|Snowplow hill at dead end of our street.|
So we've reached that part of the winter where in general we're all just done with the white stuff. I am probably the last of the lovers of snow and even I have had my crabby moments. Like when I shovel out the walk for 12-year old labrador Haifa to get out and the town plow comes behind me (literally!!) and chucks a whole mountain of icy snow up behind me again. I might have cried. There were no witnesses.
Other things I'm done with: black ice. I slid through a stop sign in my All-Wheel Drive monster truck like no one's business. Fortunately no one was coming and I played off with my kids that fish-tailing is fun. It's not.
Otherwise, I am still amused. It's such a crazy dang winter here and we are so unprepared for it that it's comical. The other thing that is comical is the media coverage. We went from arctic blasts to polar vortexes to the completely unpoetic "ocean enhanced jackpot." According to a friend in New York, we have a "polar plunge" in temperatures later this week. I can hardly wait for the next superlative. I just read that Boston has now broken the 30-day snow record...in 16 days. We're #1! Let's have a victory parade in duck boats!
|Image credit: CBS Local, Boston|
I have enjoyed my southern and western friends thumbing their noses at me about the temperatures. I used to be a southerner (Miami and Brazil), and here is root of the root as my friend ee cummings would say -- I would not trade. Nope. Not for the warm temperatures of February. I don't want to live in Houston, San Antonio, Miami, Dallas and anywhere else from where I have gotten cute notes. I want to live right here.
I want to live here because I had the best snow day ever. Oh, okay, best since I was maybe 13 years old. When we lived pressed up to the radio to hear if school had been cancelled. And ironically, it started on a lonely note. When the call came in last night close to 5 pm, I was here at the house, and my kids were tired and cranky from a busy Sunday. I admit I finished off the white wine (it was technically 5 pm at this point, and only one glass left, promise) and said to myself, screw this. After checking with Friebor (remember my friend-neighbor bestie) about my sanity, I sent out a note to the neighborhood moms saying send the kids over for the Embrace Winter Olympics at my house at 1 pm today. And then texted the 17-year old babysitter for help. I envisioned games of knocking cans over with snowballs (what is that weird Olympic sport of rifles over the shoulder cross-country skiing? Kind of like that only no guns and no skis. Okay, not like that) and 100 yard races through four feet of snow. Find the tennis ball before Finley the wonder dog does.
And then I went to bed. The snow started during the night. Six inches were down by the time I got up at 6 am. I went out to shovel for the first time at 7 am, and then I thought, what am I doing? I just want to curl up on the sofa and read. But the kids don't. The kids need to run around.
As I stood there at the end of the walk thinking all this, another neighbor came by. With the huge pick-up truck he drives that I envy. King cab, cool looking racks and stuff (yeah, I don't know what you use those for) and an engine that rumbles the asphalt. I would look cool in that. The environment would not thank me but I would look cool.
Anyway, this neighbor rolled down the window and we chatted and laughed about the freaky weather. He had grown up on our street in the house right across from ours--he now lived one house down with his family. And he told me that this was the worst winter he had ever experienced--at least since his daughter (now 14) was a wee one. And he offered to front-loader out the snow from our driveway, lend us a roof rake (clearly insane, he mentioned that roof raking is "fun") or whatever help we needed. This offer came after last week when another neighbor took pity on me digging out and snowblew the front mountain where the Weston bulldozer had made me cry another day. Neighbors are awesome. I love neighbors. I should write a blog about neighbors. They take care of our betta fish, watch the house when we travel, snowblow, lawn mow, feed me and my kids and make me sane. Most days.
|Joe the snowplow guy who was having a wicked good "stahm"|
Then, as I went back inside to make cookie dough for the roll cookies I was planning to make with all the kids for Valentine's, the snow plow guy came (hooray!). I have a love-hate relationship with the snow plow guy. I love him when he shows up before 11 pm. I hate him when he doesn't. He doesn't seem to care either way. Can't really tell because I can't understand his Bah-ston accent.
After watching him pile up the snow to 15 feet in front of the third garage (when is this going to melt? July?), I made the cookie dough. Then stared at the kitchen sink faucet which broke two weeks ago. And as I am giving it the evil eye, Friebor texts and says she has sent her husband over to fix it for me! And let me tell you it was a devil to fix--it took almost two hours. And did the neighbor say "wtf am I doing here in the middle of a storm fixing this crazy lady's kitchen faucet?" No. Did I mention I love my neighbors?
Suddenly it was time for all the neighbor kids to come over and I wasn't ready. I hadn't planned the games, and I hadn't made the cookie icing. But it didn't matter. The kids leaped on the mountain of snow in the driveway, sledding and rolling, then playing snow hockey. And the dogs played and the kids played with them and they all looked for tennis balls lost in the snow. And ran through four feet of snow.
Then one by one the kids trooped in and we made cookies. Flaky funny fat cookies with sugary frosting. And the adults talked and laughed. One of the middle schoolers helped roll the hard dough. Friebor made the frosting. All the cookies were eaten. Every single one. At one point we had 10 kids crowded around the table slopping and dipping each cookie. Coal, the puppy lab, ate all the sugar on the floor. So clean-up was more than easy. Haifa, the senior lab, sniffed all the snow clothes left in a huge pile on a beach towel and lay down on top. It was chaos and it was impromptu awesome. That's my media soundbite: today was impromptu awesome.
The kids then played in the basement and finally went out in the snow once more. Then the babysitter (the same one who teaches my kids tennis and is the goalie to Lalo's million shots in the backyard--when we can see the backyard, the ball or the goal) decided she was going to shovel out the walk. She was at the end of my driveway when the town plow came and created a huge mountain (the ones that make me cry) and because she is 17, cute and blonde, the public works plow stopped, backed up, and cleaned out the driveway--she waved joyfully at him. We know because all the moms gathered in the window to watch and marvel.
Finally all the kids wandered home two hours after the impromptu awesome Embrace Winter games began. Every one a winner. And I opened the mailbox and found a postcard from Nico from Antarctica--there are fairy penguins there I learned.
So sorry all those who wish that I were suffering. Snow days are fantastic--gathering neighbors and kids for simple fun. Cookie fun. Snow fun. Fun with dogs. Fun.
It's snow big deal.