It was a dark and stormy night…
No really, it was. The power went out around 4 pm on Friday, and the snow was coming down like the dandruff from that girl in “The Breakfast Club”, not that you could see it. I’d already made the first of what would be several obsessive phone calls to Progress Energy (I’m afraid of the dark, okay? And to their credit, they had the power back on well before they said they might) and the kids were flopped on the floor in a pile of pillows and blankets, having eaten a dinner of cold cereal by candlelight.
Modern technology kept us company overnight, thanks to an MP3 player tuned to some lite-rock radio station playing Christmas carols. Not the best background noise, but at least we were all asleep before they played what Thing One calls “The Dead Mom Song.”
By morning my poor little van was buried, the bumper peeking out between the snow on the ground and the pile on the hood, my signature pink shades mocking me from where they hung from the rearview mirror. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of snow, and waking up to a cold bed, colder toilet seat, and a snow-covered road didn’t do much for my mood. Still, the kids were overjoyed-they’re homeschooled, so this is as close as they get to a snow day. Bundled up, wrapped in layers of shirts and pants and scarves and boots, they piled out into the yard, playing in snow that buried my littlest baby up to her knees. There were snowballs flying everywhere, snowmen sprouting from the ground everywhere you looked, and wee little footprints that showed their exuberance, criss-crossing across the snow. The sun came out unashamed, lighting the sky peach and pink and plum, as if it had done nothing wrong in abandoning us the day before.
By and by the lights flickered on and off and then on again to stay, and we settled back into the old weekend routine: I napped for a bit, woke up and watched “Empire Records” for the millionth time; the kids flopped in front of the Wii and the television; and the kettle hummed on the stove, heating water for cocoa and chai. The only clues to the winter storm that you could tell from inside the house were the piles of damp, discarded clothes and snow-covered boots littering the front room.
Outside the snow is still there, the road undisturbed by snowplow or salt truck. I still don’t want to look at the stuff-days like this, my heart is back in Florida where I could run barefoot all year and never freeze-but my shelves are stocked with food, my cell phone is charged so I don’t go through text withdrawal from my dear friend Newt in Vermont, and all my babies are home, safe and warm where they belong.