Snowbound, Part II (For Real)

Posted December 20th, 2009 by Candice

 
There are disadvantages to not having TV:  missing "Dancing With the Stars," "CSI: Miami," and real-time weather reports.   Without TV, we often have no idea what’s coming our way until it’s here, or if we have a whiff of bad weather, we have to rely on rumors fed by hysteria, Internet Weather Channel stories about every place but where we are, and the wildly inaccurate AccuWeather. 

Friday we had some idea snow was coming that day (I can read the sky and my bunion hurt) and into Saturday.  We ran our usual errands, went to the library and the grocery store where I stocked up on such vital items as Edy’s peppermint ice cream, three kinds of put-them-on-the-cookie-sheet-to-bake cookies, our Christmas ham, cat food, Ritz cheese crackers, milk, coffee, and magazines.

Our pantry full of essentials and bedside tables stacked with reading material, we hunkered down to wait for the storm.  We didn’t have long.  It started snowing Friday evening, a "chicken" snow, so called because the flakes are fine and dry, like chicken feed.  When I realized this wasn’t a big blustery gloppy snow, I knew we were in for it.  Did I have enough peppermint ice cream?  Thank heavens a friend sent us a two-gallon tin of Garrett popcorn (caramel and cheese).  

Saturday we woke up to a winter wonderland and still snowing.  In a burst of rare domesticity, I made Snowbound-at-Someone-Else’s House Soup, sugar cookies, and banana bread.  I fixed a hot lunch and a hot supper for my husband who was in and out all day, trying to stay ahead of the storm, mostly a futile effort.  He’d snowblow or shovel the driveway and walk, take two sips of coffee, and it was a white wasteland again. 

It snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed.  We had tickets for the "Nutcracker" in Richmond that night.  These tickets are expensive and nonrefundable.  Performances are never canceled.  But when I called, the evening performance had been canceled.  I guess even the dancers and orchestra needed sled dogs. 

By suppertime I was tired of sweeping up grit, washing dishes, and listening to Winchester sneeze.  Did I mention that all of our animals invariably get sick on a holiday weekend or during a blizzard or national disaster?  Winchester has allergic rhinitis–yes, allergies, just like I have because of him.  He needs medicine but the vet might as well be on the moon.  My fleeting spell of domesticity was in full retreat. 

When we woke up this morning, it had finally stopped snowing.  I ventured outside wearing my husband’s boots and a pair of regular socks and three pairs of slipper socks to make my feet bigger.  It wasn’t easy lacing those boots up over a plush reindeer head, plush bear head, and plush cat head (those socks are made for lounging, not snow-shoeing).   The yardstick measured 15 1/2 inches, but the snow out front and to the side is deeper.  I was already up to my knees.

I hope I really don’t look like this.  It is a big puffy coat, but my face isn’t wearing a coat.  Maybe all that peppermint ice cream, caramel popcorn, and sugar cookies are catching up.

Today everyone is outside, blinking in the bright sun like moles.  I watched the little boys across the street wallowing in the snow like puppies.  "It’s deeper than the ocean!" one called.  It’s unlikely the plows will get to us tonight.  My husband will manage to get to work tomorrow morning, though.  However, I’ll be stuck here the next few days with a sneezy cat and unlimited goodies.   (This is Persnickety, who is not sick, but impatient to get on with her important cat business that the Blizzard of ’09 interrupted.)
But the road is clear for my novel now.  I have given myself one month to finish and revise it.  I will have plenty of time, so the snow is good for something after all.