[No stars] The snow, the threatened and promised snow, was not thick enough to have even completely whitened the windshields of the parked cars. There had been a time when it seemed as if this winter would never falter, as if the forecasts would always be as accurate as they were dramatic, as if there were no limit to what could be achieved. Now there it was, a sickly dusting. Wasn’t that the long-ago lesson of childhood, that the snow days hardly ever really come? Especially not from the west, was the secret rule, when the extrapolated progress always failed to account for the Appalachians raking the underside out of the storm, leaving the formerly sure thing broken and ineffectual. The bright white winter had worn out; the real events were going on somewhere else. Downtown there was marginally more, enough for a thin layer of the dirtiest of slush and for miniature snowdrifts at the foot of the curb. A biting chill settled in, and streaks of blue formed in the afternoon west, changing over into streaks of cloud against the blue.