I wake from a dream in which I’m in the house of two old ladies and the phone is ringing but I can’t find it when the answering machine kicks in and a mechanical voice announces that schools is cancelled. I look out at dark trees silhouetted against the blue-black sky. It hasn’t started snowing yet. I doze until my alarm goes off at six. I decide I can afford another half-hour of sleep and still make my 7:30 dentist appointment--no school means no lunches to make and I can pick up both breakfast and lunch for myself after my appointment.
Two hours later, out the window of the dentist office, I can see the white wall of the storm move down Western Avenue. By the time I leave, already three or four inches have fallen. I stop at the bagel shop, despite half my face being numb and the admonition to not eat bagels with a temporary crown. I hope the parking lot at work will be empty, but of course it is not. We finally get the word that we can leave at 3:00, because the governor is concerned for our safety. I can imagine him rubbing his fat, greedy hands at the cost savings from our deaths. At least a foot has fallen and the plow has made no heroic efforts on my road. It takes three goes to get up the hill.
Our driveway is unplowed and the mailbox has been knocked off its post. I ram the car as far off the road as I can and the kids and I pile out and walk. At least I’m not pulling a toddler in a sled or pregnant with twins and dragging a three-year-old or carrying two babies and coaxing a four-year-old. Now they troop along quite happily except E, who gets upset that Papa, who is finally coming out to plow, won’t let him come along.
Inside dishes are piled on the counter and in the sink. I eat ice cream and read my friend’s zine that came in the mail. She’s much more tolerant than me. She would never fume about unplowed snow and dirty dishes. She believes in magic.
I put on my boots and go out into the snow. I follow our trail, taking pictures of the wintery trees until my finger goes numb. I traipse along, cataloging my grievances--the governor, the driveway, the dishes, an irritating blog post--over and over. The snow is up to my knees, but light. I lick a clump off a tree branch. It tastes like nothing.
This is the part where I’m supposed to feel the magic of the world, let go of my crankiness, but I just walk home, make potato soup and popovers, make snow ice cream, play Rat-a-Tat-Cat, read an Easter book that E had checked out, refuse to read a fairy tail, because of the late hour, and write this post.
*With apologies to Robert Frost.