We’re snowed in today–and yesterday–and although I don’t like being snowed in, I am profoundly grateful for the precipitation we so desperately need. Christian took a ruler outside last night and measured 9 1/2 inches. Those of you who live where snow is commonplace will most likely roll your eyes, but we don’t have the equipment or manpower to handle that amount of snowfall here; we just don’t get much snow. So naturally, the city is crippled. I’m not sure why so many people were out in it–maybe it was all university traffic–but for some reason traffic was backed up for hours all over town. And when I say hours, I mean my critique partner took three hours to drive four miles, and one of my husband’s coworkers spent five hours driving six miles.
We went outside for a while yesterday morning, but the lightning and thunder did in any attempt to get Julianna to go down the hill on the sled after her first run. Yes, I did say lightning and thunder. Lightning, thunder, and very heavy snowfall. So heavy I shoveled half the driveway and two hours later you couldn’t tell what had been done and what hadn’t.
Alex has been home now for three days, since he got sick on Tuesday night and missed school Wednesday as well. And he was off Monday for Presidents’ Day. He played almost a full game of Monopoly. With himself. Well, he began it with the sitter who came while I took Julianna to the doctor, continued playing the Invisible Person (he came up with that, not me), and then Nicholas jumped in and out of the game a few times. My Facebook status Wednesday afternoon:
Alex is cracking me up. The sitter was playing Monopoly with him while she waited for her dad, and now that she’s gone, he’s playing “the invisible man.” “Mommy, what does ‘received for services $50′ mean?” he asked.
“It means you did something for the bank, and now the bank is going to pay you for it.”
Slumping: “Aw, DANG it! That’s for the OTHER person!”
But since I began typing, he has bought Boardwalk, for which he was saving, so I guess he’s fine.
Last night he was sitting on top of the kitchen heater vent, saying, “Oh, man, this feels so good!” It reminded me that when I was a kid, I used to hate getting dressed in the winter. My room was so cold. We had vents that were vertical in the wall rather than the floor vents of modern construction, and I would take my clothes for the day and pile them up in front of it. Then I’d sit on the floor in front of the heater wearing my nightgown and a robe and I’d dress in stages, starting with whatever had picked up the most radiant heat.
So in adulthood I find myself quite befuddled to see my boys run around the house completely, totally buck naked for half an hour while they are told over and over to GET DRESSED. I simply don’t get it.
And now, since we’re finishing the first full week of Lent, you need a tuna story, right?
My mother taught me to make tuna salad with hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, celery and onion. Christian’s mother taught him to make tuna salad by mixing sweet pickle relish into a can of tuna. Although in many cases we have learned to respect and honor each others’ family traditions, this is one area on which we cannot find common ground. The smell of Christian’s tuna salad brought me closer to vomiting in pregnancy than I had ever been. I had to flee upstairs and shout down to him to WASH THAT STUFF UP BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE. My stomach is turning right now just thinking about it.
So last Friday, when Alex came downstairs while Christian was making his lunch and smelled that…ahem…food…under preparation, a completely revolted expression took up residence on his face. “What is THAT?” he demanded, holding his nose.
Yes, he is my child, thank you very much.
I had a short story accepted to The Storyteller this week. I’ve been doing so much fiction work lately, I’m starting to get the uncomfortable sensation that I’m missing some assignment somewhere….but I have deadlines next week, and more coming in April, so I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
Because I need a #7, I’ll show you a picture I took a few weeks ago and haven’t found a use for. We have a hawk living in our little strip of woods behind the house, and some mornings it perches for half an hour on an arched branch facing eastward, as if it’s watching the sunrise. The morning I managed to capture it, it had chosen a different branch, higher up, but nonetheless:
Something about that sight just calms my heart. Brings me nearer a sense of holiness than anything else has in the middle of these last, crazed weeks overrun with sickness and frustration. I hope it blesses your weekend, too.