Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Snow Day

Late Sunday afternoon the rain was pelting down. I looked at it and back at the weather report, which was promising 4-7 (or 7-12, depending on which weather station you checked) inches of snow. It just didn't seem possible.

Less than an hour later, we were inside a snow globe, a thin coating of snow already blanketing the lawn, the trees, the cars. Before Nick went to bed he knew he wouldn't have school.

Then the power started flickering. Mark and I were watching a movie; Nick was getting ready for bed. The power went out, came back on. Long enough to restart the movie--then out again. Repeat. Finally it went out and stayed out. We found flashlights, a booklight for Nick in bed, candles. Lightning flashed through the snow--an eerie effect.

I tried to call the doctor's office where I had an early morning appointment, but reached no one. Went to bed with the NYTimes Sunday magazine and a booklight. It was clear that the heat was dissipating, though the radiators were still lukewarm. I set my cellphone alarm.

I was up early to try to call the doctor again. Again no answer. And, clearly, no heat. The University had cancelled classes, though since I don't teach Mondays, this wasn't really relevant.

Nick was up at 6:30. He'd meant to set his alarm for 7:30 but somehow was an hour off. He had a bowl of cereal--the milk in the fridge was still mostly cold--while I had a peanut butter sandwich.
(front porch/lawn, early a.m. Statue by Mark)

I put the milk out on the back porch and wondered whether anything else in the fridge was really all that perishable. I reached someone at the doctor's office, who said she'd pass along the message that I wouldn't be there. I went back to bed, where it was warm. Nick did, too.
(backyard, also early a.m. Yes, I took it from inside the house; it was too cold to go out there in pjs, even for the blog!)

When Mark woke up we all bundled up and headed out to a relatively new neighborhood cafe for coffee/hot chocolate and treats. Lots of others had the same idea--it was nice to be somewhere warm and buzzing with activity. It looked as if everyone had walked. When we got home I borrowed a snow shovel and cleared the walks while Nick and his friends restarted the snowball war they'd begun the evening before. I took everything out of the freezer and put it into coolers, on the back porch. The milk was already slightly frozen.

By noon it was frigid in the house. I was wrapped up in layers while the kids continued to play outdoors, coming into one house or another periodically to "warm up" (hardly possible) and eat something. I called several friends; one had power, and invited us to dinner; one didn't, and we talked about lighting a fire and drinking some wine later on. Mark went out, and came back reporting that the roads were relatively clear. I decided to go to the office and recharge my computer and cellphone batteries--and get warm.

By the time I returned home the power was back on. Nick was not, however, watching TV--the snowball war had started anew, after only a brief period of computer play. We reloaded the freezer and headed out to dinner with the friend whose power had remained on all day--her house was warm, her fire was lit, and the wine had been opened. It was a lovely end to the day.

(the view from my office window this morning)

(I have a blog post up at IHE today, sort of about snow days, sort of not. I wrote it in my warm office during that little hiatus...)


kate said...

That does sound like a lovely end to the day. It's funny, here we have been having cool springish weather (mostly) and whenever I hear about snow back in the NE US I have this vague, "Hmm, shouldn't they be over that by now?" moment-- but no, of course you are still in the thick of things this time of year.

But I miss the autumn colors and the summer green, so I guess at least I deserve a short winter...

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Libby. Helps me appreciate all that has been in my own backyard.
We are STILL home from school... but an Amazon package was delivered--all is well!