Delirium Ice-Tremens

3AM….sleep was impossible…the disease was obviously taking hold….under the sliver of a new moon, walking over a crunchy 3″ of new snow, i began working with a headlamp to free my iceboat from its trailer-entrapment behind a frozen combination lock….

I think i caught it, when I heard Ron Buzzell’s words from Sunapee, “We set up boats today in a blizzard”….can you picture it?……Ron, like me, is in his 70’s…..”We” might mean 80 year-old Art is there too….a deadly contagion was seeping thru the phone line…

The night before, via Bill, I had received a picture from iceboater, Bill Bernard. It’s of Schroon Lake, near the little town of Adirondack:

That’s 3″ of new ice with no white leprosy, Matilda!….there should be strict laws against sending such trashy temptation over the internet….So by 5AM my bags were carefully packed and I awaited Bill’s phone call….how can he possibly sleep?…..I slipped under the covers with all my iceboat clothes on…

There, I reflected: Brenda is out in Michigan keeping my 98-year-old mother company. She would never have let me get this crazy….besides, is this fair?…..shouldn’t some sort of sexism-alarm be sounding?….man goes off leaving blocked driveway and big stack of unanswered Xmas cards, pursuing fresh young adventure, while wife cares for mother…..alas, I don’t have that alarm….ZZZZZZ

Bill’s call woke me with a jerk, and things quickly began to degenerate. His car had no heater, and, eventually was only jury-rigged by 3PM….Greg Cornelius had called in the meantime, to say that Sunapee was not worth traveling to….also, my disease had been mellowed by an amazing afternoon of walking in the ice-sculpted woods….sadly, it seemed like our little opportunity to resist the Higher Power’s Heavy Hand had passed us by. Bill summed it up: It IS only late December, after all.

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