Lodge Brothers and Others: Please be advised that I left my residence at 8:20 A.M. fully intending to reach the Lodge Hall to be met by Sgt. at Arms, Dick Kramer who would have made seating arrangements for the Brothers and any visiting Firemen. I wanted to be present for Roll Call at 8:30, however, much
  to my chagrin, I soon learned that the there was a covering of ice over the ruts of frozen snow covering  the road, Proceeding very slowly at 10 MPH and avoiding the various parked cars on the various version of Valley View Drive and steering clear of mail boxes , especially those encased in brick mausoleum like structures, I arrived at Maiden Lane which I felt would have been plowed and salted and passable. No, no, instead I found it rather lined with stalled cars. Glancing to my right (to the West) I noticed vehicles were not making up the hill past Hickory Creek and some were not even attempting to go down the hill!. At that moment the light bulb went off and I realized that the best option was to return home, although I did consider proceeding east on Maiden Lane to try to reach the Big Boy via Cleveland Av. and Glennlord Road, Red Arrow Hgwy. That Idea was scuttled when I saw the vehicles stopped on Maiden Lane so when I got to Knox I turned toward home.Meeting an oncoming car I simply pulled off the street and waited till it passed. I arrived back home at 8:40 AM.----twenty minutes to nowhere. As I pulled in the driveway, WGN Chicago Radio was reporting that the entire 157 miles of the Indiana Road had been shut down due to the ice storm. Of course they were advising folks to stay home if at all possible, I phoned the Big Boy and Cinnamon answered and I asked if any Raccoons were present and she responded with a negative. I requested she notify any member who might arrive that I would, regrettably, be absent. I am sending a copy this to Raccoon Norm, out in Arizona, so he can sympathize with me as he basks in the sun ---unless he has already reported to Pasadena to work on float entered in the Rose  Bowl Parade. For the record, for the first time since 1987, I failed to be present for a meeting after having ventured out to  out to of our brilliant and informative sessions. I hope someone will send me a certified copy of the minutes. I hope to see you on Saturday, Dec, 27, 2008 at the appointed time. I hope all of you had a great Christmas. Ray of fhe Raccoons