Today is a sunny 52 which is a welcome change from the past week where the temperature has not gotten above freezing for a solid week. I went out for my first outside run this morning since last Sunday, still having to dodge icy patches. Thank goodness for treadmills is all I've got to say as they do just fine in a pinch. School was called off on a tortuously daily basis which made it more difficult to prepare mentally to be snowed in with my 3 school aged children. We had just had a partial week back to school from Christmas Break and were just starting to get back into our regular schedule when boom! The perfect storm hit, snow followed by freezing rain followed by way below freezing temperatures, making driving impossible.
I made some interesting observations during this week about how people respond to such emergencies. I managed to get out on day 3 I think. I really can't remember for sure as every day ran together into one long, long, long day.
1) People do not look good on snow days. I found myself wearing the same green unattractive sweatpants for 3 or 4 days, no make-up, hair, no effort to make myself look presentable. I guess I figure the people that would be seeing me have seen me in this manner before and love me anyway so why bother. It wasn't just me though. On my way to the grocery store, there was a man dressed exactly like Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli, complete with backpack and snarly look on his face. I was expecting him to pull out his machete if I didn't let him cross the street!
2) Men are different. I found that they are sent to the grocery stores for provisions and they come armed with a list that they will not compromise. They were usually on the phone describing the various brands,kinds of tomatoes/etc. to their wives for confirmation of their purchase. They also had any teenagers in tow who were running amuck down the aisles which the dads didn't even seem to notice, amazing! They must have been too engrossed in trying to buy the correct grocery item. They celebrate victories with gusto. One enterprising local company opened a drop off sports day for our cooped up boys. I was maybe the second person to drop off my poor son off who was growing very tired of the indoor scene. As I was leaving the parking lot, I saw a Dad throw up his hands in victory, yelling, "I'm free!" like he had just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
3)People resort to who they really are in times of crisis. The party animal types were organizing pot luck dinners in their neighborhoods, building snowmen, etc. The more relaxed types, watched lots of movies, read possibly, meditated ( I'm just guessing here as I do not fall into this category) and ate too many snacks. The creative types created things like beautiful berry wreaths. Apparently, I enjoy organizing,cleaning and generally being productive in my natural state. My closet has never looked better. I went through boxes of jewelry, even finding gold to sell! I once and for all bagged up all my extra buttons that come attached to clothing and gave them to my children to sort. Has anyone ever once actually used one of those buttons or threads? Please tell me if you have! I organized the mudroom complete with baskets for each of my children's socks, mittens, etc. I also bagged up my husbands very outdated stone washed denim jeans although he is unaware and by the time he reads this they will be long gone to the goodwill. I also made several pots of 0 points vegetable soup, Italian style trying to lose the couple of pounds gained over the holidays, and even bleached my teeth most days. I crossed off two hospitality committee items, composing (ok downloading an American Greeting template)and printing the invitations for the Teacher Appreciation luncheon and arranged for the caterer.
4)I need periods of quiet. I didn't actually realize this until day 6 of the snow crisis. I was actually quite proud of my children during the week confined to our house. They played outside the first two days with the neighbor kids(God bless the neighbor kids!), sledding, breaking ice, generally playing. I threw in some reading, addition flashcards, math problems when they started loitering. This does wonders for children whose mother finds enjoyment in productivity. They were extremely creative in finding things to do on their own. One day they came down all dressed up,made up, haired up and dripping with the costume jewelry that I had found in my closet looking like gypsies. However, this didn't entirely curtail the not very interesting observations, "funny jokes", and questions that they each had during our time together. Sometime on day 6, I realized that I could not hear another one without something very bad happening. I must have had a worrisome look on my face because next thing I know my husband volunteered to take the children to my son's basketball game while I went to Costco. So Michael Buble and I went on a lovely outing to Costco. I took the opportunity to say not one thing to anyone in the store except, "put it on the card please".
Well, as luck would have it, the kids have MLK off tomorrow from school, really! I feel like Jean Valjean on Les Miserables. One day more! I can do this. I haven't even touched the basement!