Saturday, December 21, 2013

Effects of Snowmageddon will melt into July

It’s not often that I’m made to sit still for days on end, save a bout of pneumonia or bed rest. The rest of the time I can be a little Type A. (Okay, a lot Type A.)

That’s why this recent snowstorm threw me for a loop, forcing me to stay home for a solid 60 hours.

Let me say up front that as my friends and family in Ohio read this, I know they are scoffing at how soft I’ve become. I posted a picture on Facebook of our street, a hill which had iced over, and wrote this caption: “This is the ice rink that is our road this morning.”

My friend Chuck in the Midwest commented: “Do you know what we call that here? Winter.”

So I know I’ve become a winter wimp over the last few decades. After 17 years in the mild Pacific Northwest, I don’t even own a snow shovel … or a sled …or snow pants ... or mittens. If the end of the world occurs via snowstorm, I’ll be the first to go down.

But my kids were raised in Oregon where snow is a uncommon, so they were ecstatic to have a snow day on Friday. Our youngest went outside to sled with the neighbor kids and didn’t show up again until dark, showing off her bruise she earned on a wicked ride down the hill across the street from our house. She was in heaven.

Our oldest son pretty much wore the same sweatpants for the entirety of Snowmageddon, which was heaven – for him at least.

My husband and I both worked on Friday, but then settled in for a good 60-hour hibernation period after that. I can’t tell you the last time our family has all been home with nothing to do but hunker down and spend time together, and I have to say, I kind of liked it.

I re-discovered how relaxing it is to sit at the table and do a puzzle for hours.

We napped whenever we felt like it.

We listened to hours of Christmas music while we made pots of homemade soup, cookies and hot cocoa.

We sat in front of the fire and watched more movies than I can count.

We cleaned the house from top to bottom (see Type A above. Well, I couldn’t just SIT there for 60 hours!)

In retrospect, the 60-hour forced house arrest was the most relaxing time we’ve spent in a long time.

Have you ever noticed how quiet it is after a snowfall? Almost like it’s tamped down all the noise and activity, leaving behind a tangible calm. I felt the same peace after those 60 hours.

As I drove home from work on Monday the snow was already melting and I must admit I was a little bit sad.

Sure enough, we’re back into the swing of a busy schedule: meetings, school concerts, shopping for Christmas. But one thing I’ve learned: Snow or no snow, we need to take more “snow days” any time of year.

Eileen Burmeister is a Winchester-based freelance writer. She can be reached at burmeistereileen@gmail.com or you can follow her on Twitter at EBurmeister.



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