Sunday morning saw the first plowable snow. I knew I would be up early but could not have known it would be 5:13.

Our general manager here at the Grass Ranch was yowling and running up and down the staircase with boney feet. For those unfamiliar with cats generally, they have the ability to move silently with their little paws. Then there are times when it is as if they stomp like little horses.

My best guess is the first storm was the cause of all the excitement.

I believe animals are affected by the barometric pressure. When I was in the lobster business, we found that lobsters became unruly when there was a storm. They would be inside the shop or in the back of a truck, yet something was driving them crazy. We would say they were wirey.

Opening a crate to pick up a lobster, you would get five of them clamped to each other like the barrel of monkeys children toys.

So I was out to shovel and snow blow in the dark. Getting out of the truck, it was so still and quiet. I wondered if the new fallen snow had somehow made things more quiet. As I finished my first driveway, I looked up and saw a neighbor outside shoveling, illuminated by his front door light. Then a lady walked by with a happy golden retriever. They love the snow.

When you are up early like that, it feels like you are in a special place and you are sharing it with a very select group:

The Get Up Early People

I then proceeded to Toad Hall where I used a very highly optioned Toro snowblower with heated hand grips and a honking big headlight. First start of the season; she went right over.

It made short work out of the double driveway that faces west. As I was finishing up, two flocks of geese flew overhead. They were not honking like they usually do. They were muttering softly like hens. They were enjoying this special morning along with me.

By now Lime City was waking up. I could hear the beep-beep backup sound a few streets over. Another golden retriever, human in tow, walked by. A silent wave so as not to disturb the reverie.

Now the sun was up and the day belonged to everyone else. As I pulled into my driveway, our new neighbors were up. Their two dogs had broken loose and were running full speed and carving up turns in the fresh snow. Their two children wore Santa hats and had sleds on ropes behind them. Mom had a leaf blower blowing off her extra tall SUV. Dad had the snowblower going.

Welcome winter.

Glenn Billington is a lifelong resident of Rockland and has worked for The Courier-Gazette and The Free Press since 1989.

Winter tablecloth. Photo by Glenn Billington