White Christmas

Snowstorm Day 1:

Using what can only be described as a finely honed Hunter-Gatherer instinct, My husband made one last foray into the wild (okay, it was the mini-mall) to procure a junk food feast and a Scrabble game.  Both were devoured with gusto as the wind howled and the snow blew.  Since it was blowing so hard, we had no idea that two feet had fallen.  I finished the back of the Faery Ring and pinned it out on the blocking board.  Huge milestone.  Good Day.

Snowstorm Day 2:

I am blown completely away when, while on the phone with my sister, a real-live city-owned snowplow turns around in front of my house.  I actually tell her to hold on so I can take a picture.  The Faery Ring dries on the blocking board.  The smallies and I make bread pudding.  I start a sleeve.  I draw a schematic for the free pattern in a new and clever way.  I am in heaven.  I dread Monday morning because the hospital, being a hospital is one of the few places in my town that will not be closed because of the weather.  

Snowstorm Day 3:

The Hospital is CLOSED.  This has not happened in the 12 years I have worked there, but then, neither has THIS - my car is buried.  I got as far as finding a shovel (not, as would later matter to me a very great deal, a SNOW shovel), and then went inside to knit.  I also enjoyed a steaming mug of cheer, courtesy of my skilled and attentive husband, the bar-tending high school English teacher.  Believe me when I emphasize that these two skills are complementary, and inextricably linked.

Snowstorm Day 4:

With grim determination and an eye to our dwindling grocery levels (turns out we are better eaters than we are shoppers), Darling Husband suits up to dig out the snowbound car and install the new tire chains.  DH's Provider instinct is in high gear.  Wonder where that motivation goes in August?  We unearth my sedan after several back-breaking hours with the wrong shovel.  We install the new tire chains.  We back up the car 1 foot and the chains fall off.  We reinstall the tire chains and back up the car 2 feet.  The chains fall off.  The car is now stuck half in and half out of the driveway.   We half push, half drive the car back into the driveway, reinstall the chains, and admit defeat as the wind picks up and darkness falls with a thud.  Better luck tomorrow.  I knit a sleeve and lovingly stroke the almost-dry Faery Ring.

Snowstorm Day 5:

Phillip, in an unprecedented display of tenacity, suits up again to stage a second assault on the car situation.  The tire chains immediately fall off again.  Intellectual Giants that we are, we finally concede that the new tire chains might just be the wrong size.  In a flash of inspiration, I decide that we should try to put the chains onto the (larger-tired) other vehicle.  This requires digging out said other vehicle.  Our backs, unaccustomed to any sort of physical exertion, never mind snow shoveling, whimper vain protests.  We push through the wall and install the chains on the other car, which due to some miracle, actually fit. 

Now, because we have elected not to exchange gifts this year (choosing instead to go on a trip together), we have pretty much blown off Christmas shopping.  We have done this with a smug self-righteousness of the sort which just begs for Karmic Adjustment.  Right on schedule, the backlash appeared when we realized that there are still some people for whom we need to procure gifts, and time, unlike snow, is in short supply. 

I regroup quickly, forming a cunning plan to make gifts, with the help of the children.  All we need is a few supplies from the mega-mart, which Phillip has now cleverly reached.  He calls me from the store:

Him:  "Which aisle is that on"?
Me:  "I don't know ; just ask somebody where they keep the scrapbooking stuff."
Him:  Silence.
Me:  "Hello?  Did you find someone to ask?"
Him:  "I am a heterosexual man, standing in the mega-mart in a snowstorm.  "Which way to the scrapbooking aisle" is simply not a sentence I can utter.
Me:  Helpless fits of laughter...

Snowstorn Day 6:

And so this is Christmas.  Well, Christmas Eve.  We lost power last night, but it was time for bed anyway, and it had been restored by morning.  Lucky for us - seems our snow storm survival skills, while earnest, are not very finely-honed. 

This is a Christmas we never forget.  Not only for its many firsts - the first time the hospital was closed, the first time my children played Scrabble, the first time we located functional flashlights during a power outage - but also for the sense of solidarity with which my small family has faced its challenges.  There have been very few outbursts of temper, considering the length of our confinement together.  The pets are good and sick of being dragged/pitched outside for biological reasons, as are we of both dragging and pitching.  But overall, our inconveniences have been slight, and our enforced togetherness has been good.  All of which supports my theory that snowstorms are nature's way of telling us when to slow down, stay home, and just be together.  They don't happen as often as we need it, but happen they do, and for that I am so grateful. 

Just as long as the yarn holds out.  If I run short of worsted, I won't be held responsible for my actions.