Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowed In and Stir Crazy

Welcome to the 13th day of the new year, 2011, and the 4th day of our latest snowtastrophy.

I apologize (I know, I'm not supposed to do that) for not having written since Christmas Eve, but things have been a little tense for me. Thankfully, I asked for this week, January 10-14 , as my first week of vacation for the new year. Little did I know that when I asked, a heinous snow and ice storm was brewing somewhere in the cosmos, waiting to dump several inches of snow all over my vacation.

I did know last Friday when I left work, that there was a possibility we would have severe winter weather on Monday. I was relieved that I would be off because the prospect of driving on ice terrifies me to the point of paralysis. I was also grateful that my teens would be home, because I never really get to spend time with them any more.

Sunday night we all watched with anticipation as the light sleet turned to fluffy snow and blanketed our yard and street. Monday morning we all woke to a scene worthy of a Currier and Ives print. About 10:00 a.m, the first of many four wheel drive vehicles started down our street, and before long there was a well worn path. I could also see cars inching down the highway. We tromped around in the yard and took some pictures. We threw a snow ball or two.

I have often complained of my husband's poor driving skills. In our eleven year marriage he has totalled two of my cars and is dangerously close to having the state maximum for speeding tickets. Our insurance agent loves him. When I die, I know that my husband will driving.

But one positive thing that I CAN say about darling hubby's driving skills is that he knows how to drive on snow and ice. And he does that very well. THANK YOU UNITED STATES ARMY! He says the very first thing he did when he arrived on his post at Fort Greely, Alaska, was to be escorted to the ice pad for driving instruction. That instruction has paid off in spades here in Alabama, where it rarely snows or ices, but when it does, no one seems to know how to drive.

So I was not worried at all when he announced that he was driving Monday afternoon to a friends to watch the National Championship game. Knowing I would not be able to watch my beloved Auburn Tigers due to my "jinx," I agreed to let him make the 30 minute drive, which only took him 45 minutes to make safely. The kids and I enjoyed chili I had labored over all day, in the crockpot.

After we proved that you don't bring a Duck to a Tiger fight ( Auburn 22, Oregon 19..War Eagle!) Tigger and I ran out onto the front porch and yelled into the night sky, where it was attempting to snow again. I was too excited to sleep and stayed up way, way past my bedtime.

Tuesday, after all that had melted Monday refroze overnight, I was relieved again when school was cancelled. I was also glad that darling hubby had vacation along with me, because we both slept until 11:00 a.m. We watched movies all day. We ate the left over chili. The roads were starting to get dry that afternoon, and I was certain I would spend my Wednesday in peace and quiet.

Unfortunately, the local board of education had other plans.

Wednesday was spent listening to Kit-Kat chatter away with friends, while listening to music, a movie and playing on the internet. Tigger stayed in his room, coming out only long enough to argue with his sister. I was able to make it, slowly, to the grocery store to buy rice. I made red beans and rice in the crock pot. I texted my best friend who had it worse than me, she was stuck atop a hill that was still covered in a nice sheet of ice. She texted that she was so bored she was cleaning her house. Thankfully, I am not that bored yet, but it does give me an option, should I go completely over the edge and decide to tackle and sew someone's mouth shut. ; )

Because the temperature never got above 25 degrees, about 5:00 to 5:30-ish, the local board decided to completely ruin my vacation by canceling school for today as well. Rumor has it they may close tomorrow also. Well why the hell not?

I spent the rest of the evening, practically enraged. The local city school systems had reopened yesterday. I wrote and rewrote a strongly worded email to the powers that be, berating them for this decision that will surely push the end of school back into June. I plotted ways to get Moody out of the county school system. I considered moving back to Leeds. I knew I had gone stir crazy when the thought of home schooling the kids crossed my mind. I had to let it go, take a deep breath, and relax. Luckily, I had still not reached the point I felt I needed to clean.

Today, I woke to find I had just as much snow in my yard as I did on Tuesday, now under a shiny crust of ice. I vowed to make the best of the day, despite nothing, but the National Championship game, going my way on my very first week of vacation. I saw "Julie and Julia" on the t.v. guide. I really love that movie! Can you believe that there was a time that Julia Childs could not cook? She took it up as a hobby and then became one of the most well reknowned cooks in the world! Julie Powell started with just a little blog about cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and later became a very successful author. She has now written two books.

But the part that I love the most is that whenever I watch it, I get the itch to write again.

So here I am,writing the first blog of my fifth year of blogging, ignoring my son who pops his head out of his room from his video game, to ask if I am done with the computer. Kit-Kat was invited to stay with a friend, so today it is relatively quiet. I may even venture out to wander around Walmart.

I am reminded that my mantra this year is "good to great." It worked for Auburn, so why can't it work for me too?

I need to focus on the positives of this situation. I was spared the horrific chore of trying to drive to work every day this week. I was able to spend time with my children and my husband. I was able to lay back and relax, or more truthfully, lay around and do nothing.

Maybe this wasn't such a bad vacation after all.

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