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Well, we talked about the first snow last week. And I thought that this year, it might be fun to keep count of how many snowfalls we have. I’ve never done that before.  Last night was the beginning of our second snowfall.

It started suddenly and was nasty driving home. In fact, my personal day started with flaming cheese toast, and ended with hyperspace snow. Do you know what hyperspace snow is? It’s when you’re driving and the snow is coming at you so thick and fast and sideways that it looks like what happened when they made the jump to hyperspace in Star Wars.

My windshield does not look like this. But the world outside did.

With Snobama last week, they had the snowplows mobilized before the first flakes hit the ground. Everyone was bustling around the CDOT garage when I passed it on the way home. Last night, not only were there no plows (okay, it was a little early to plow), but there were no sand trucks, and the roads were really slick.

Still it was cozy to be home, albeit around 9:00 pm after a too-long day at works. I was guardedly optimistic about being able to work from home today, but alas, the company was open, and my computer, which I brought home with me, was acting like a high schooler refusing to get out of bed in the morning. I kept poking it to try to make it wake up. It would flash me a look, grunt, and go back to sleep. After 20 minutes on the phone with the Help Desk, I gave up the ghost and decided to go into the office.

The windshield wipers worked this morning, and the snow, while deepish, wasn’t bad to scrape off the truck. Though even saying that I scraped snow off the truck inspires a fresh wave of nausea.  I think someone needs to remind me why I live here.

They said on the TV that the buses were running 15 minutes late, which is fine to say that on the TV, but if no one tells the buses that, then you can’t risk showing up for your bus 15 minutes late, because chances are, it wasn’t. Although this time, it was. In fact, it was 40 minutes late. So rather than sit in my puffing car, tempting carbon monoxide poisoning, I stood in the freezing cold for 40 minutes. This bus stop has no benches and a shelter that consists of a three-sided, metal, open-grill enclosure, which offers no shelter from the storm. By the time the bus decided to arrive (maybe it was acting like a teenager too), I couldn’t feel my toes, and any semblance of revelling in the lovely twinkling snowflakes was gone with the bitterly cold wind.

While I was standing there, trying not to be cold, I decided that if I’m going to count the winter storms, I might as well name them, just like they do hurricanes, except not quite so traditional. Already helped along in this mission by Denver’s creative masses, we had a name for our first storm. Now it’s up to me to label this one. And we’re expecting a third storm on Saturday that some say will be worse than this, while others say it will merely be a few droplets of chilly camel spit.

I realized also that, as a new homeowner, I probably am supposed to be shovelling my sidewalk.  They have kind of a Snowy Sidewalk Nazi mentality in certain parts of the County, and have been known to throw little old ladies in jail with hardened criminals for violating the “keep your sidewalk free from snow” laws.  I don’t know the general attitude of MY town towards this, but I noticed an awful lot of clean sidewalks on my drive to the bus stop.  Which means that I need to get a snow shovel. And a younger back. I wonder if there’s a place I could pick up both? And a million dollars? And my house in the tropics?  Sounds like I’m looking for “All-Mart”.

Now, I’m grudgingly ensconced in Cubeland, instead of snuggled on the Red Couch, but I am being pleasantly productive. I hope to get home by morning. And I’ll leave you with the beginning of the running list of named winter storms:

1.   Snobama (October 26, 2011)
2.  The Storm of Great Grumpiness (November 2, 2011)

Stay warm, wherever you are. But if you ARE somewhere warm, no gloating, or I’ll be forced to hunt you down and put snow down your back.

Well, everything else being thankfully ruled out, it appears that Kelsea does have a kidney stone.  She was trooper enough to go to school yesterday, but is sleeping in today.  Sleep and liquid, that’s what she needs.  Hopefully, it will pass soon.  At least in my experience, the passing was the easiest part.  And I felt better immediately.

It has been amazingly, freakishly, frustratingly windy here the last few days.  It makes me not want to go outside.  And so, I’m not. I’m watching Rick Steves traipsing through the Mediterranean on public television, experiencing pangs of envy, and wondering if they’ let ME take pictures inside the Mosque of St. Sophia.

The good thing is that it has inspired me to work some more on the Different BVI travel guide.  I will start a pitch letter next week.

It’s amazing how fast money flows out when no money is flowing in.

The Interstate Mullet Toss is this weekend and I am missing it.  If you’re not familiar with this event, the highlight is a competition in which individuals toss a one-pound dead mullet from within a 10-foot circle on a Perdido Key beach in Alabama, across the state line into Florida.  I am determined to go next year.

Gark.  It’s nearing noon.  Maybe it’s time to take a shower and get dressed.  Or maybe it’s time for tequila.

It’s really amusing to watch the dog try to attack the vacuum cleaner attachments.

One of my dearest friends in the world wrote to tell me her cat passed away this week.  She and I had just had a wonderful two-hour talk last weekend.  Talking to her makes me feel like I’m 17 again.  I ache for her.  Losing Tug and JT is as vivid today as it was the day I had to have them put down.  I wasn’t there when my cat of 20 years died of natural causes.  She knew it was coming and said goodbye to me before I left.  I don’t know if I could have borne it.  But of course I could.  One can bear anything if it provides some modicum of comfort to a beloved soul.  RIP, Guido, and peace to you, my dear friend.

There is an abundance of magic in this world.

I hate Rick Steves.  Why can’t I be Rick Steves?

I have been considering trying silk painting.  One of my favorite possessions is a circle of silk with a seascape of Anegada painted on it.  It was made by a British woman who used to come camp on the beach and paint.  It’s a lovely idea and a lovely piece.

Perhaps this is more of a Mom-Rant…I don’t know.  I only know that I have some rants (or peeves) and it’s high time to express them.  So, let’s start with the pick-up/drop-off lanes at Kelsea’s school.

Why, why, WHY is this such a cluster **** every morning???

The horseshoe-shaped drop-off zone has “Hug and Go” signs from one end of the horseshoe to the other.  The door to the school is in the middle of the horseshoe, about 20 yards from the curb.  The first car that enters the horseshoe should pull up to the far end, keep the motor running, give their child a kiss, let him or her open the door, get his or her backpack, close the door, and then the parent should drive away.  Sounds so simple.  (See the picture of the horseshoe drive below?  This is Kelsea’s actual school.)

BUT…and this is a big but…

That’s not what happens.  Parents drive up to the exact center of the horseshoe so that their child will not have to walk any more than the absolute shortest distance to the school door.  And then they obviously discuss in-depth philosophical issues with said child for about 5 minutes prior to child exiting the vehicle, which in itself requires that the child open all car doors AND that the parent shut the car off and exit the vehicle to assist the child, OR (as occurred this morning) to CARRY the child’s backpack into the school WITH the child.  Additional discussions between parent and child once both parties have exited the vehicle are also required.

Once the child has turned towards the school door, the parent (if not physically accompanying the child into the school)  MUST re-enter the vehicle, watch the child until he or she enters the school and the door closes firmly behind him/her, then check their cellphone, put on make-up and deodorant, shave, adjust mirrors, start the car, wait for it to warm up, and then immediately pull back out into the horseshoe without looking to see if any cars are in the (theoretical) driving lane of the horseshoe.

Other parents are behind, jockeying for the next closest post position, or just sitting, waiting until it is their turn to pull up to the primo spot and perform the aforementioned ritual.

I seem to have some time warp issues with getting Kelsea to school on time.  We’ve discussed it.  We’ve tried all kinds of things to resolve it – leaving earlier, getting up earlier, packing up the night before, you name it.  It’s just a maternal failing that I freely own up to.  So we usually pull up to the horseshoe with minutes (or seconds) to spare before she’s tardy.  I’m sure the front office can tell when she’s staying with me vs. her Dad, just like her friends can tell based on the quality of her packed lunches.  (They take pity on her and share their lunches when she’s been with me.)

The dialogue (or soliloquy) in our car in the morning goes something like this from the time we approach the turning into the school parking lot:

Me: Why are you going so slow?  WHY are you going 5 miles an hour?  This is a 20 mile per hour zone.  And it’s NOT a four-way stop.  Don’t be so polite! Quit waving everyone else in!  Maybe YOU don’t have to be someplace else but I do!  ****** idiots!  GO!  GO!  MOOOOOVE!!!
Kelsea:  It’s okay, Mom, I’m already late.
Me:  It’s not okay!  Why do these Rock Creek moms have to be such idiots?  This is stupid!  It’s not that complicated!  You just puuuulllll up, there you go, allllll the way up, there, see?  This guy knows what he’s doing!  He’s doing it right.  Now see, I’ll just pull up behind him.  Look, what a good drop-off parent – wait, oh no, no, he’s getting out of the car – what?  He’s going into the school – he’s just LEAVING the car there! Now I’m blocked in.  **** him!!  ******* dumb-ass!! I’m going to ….
Kelsea:  Bye, Mom, I love you!
Me:  Bye, honey, have a great day.

So by the time I do get out of there, my blood pressure has soared, steam is coming out of my ears, and (depending on the day) I’m close to tears.  I will say it distracts Kelsea from her customary morning grumpiness, so that’s a minor blessing. 

And we just have to look for the little blessings in all of those things we can’t change, now don’t we?


February 2020
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