Confessions from the Grumpy Nest

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:   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.



A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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12 Responses to Confessions from the Grumpy Nest

  1. Tori Nelson says:

    “When you get absolutely stir crazy later, you will go outside, lay down in the snow and make one solitary grumpy nester angel.” I love it. Your description of snowdays with the kids is absolutely adorable, too!

  2. Thank you, Tori! I miss them so much! By Day 2 or 3 however, the novelty would have worn off some and we’d all be indoors, a lil grumpy and foraging for fresh food!

  3. This was an awesome post! Personally I’m looking to move to a place where I can enjoy Global Warming. Since 49 out of 50 states have snow, I guess I’m going to FL, but it’s cold there too. 😦

    Happy Weekend!

  4. Oh, sorry you are still socked in with bad weather! We have lots of snow, but since we’ve got snow removal equipment and salt trucks up here in the North, we are mobile. Anyway, I’m feeling your grumpy empty nesterhood pain with you! Snow just isn’t as much fun as it was when the kids were home. But if you’re game enough to brave the elements to make a grumpy snow angel, I’ll join you in empty nesthood solidarity!! Btw, I understand your doggie’s pain too, our cat absolutely refuses to go outside when there is snow. Of course, she has an indoor potty. 😉

  5. Poor you, poor Woodie. I’m sorry. I miss those days, too. Making a snow angel sounds like a great way to un-grump. I would try it myself, but doubt I could get back up!

  6. Nicole says:

    Great post. 🙂 And love the pic of your dog. So cute!!

  7. Coco Rivers says:

    Loved this post, it’s funny and poignant all at the same time. We are never prepared for the changes that life sends our way, in spite of our best efforts. I think you should get out there and make that snow angel!!! lol Just wait for the next batch of fresh snow, which is right around the corner….

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