A few days ago I announced my participation in the Paupack Plunge, a charity wade into a frozen lake in northeast Pennsylvania, and solicited your support for the big event.
How’d it go? Well … not according to plan.
My part of eastern Pennsylvania got a foot-plus of snow on Thursday, followed by something like three more inches today (which is still falling as I write this).
Since Lake Wallenpaupack is up north in the hilly rural regions, and since I drive a compact car that takes icy roads like a derelict shrimp trawler takes a strong sea, I did not have confidence in my ability to get there. So I decided to take a regretful pass on the Paupack Plunge.
I regretted that I would be unable to take the Plunge. I’d publicly announced my intention to do so, and even gathered a donation or two. A promise made is a debt unpaid, as the saying goes.
So I decided the next best thing would be for me to find some body of water close to my house and plunge into it by myself, to show my solidarity with the war effort. Those people who donated to support me surely expected something for their gift; they didn’t do it so I could sit on the couch and eat bonbons.
That best-laid plan went awry too. I spent an hour cruising from crick to crick this morning in the towns surrounding my house. Every one was either overlain with snow or impossible to reach without a team of elephants.
(There was always the Lehigh River, but I decided to take a pass on that. I wanted a smaller and more controlled setting for my personal Plunge, just in case I had a heart attack or something.)
In the end I was unable to prove my mettle. I could not — or simply did not, depending on your perspective — get myself in the cool, clear water. I failed to fulfill my promise.
But, some sort of futile gesture still seemed to be called for.
So I did my best.
Whaddya want for a snowy day?