A Few, Mostly Useless Lessons from the Snowpocalypse

Midlife Sentence - Snowpocalypse

First, regardless of the title, let’s just get this out of the way: there are too many made up words with which one can describe what’s been going on around here, but probably shouldn’t. To wit:

Snowpocalypse, Snowtastrophe, Snowstruction, Snowmageddon, Snowlamity, Snowlocaust, Snowfandango.

Maybe some of those were cute after the snow started coming. But then it kept coming and then started breaking off gutters and marooning cars. Now we’ve had three days of no school, and yesterday there was five more inches of the white stuff and then freezing rain, and there’s no way any of that’s cute any more. None of it.

I actually love the snow. I do. Sure it’s inconvenient and messy, but this year it came right before Christmas and you’d have to be a sour pit of misery not to notice when your neighborhood looks like it’s auditioning for a Hallmark Hall of Fame special about do-gooders and miracles and fa-la-la-la-la.

But, now it’s January, and we’re socked in and preparing for power outages and trees falling and ice dams, and wondering whether we’re insured for flooding. Okay, we’re weather lightweights, but whatever. I’m getting antsy.

In addition to the wordplay and insurance policies and stuff giving me a headache, there are a few lessons this latest weather pattern has wrought:

Number one: I’m apparently married to the master of disaster preparedness, which is something I didn’t know. Before I was up yesterday, he was looking up FEMA sites online and had a list of supplies as long as my arm. We now have plastic sheeting, duct tape, propane, batteries, bottled water, baby wipes, candles, and sixteen different types of canned meat.

Midlife Sentence - Snowpocalypse
Yes, Virginia, there is chorizo seasoned Spam

Who the even knew they made sixteen different types of canned meat? I’m not the canned meat demographic, I guess.

He got kind of excited, then, looking at the array of supplies on our counter. Clearly, this is more than just a weather event for some people.

“Dude, we’re ready! We should see how long we can go without a trip to the store.”

He clapped his hands and rubbed them together. Nothing like a disaster to make a grown man gleeful.

But then he reconsidered.

“Okay that’s stupid. We’re going to run out of beer. Did you know a kegerator is not on any FEMA list?”

Midlife Sentence - Snowpocalypse
This is a kegerator, and apparently our next major appliance purchase

Okay, number two on our list of good things to know: disaster preparedness experts put painfully little consideration into the amount of beer one needs to get through a weather event.

Number three is the fact that there are people out there saying all kinds of condescending baloney on social media who really should just, freaking stop. It doesn’t help anybody to know if you’re in Hawaii or Mexico through all of this. Please refrain from posting that crap for a couple of days. Go enjoy your mojito on the beach or whatever and upload your photos later, and we’ll be able to get through this without wanting to punch you in the throat.

Number four: Snow days aren’t so bad if your kid is a slug. If things were normal, we’d be planning to send our kid to school tomorrow, but currently there’s no telling if school will ever happen again.

I’m not complaining. Snow days used to be much, much harder. The boys would be up at the crack of nothing to sled down the driveway until it was a smooth sheet of ice. Then they’d build a snow fort and throw snowballs until their faces were blue, and come in demanding hot cocoa and snacks, strewing wet gear all over kingdom come. Then the whole cycle would start all over again.

That sounds cute and wholesome and Hallmark-Hall-of-Fame-y, but mind you this cycle would repeat itself no fewer than thirty seven times a day. There is not enough snow gear or cocoa in all of Christendom to accommodate that nonsense.

But, no more. We have just the one teenager at home right now, and he sleeps like he’s hibernating, rolling out of bed only when he’s hungry. So it’s all good.

Speaking of snow days, I’m not really sure I’m glad I subscribed to our school district’s text alert system. Somewhere along the line, I must have done so twice, because I’m getting two of every notice of school closures, and notices about athletic events being cancelled, and this one repeated text we keep getting that they’ve canceled something called “Parent’s Math Night Out” for 5th and 6th grade.

This is a problem on a couple levels. First, the term “Parent’s Math Night Out” makes math sound weirdly worthy of celebration, which is a sad lie. Second, I have an 8th grader, so I kind of feel like they’re dangling something in my face that I couldn’t have had anyway and now it’s canceled.

I’m still kind of processing how I feel about that.

Back to my list. Number, um, whatever has to do with my neighbors. The other morning I read that Meals on Wheels deliveries were going to be cancelled for the day, which made me feel bad for all the people who were expecting deliveries, which made me think about our neighbors. We live in empty-nester-land, and half my neighbors are single, retired ladies who drive teensy cars. I called one to see if she needed anything at the store.

“Oh honey, well, aren’t you sweet, but no, I’m all stocked up from a trip two days ago.”

So then I called the one across the street from her. She was good, too, had a posse of kids shovel her driveway the other night and was just tickled about that. Kept me on the phone another 20 minutes to tell me about her 95 year-old mother’s macular degeneration, poor thing, and then suggest I call our other neighbor, Dory.

Turns out Dory orders her groceries off the internet and has them delivered, so Dory was good and also thought I was sweet.

So, rather than having to make a trip to the store, I got good chits for offering, without any work. And it turns out my little, old lady neighbors can probably weather this stuff better than I can.

But none of us was as prepared to deal with the snow as this guy (a 17-second video that will play after about 30 seconds of ads, sorry):

Anyway, I’m looking forward to summer, by which time all this will be a memory and most of it will probably also be the stuff of legend.

Or, you know, snowpocryphal.


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