Things look good … until the first snowfall


Cold weather has set in, and the feeder is full. Now, perhaps, the birds will quit glaring at me through the kitchen window. There were 17 mourning doves out there this afternoon. Not as colorful as the cardinals, but I guess they get hungry too.

When I picked up our Chinese carry-out this evening, I asked the manager if business has picked up with the increased traffic.  We are half way through the first month of  a massive two-year disruption of our normal driving routine here in the Saint Louis area. Interstate 64/US 40 has been shut down over a 5 mile stretch for an entire year as of January 2. Another 5 mile segment will close for an entire year beginning January 2, 2009.

Detours are out of the question. There is no way around the closure … not for the usual volume of traffic. But there are alternate routes, and we are each finding those which seem to suit us best. One of the more popular roads is near our house and runs by the front door of our favorite Chinese restaurant. For now, however, folks seem to just want to get home. Looking for new places for carry-out may come later after we all relax into a new routine.

The closed highway is one of three main arteries heading into and out of the downtown area. Needless to say, that normally quiet road near our house is now very, very busy all day. Deja vu for some as that very same road was a primary route for commuters fifty years ago.

As the days go by, it seems  that Saint Louis residents are more resilient than we, or the news anchors, thought. Light rail has some new riders. More people are carpooling. Many of us are finding ways to get places by driving through neighborhoods we have never passed through before. Things so far look good … until the first snowfall.

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