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Dulcey Amargo: Winter Idyll or idle winter?

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By Lupita Gonzales

I don’t mean to wax poetic, but I just can’t help it, as that is a good part of my particular discipline. What I really want is to dispel some of the outright inconvenience that I have opted for as a rural dweller by choice.

My headlined allusion to Whittier’s “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyll” can be taken “romantically,” as the definition of idyll suggests — a nostalgic work describing a pleasant rural scene or homey setting. Well, that depends …

 Actually, the modern convenience of I-25 lies about 1.6 miles from my door; my driveway, thankfully, is paved, meaning that if the sun shines, the snow recedes and I can exit my rural confines for the urbanity of the “original Las Vegas” or even southern climes in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, with the security that I own a four-wheel drive vehicle — and can escape the snowbound idyllic existence. But do I want to? Again, that depends ...

The last few weeks, nature has heaped upon us some glorious snow, the prospect of needed moisture for our environs. That’s positive. Now, I’m not insensitive; I realize that not everyone is as lucky as I am not to have any pressing need to be at work at 8, etc. Perhaps my most urgent concern is having enough propane and electrical power to keep my home relatively comfortable, and well, that takes just a bit of planning and a bit more cash expenditure – c’est la vie!

These big storms can be just a minor inconvenience for some of us. Nevertheless, I’d prefer not to be so self-centered and try to keep in mind that there are many who suffer under these conditions. There are the homeless, the indigent, and even helpless animals that depend on human intervention for their comforts; it goes without saying that we must not forget about these.

But to capitalize on the positive, “Let me count the ways,” (another poetic allusion) that being snowbound can be enjoyable, positive factors being held constant.

For example, being snowbound — as I was recently — can enhance productivity. Heck, it gave me the impetus to sit and write, to do a lot of sewing, darning, button-replacing, crocheting, Facebooking, closet-cleaning, weeding out of old files, e-mailing , entry-way clearing and maybe a bit of long-term cooking and baking. What fun! How idle can one get?

Remember, though, these kinds of activities meant survival for our grandparents and even perhaps our parents. Never mind creativity; rethink necessity, perhaps.

Granted, I’m not responsible for anyone else but myself and my pal, Chienie, and I definitely realize how difficult being snowbound might be to people with family and the need to make a living. Nevertheless, I cannot help thinking about how people survived this type of weather back in the day.     

In fact, having heard Jesus Lopez’s recent radio presentations on the early history of this agrarian area, I appreciate the hardiness of people even more.

So, this indulged, perhaps clueless denizen of Ojitos Frios has ventured out a very few times, again thanks to the interstate connection, but mostly prefers the solitary respite (assuaged by today’s conveniences, nonetheless.) Yeah, along with the general population, I watched the Super Bowl — but mostly to view the overpriced ads which paid for the extravaganza to reach me (and 106 million others, making this the most-watched TV program in history, topping the final episode of MASH, in 1983).

I confess it’s a habit established in my old TV broadcasting instruction days, when such fare was fair game to use for student analysis of the phenomenon for rhetorical as well as media analysis.

Right afterward — Hurray, Saints! — the big game over, I e-mailed a friend, asserting that men had taken a beating in this year’s Super Bowl ads. The next morning I was pleased to see on my Yahoo! homepage that the critics were saying the same thing.

I guess my brain wasn’t as idle as I’d planned it to be. Nevertheless, I’ll confess that I’m looking forward to the speedy move into spring weather, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction notwithstanding.

Lupita Gonzales is an educator and member of the Optic Editorial Board. She may be reached at lupitagonzales2002@yahoo.com.