Snowpocolypse Now

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Barely visible, but still there

The catchphrases have begun. #SnOMG, Snowpocolypse, Snowmaggeddon, Snowzilla. It’s not quite a blizzard yet. I can still see the sheep lawn ornament in the backyard. My husband says he is a lamb. I disagree. He may be small, but he has an old soul. His eyes hold the secrets of the ages.

I call him Shaun (Wallace and Gromit fans, unite). He was a Christmas gift from my father-in-law. He asked us all what we thought was in the enormous box, and my husband and son guessed electronics of some sort, while I yelled “A PONY!” He told me I wasn’t too far off. My father-in-law rocks.

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This is what virtuous cookies look like

Last night, since we still had power, I made oatmeal cookies. I ate them for breakfast, because who knows when I’ll be able to eat again. I momentarily ignored the fact that we have plenty of food and still have power, because, well, cookies. I made them with whole wheat flour and toasted wheat germ, so they are virtuous.

The hubs ventured out early to plow the driveway. I grabbed his hand and said “Don’t go out to the barn Pa! Let me at least tie a rope around your waist.” Apparently boys that grow up in Upper East Side NYC do not read Little House on the Prairie.Ā  I did not get up to help.

I know I should, but my husband can clear the entire drive in the time it takes me to shovel the walkway. I used to, but remembered that I don’t like the cold, and that it as never as fun as I imagine it to be, and when I throw snowballs at John he doesn’t find it charming. He responds in kind and has much better aim than I do.

When I begin to feel guilty I remember the grocery store trips before the storm and the cooking I did in advance to make sure we had food after the power goes out because the power always goes out. During the last big storm John built a predictive data model of outage patterns and restoration times because that’s how we roll around here. It doesn’t change the outcome, but we feel superior when our estimates are correct.

I never sleep well when we lose power. Not because it’s cold, but because the hum of a neighborhood full of generators is surprisingly loud. One neighbor turns on his backyard floodlight to let us all know he’s got it covered. It’s bright enough, however, to let me see how fast Shaun is getting buried with snow.

As much as I hate the cold, I have a soft spot for snowstorms. Growing up, I’d tightrope-walk along the huge piles of snow that ringed the road in front of our house, and build snowmen in the backyard. When I lived in Chicago, John and I used to walk in Lincoln Park while the entire city hushed to listen to the snow fall, and in Evanston we’d chuckle when the police would drive through the streets at 2 a.m. with bullhorns telling people to move their parked cars so the plows could get through. In Boston, the Dude saw snow for the first time, and tunneled through drifts like a commando, and we built forts in the backyard where we drank cocoa at night.

When the power fails, I snuggle up to my man, pull up another comforter, and conjure these memories to stay warm.

And read by the light of my neighbor’s floodlight.

Stay warm, people.

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13 comments on “Snowpocolypse Now

  1. aviets says:

    So funny – our oldest, currently living in Baltimore, has been texting me tons since yesterday afternoon with snow updates. She just trekked through the snow to return a shovel she’d borrowed and said she thought she might have to hole up under the snow and survive on Christmas candy, crackers, and pickles just like Pa. She went to Northwestern for undergrad, and I remember her calling home the first time she was awakened by the Evanston police calling out for people to move their cars. Luckily she didn’t have one to move. šŸ™‚

  2. Anne says:

    Thank you, Jeannine! I love your posts.
    Hey, did I ever tell you that when I was 5, I swang on my backyard swing set with “invisible” twins, one named Jeannine and I can’t remember her brother’s name. You weren’t born in 1955 — maybe it was you.

  3. Joda says:

    So love reading your posts! Enjoying the storm from sunny Florida! Sending sunshine and warmth!

  4. Gail Kushner says:

    It’s nice to hear that you are coping so well. Eat a cookie for me.

  5. SO, I started copying lines that resonated with me, made me laugh, nod, giggle . . . and finally gave up because I’d just be re-writing your whole wondrous post here in the ‘reply’ section. So instead let me thank you for the pony/sheep Shaun and the Little House and virtuous/virtual cookies and the shared memories, though we never lived in the same place or even close by. But I get what you mean about snowstorms … thanks šŸ™‚

  6. Joel says:

    Jeannine,

    Come to Florida – we have Pinot!
    Always enjoy your posts!!

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