Written by Joan Kostiuk Monday, March 03, 2014 01:55 pm
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Snow: Once an occasional and pleasantly anticipated winter occurrence that many people associated with happy childhood memories, it has now become a nasty four-letter word.
Here it is March, and South Jersey is having yet another significant snowfall. That makes eight days in January on which at least a trace of snow fell – with three or more storms dropping significant accumulation – and seven days in February, for a total accumulation of about 30 inches this winter, not counting today. It’s like we are living “Groundhog Day.”
And I have to apologize, folks. Because it’s all my fault.
My auto mechanic told me I needed new tires, but I didn’t listen. I tempted fate, and now all of you have to suffer the punishment along with me.
While I am not superstitious, I am a firm believer in the law of unintended but clearly foreseeable consequences, the principles of which have been proven again and again since time immemorial – or at least since I was a teenager.
It’s like when someone brings a snowball into the office and on a whim playfully tosses it to a co-worker, but it breaks apart on the catch and drops snow all over her computer keyboard. If you had taken the time to think about it, you could have guessed something like that might happen.
When I took my car into the shop for an oil change and tire rotation in October, I asked the service manager to check my alignment because I had been feeling some vibration in the steering wheel. He came back a while later and said that I didn’t need an alignment (hooray!); what I needed was four new tires (noooo!).
“But I just got those tires a year ago!” I protested, ready for an argument.
He flipped a page or two on his clipboard and told me that I had brought the car in exactly a year ago for a tire rotation.
“Well, then it must have been the year before,” I said, this time a bit sheepish.
He went to the computer to check my service history and came back with the undeniable truth: It had been four years and 68,000 miles since I had bought the tires. How could it feel like just last year?
I decided that since it was only October and the tires weren’t that bad that I would stretch my money and squeeze two more months out of them. I mean, what could a little balding tread and dry rot hurt? It’s not like the belts were showing.
I decided I would replace the tires in December, before we had any snow.
I took care of the other maintenance and left the shop fully intending to check prices so I could get the best deal possible when I made the big purchase in December. I actually congratulated myself for my quick and clever thinking under pressure.
To my credit, I did check a few prices. But I never got around to buying those tires. First there was Thanksgiving, then came Christmas, and before I knew it December had disappeared. Then in January, when the Christmas bills started pouring in, the money for tires just wasn’t there.
And now it just won’t stop snowing.
While we haven’t broken a South Jersey snow record – yet – today’s storm has all but certainly pushed this winter into the top 10 snowiest.
Call it luck, call it fate. Call it karma or misfortune. Call it a jinx, or even a consequence. But please don’t call it a coincidence. I know better. This is a clear case of cause and effect, and I take full responsibility for all the snow.
I should have learned my lesson in January. February, too, has come and gone, and I still haven’t gotten those tires. But I promise I will get them. As soon as it stops snowing …
For today’s snowfall totals see Snowfall totals start coming in
For weather-related closings see Atlantic County area snow closings