Tuesday, the 8th of March, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh and we talked first of   the weather. What else we are OF’s. The OF’s that came over the hill noticed that it looked like a line was drawn with a T-square and pencil, just a difference in the way the snow fell. In less than 300 feet or so, the trees went from no snow on top of the hill to trees and power lines covered with the heavy, white stuff only a stone’s throw away. The OF’s commented on how beautiful it was in Schoharie County on the way to Mrs. K’s. Bright blue skies  white, white snow. Postcard ready. However, as the OF’s noted from experience, this can be very dangerous, with trees down, power out, and roofs collapsing, the hill has been through it just last year. But as most of the OF’s concluded, the scenery was beautiful.

Now that the beauty part is out of the way, the OF’s discussed getting plowed out, not only the OF’s driveways, but the roads. Some of the OF’s are still out there with their shovels and snow blowers (and they are in their eighties) while some 30-year- olds claim it is too much work. Still the OF’s do not know the physical condition of some of the younger ones who might have a severe aversion to anything that has the word labor in it.

Most of the OF’s do go at it, but there are a few with heart problems or other physical conditions that will not let them exert too much, and these OF’s are upset because they can’t get out there and do the snow shoveling themselves.

Then there are the roads, and so far this year the OF’s have found for the most part the roads have not been bad (at least in the hill towns) where the OF’s have to travel to get haircuts, go to the doctor, and trudge to the grocery store. The roads also have been passable enough so the OF’s can make it to the church on time. Oh what exciting lives the OG’s live.

Then there is the economics of removing the snow from the driveway. If the drive is short then a snow blower is the way to go, but if the OF’s drive is of considerable length it is less expensive to have someone with a plow come in and remove the snow over the long run. The OF having to get all bundled up, shovel his way to the blower, get it started and then go at it, then put the blower away, go in and get all that wet stuff off and head for the kitchen cupboard to get some hot chocolate, nah  this requires more than hot chocolate.

Some of the OF’s reported that the red wing blackbirds are back. One OF said he bet they were a surprised bunch of birds. The OF could just imagine the major flocks that are back being a tad ticked off at the scout that said it was OK.

We discussed the guys that were out ill, really ill, not just colds or the flu but in the hospital, plus those home that are really sick. The question was raised are we all getting to the stage in life where this is going to be more common? The OF’s hoped that it was just a quirk and once these OF’s get straightened around they will all be back.

From the scribe – It is interesting that this was a topic on Tuesday as we were sending out get-well cards. Today as the scribe types this (which is Thursday) around 9:30 pm the scribe must report that one of the OF’s who we discussed had passed away. The Old Men of the Mountain offer their condolences to the family of Walt Hill, the member who went to be with the Lord today.

Those attending the breakfast at Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh Tuesday were: Gary Porter, Roger Shafer, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Mark Traver, Glenn Patterson, Harold Guest, Frank Pauli, Dave Williams, Steve Kelly, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Willard Osterhout, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, and me.