Heart-attack snow came down all through the night and into the morning: wet, heavy stuff. In fact, just before sunrise -- I had reason to be up then -- the precipitation was as much rain as snow. I did my first serious shoveling today, and I'm glad to report that I survived. Tomorrow promises nothing but bitter cold. I don't plan to be up so early to greet it.
There was enough slush here in the suburbs for me to break out my Bean Boots, which have served me for 20 winters now. Fine, durable boots, they are. The only problem with them is that the strap on the back of one of them, useful for pulling the things on, broke a few years ago. Still, once I get them on, over a double pair of socks, I slog through slush and cold puddles without risking the feeling of ice water on my feet.
I wrote an article about L.L. Bean's expansion plans a few years ago. There were a few other stores besides the flagship then, but now there are more than 20 locations in this country, including outlets, plus nine in Japan. I try to be objective about these things; if the company wants to open more stores, it should open more stores. Still, I prefer the idea of one big 24/7 store in Freeport, Maine, complete with a giant boot out front, and mail order for everybody else. But at least the boots are still made in Maine.