Thursday, February 3, 2011
In my youth, there was something wonderful about snowstorms. They came with no responsibility. Bundling up to go outside was always an ordeal. But it was worth it. A winter wonderland awaited my brother and I. Once out there, gathering a huge bowl of newly fallen snow was a top priority, so my mother could make a mouthwatering batch of her snow ice cream, for later in the day. What fun we had building a giant snowman in the front yard, using my father’s old scarf and hat to complete the look. Life was good. We didn’t have a care in the world. As I aged, and eventually got married, my husband, replaced my brother as my outdoor playmate. The two of us would embrace the snowy weather, walking around the frozen lake near our condo, standing on the dock watching the wind whip across the icy water. Giddy with excitement as the flakes flew, we would collapse on the ground, laughing, as we hastily made snow angels in the fresh powder. We were cold and wet, but winter was in the air and we were happy. Then, in the years that followed, something inside me changed. My love affair with the cold season ended. Why, I don’t know? I now have a love/hate relationship with the snow and ice. It’s beautiful to look at, yes… but, a pain in the rear to deal with. Shoveling the white stuff and trying to drive in it, is a real chore. So, when the weatherman says significant accumulations are in the forecast, I batten down the hatches, expecting the worst. Fresh batteries get put in the flashlights and camping lanterns. The pantry is stocked with non perishable food. Candles and oil lamps are put out and about. Extra blankets are readily available. And, there‘s an abundance of gasoline for the generator. That’s because, when an ice storm hit my region six years ago, we lost power for TWO solid WEEKS. I was all alone here in the house. My husband was out of town, miles away. And I was totally unprepared and frightened, as trees and limbs crashed all around me. My yard looked like a war zone. I had no heat. Nobody offered to help me. I vowed to myself, NEVER again. I would be READY next time a storm hit. And, to this day, I am. Of course, while I’m waiting for the worst… a cup of hot chai, and a good book, help me pass the time. So, as a result... I survived the MONSTER STORM, we just had. But I tell you… I needed a blowtorch to get my car out of all the ICE it was buried in.