent side and was afraid to be in the house alone with him. She’d taken the car and gone to her parents’ place in Reno.
Seymour waited for the snow plough driver. He hailed him down and apologized. The driver agreed to give him a ride to town where Seymour bought his ticket back to San Diego.