So, I think everyone is aware, but just to make sure everyone is caught up–we’ve had a lot of winter weather the last…oh…forever.
I feel like I’m stuck in a horror novel, where you think you can’t stand any more terrible, gruesome events but it doesn’t matter what you want. Miserable things just keep happening without your consent.
In our case, just substitute the words horror, terrible, and gruesome for winter, snowy, and cold and that is our life. In fact, even though we have drifts taller than mailboxes, six more inches of snow is predicted tomorrow whether I allow it or not.
The kids returned to school this morning after four snow days and one record day off. They’ll be in school for a total of seven hours this week. Seven hours. I’m not the kind of mother who can handle all that free time, cut adrift from our usual schedule and then trapped in a house.
Yesterday we had no choice but to go grocery shopping. I had one last nerve, worn down to a tiny, frayed nub. The kids followed behind me in the grocery store, grabbing at each others’ coats, pushing each other, and working the word poop into their conversation as frequently as possible. I steered through the booze aisle, quietly muttering to myself, “You are a grown woman. You don’t need wine while you shop. You don’t need wine, you don’t need wine.”
I managed to continue the shopping without liquid encouragement, but somewhere around the egg section I did have to turn around for the fourth time and glare at them. They stopped short because at that point I could have hunted for wild game with the angry lasers shooting from my eyeballs. I said, “I am tempted to thunk your heads together like coconuts. But that’s probably child abuse, so I won’t. But I want to, so knock. it. off.”
They caught the note of desperation in my voice and did, indeed, knock it off. Luckily for all of us we only needed two more things and then we escaped Meijer, no head thumping or tippling.
By the afternoon it finally warmed up enough to go outside for more than thirty minutes. The kids had been begging me to go to the big hill in the woods to sled for days, and I had been refusing. The wind chills were just too dangerous and I have distinct memories of the year my brother went sledding and forgot his hat. Have you ever seen what frostbite can do to an ear? Not pretty.
Also, for the sake of honesty–I just did not want to go. I knew it was going to be cold. I knew the snow was going to be deep. But the wind had died down some, and the air temperature was in the 20s. We were all in serious need of some fresh air and exercise. So out we went.
Things started out okay but quickly hit the toilet.
The wind was still brisk enough to make our faces ache before we got to the trail. The snow on the trail was thicker than we had guessed, so it took a lot of energy to get into the woods. By the time we reached the hill, we were already frozen and had stopped twice to dig snow out of boots.
I took the lead and started up the hill. The snow started out deep, but quickly became obscenely deep. I’ll take a break from my usual exaggeration and hyperbole to give you actual data–the snow was four inches above my knees at the top of the hill. And I am not a short woman, nor do I have stumpy legs.
I dragged myself up the hill, wondering if a St. Bernard was available to grab me by the back of the coat and help me along. I started muttering to myself again– “Greater love has no mother than this, that she goes sledding with her kids. Greater love, greater love…”
Somewhere in my muttering I heard a desperate gargle out of one of my kids. I turned around and found them both lying on the snow, their sleds hanging listlessly from their mittens. “Mom…I’m so cold,” Caleb begged. His face was red, his nose was running. Audrey looked only slightly less miserable.
Because we had made it that far we did take a few minutes to sled twice down the hill. Then, we dragged ourselves to the top of the hill one more time to take the “shortcut” out of the woods and back into the neighborhood. We made it into the house, we drank up some hot cocoa, and we settled back into our normal winter routine of reading, watching TV, and fighting.
But at least we were warm.