Day 5: Icebound. Okay, so you and the dog are both snow wimps. You witness the neighborhood labs bounding, cavorting, and then actually eating snow. The white sight unleashes adorable boyish behavior in that breed. But you own a tiny hound dog. Think, tunneling. Earth. Dirt. Not water. Not ice. Nothin’ shaken nor stirred. The Westminster Kennel Club announced that “this breed learned to bark loudly in order to be heard from inside a badger’s den.” Not suited for burrowing through ice packs.
As for you, you are merely grumpy and FSFY (FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF) because this is the absolute first snow you have witnessed in 23 years without your children. You remember running outside with them to explore and then later making hot chocolate, mopping up pools and puddles of ice floe, starting another load of sopping wet clothing, and scrambling to find more dry gloves and jeans. Instead, you mop your sopping wet eyes and miss seeing them bounding and cavorting in the yard, and then eating snow cream: 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon cream, 1 cup pure snow.
Where are your snow angels?
The year they both moved to different states, their school decides to close for a week. A week-–first time ever in the history of the school. Between your two offspring, they have perhaps weathered a total of 5 cancelled school days–from pre-school to senior year–all told.
You recall their sheer glee when they watched the Local News and saw their school posted as CLOSED. The time your husband made a snowman with your daughter on the tiny pedestrian bridge nearby. Your son’s tiny pair of red boots sitting at the back door, waiting to go back out. The time your children purloined your new shiny, round Williams Sonoma paella pan–perfect for sledding. (You found the rusty metal plate five years later under the swing set).
Now, instead, inside, you cower and cringe with ye petite hound. For the first time ever, you have not played outside and embraced snowdom. Pitiful. Awful.
Buck up. You have to let the dog out. You open the door again and he stares blankly at the giant snow-globe of world before him. So far today he has not set one paw outside, nor have you. You have both turned into claustro-snow-phobes.
“Man up,” you say, both to him and to yourself. You pick Woodie up, descend three slick steps–toddler-style–and plop him down. He eyes you suspiciously and hides behind a bush. Eagerly you peer up and down the street hoping to catch sight of a young child cavorting. A shout of sheer glee perhaps. But there’s no sound, no movement. You forget that you live in an Empty Nesterhood: https://reelingintheyears.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/its-a-beautiful-day-in-the-empty-nester-hood/ You catch sight of another grumpy nester such as yourself, sliding semi-sideways down the street in his Lexus. Whoo. hoo.
Are those sledding sounds coming from the backyard? Nope–just some transformer blowing from the next sub-division over. Poor souls. If you had the proper footgear and the dog had a Burberry coat, you’d tromp through the frozen tundra with the hound and go take a look-see. Like they do in Scotland. Put on your waxy Barbour coat and perhaps flush some badgers out of their lairs. Get your cheeks pink at the bloody least.
Instead, you retreat inside to slouch and sunbathe in the heat of the computer’s glow. Your dog finds a pool of sunlight in the living room under the farm table, exhausted from his polar ice cap adventure. Ahhh, the ambient light that comes from the screen. Much more fun than watching empty nester neighbor slip and slide down the lane. Thank goodness that you still have power.
And be thankful that you aren’t doing laundry, mopping, cleaning, scrambling for a bag of unstale marshmallows and scrubbing brown rings off of a collection of mugs.
But, note to self: when you get absolutely stir crazy later, you will go outside, lay down in the snow and make one solitary grumpy nester angel. Scout’s honor.