As the weekend and the predicted storm drew closer, local conversation was increasingly all about the possibility of ice accumulation and downed power lines. Radars showed the storm actually behaving as the ever-more giddy weather man had promised, and by Friday evening, I was finally starting to take things seriously.
Hubby and I made our weekly pilgrimage to the supermarket a day early, just in case, and sure enough, we found only two gallons of milk available in our preferred fat percentage. The very idea of ice coating my dogwood trees and driveway made me shiver, so I stocked up on soup, and Hubby tossed sandwich fixings and fruit into the buggy, so that when our house turned cold and dark, we wouldn’t starve for lack of microwave.
Late Saturday evening, in the last hour or so before the gentle rain turned to pinging little ice pellets, Hubby and I were snuggled in, glued to Facebook and waiting for the atmospheric adventure to begin. We were sooo prepared for winter weather, curled up in our chairs, sipping warm drinks and discussing smugly how the whole town was going to panic and rush the stores. Not us though, because we’d planned ahead. We were alllll set.
Yep. Alllll set. You weren’t going to find us slipping and sliding around the streets in the freezing rain. Everything we needed was right in our pantry or fridge. But, you know, wouldn’t one of those rotisserie chickens come in handy if we got stuck at home for a couple of days? We could do all kinds of things with one of those. Sandwiches, soup, just grab a big hunk of it when we passed through the kitchen, the possibilities were endless.
We managed to keep our dignity as we plopped the very last available rotisserie chicken on the checkout belt 10 minutes later.
In the morning, it seemed we’d been bypassed by the worst of the weather. There was a thin coating of ice on the trees and the streets, making it dangerous to venture anywhere, but no snow, and we never lost power.
I was up on time, showered and dressed, prepared just in case Boss pulled up in his truck. He did that once years ago, when I decided to stay home during a snow event. But even the little bit of ice that we received made for dangerous traveling, so I had an extra day off.
Oh, the luxury! I changed into warm PJs, and Hubby made extra coffee. I had soup with my feet propped up, toes wriggling happily. I caught up on past episodes of my favorite soap opera. I whiled away the time loving on the dogs, treating the outdoor kitties to extra cans of food, and giving Quincy the iguana a lecture about how some iguanas had to live out in the ice and snow because nobody loved them, and he should just think about that before he turned his nose up at fresh strawberries, bucko. I took out a needlepoint canvas and got a whole section stitched in.
When I looked at the clock, it said 10:30. Ten-thirty?! How could it be that early? I looked outside, in case the balmy air had melted the ice. It was sleeting. I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck. In the house. With nothing to do. I’d eaten all the soup. I was sick of the continuous news coverage of the storm. Nobody was on Facebook.
Panic set in. How long could this last? Would we ever be able to leave the house again? What if there was a polar shift, and now Minnesota was going to become the sunshine state, and Georgia had to put in snowmobile trails as a new tourist attraction? What if the ice never melted? What was going to happen when we ran out of dog food? Come to think of it, the dogs were already looking at me funny.
The next morning, I was half an hour early for work. Poor Hubby was confused but didn’t complain as I zipped around the house singing and happily hopped into the car. The ice was still visible on the lawn, but the roads were clear, and I wouldn’t have to fight the dogs over Hubby’s burgers before spring set in.
Pepper Ellis Hagebak of LaGrange spends her days framing other people’s art and her nights lost in the beauty of words.