Last weekend the Charlotte area was hit with a winter storm that put the city on lockdown. Granted, we only got about two inches of snow, but in the South, the threat of two inches of snow will put a run on bread, milk and beer at every grocery store in town.
Thursday, I didn’t think we were actually going to get any snow. The day was too pleasant—moderate temperature with a blue sky. When I went to buy food for dinner, I didn’t feel the need to pick up anything extra at the market. I simply strolled the aisles, scoffing at all the people scrambling around with buggies filled to capacity. All that preparation for a snow storm that wasn’t coming.
Needless to say, I was wrong.
When I went to bed that night, the street was bone dry. And when I woke the next morning, the street was blanketed in snow. On top of that, school was closed. Since I wasn’t prepared to be shut in due to inclement weather, I made a cautious dash to the market to scrounge up some supplies for the weekend—Pop-Tarts, cereal, ice cream, cookies, chips and wine. As Friday progressed, we ended up with a combination of ice, snow and sleet, which made driving difficult and dangerous.
Even though I love being home, not having the option to hop in the car and go wherever I wanted to go drove me nuts. I lasted about five hours before I started to crack. By Saturday, I needed to do something—anything—to keep my mind off being stranded.
I heard a “Psst!” coming from the corner of our living room. I glanced at the Christmas tree and thought, “Maybe it’s time.” I’d already taken all the ornaments off, but I still needed to remove the lights and break the tree down.
Just as I was about to climb up the step ladder to remove the top row of lights, Big Daddy said, “What are you doing? You should really take this time to relax. Take a break, and get your mind right so you can get back to working on your manuscript.”
He was right, but I refused to admit it.
“I can’t just sit around doing nothing,” I said. “And I’m finally ready to take down the tree.”
“Do what you want. I’ll be upstairs chillin’,” Big Daddy said before returning to our bedroom with a tray full of delicious snacks and a bottle of orange juice.
A part of me envies my husband’s ability to shut it down. He can turn off work and just relax. I’m not wired that way. I have to work my way into relaxing.
After removing the first string of lights, I heard another “Psst!” This time it was coming from the kitchen. My freezer was a mess! How could I be upstairs chillin’ when bricks of frozen food were falling onto the floor every time someone opened the freezer door? It took about 30 minutes to clean and organize the freezer, and I still wasn’t motivated to embrace the relaxation bug. I decided homemade chicken stock was in order.
Around 11:30, my kids were ready to go out and play in the snice (snow/ice). It didn’t sound safe, but I said, “No hitting your brother in the face.” That covered both boys.
I don’t like the cold, so my contribution to their sniceball fight was to tag each one in the back of the head from the front steps. They were shocked by my accuracy.
After my limited fun outdoors, I went back to the kitchen in search of more work I could do before I did some relaxation.
Five minutes into organizing the pantry (I’d long since forgotten about the Christmas tree) Big Daddy showed up on the scene again and said, “You wanna watch a movie while the kids are outside?”
“You really should have lead with that 90 minutes ago. I could be in my second stage of relaxation by now. Thanks a lot,” I said as I dropped a box of pasta back on the shelf to leave pantry organization for another day.
After the movie—insert air quotes here—I was pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day, and we finally got around to watching an actual movie. Heist was pretty good. Then again, how could you go wrong with a movie starring Jeffery Dean Morgan, Morris Chestnut and Robert De Niro?
With my mind clear, I also managed to finish Chapter 5 and start Chapter 6 of my manuscript. WooHoo!
It was close to dinner time when I made it back to that stock slowly simmer on the back of the stove. The house smelled like Thanksgiving, which was perfect since the Christmas tree was still hanging around—minus the decorative red and gold ornaments and one string of white lights. I collected a bunch of ingredients from my pantry to make pasta e fagioli. And why not? I had all the ingredients, including the Italian sausage and white beans I discovered in the back of the freezer earlier. I hadn’t made pasta and bean soup in a while, and thought it would be the perfect meal to round out a day of respectable chillin’.
After dinner, Big Daddy took over kitchen duty so I could enjoy the rest of the evening. Even though I didn’t have the freedom to come and go as I pleased due to the icy road, being snowed in and taking advantage of the time off wasn’t half bad. I even felt like whistling.
“You’re welcome!” my obnoxious husband said.
I could feel his stupid smirk on my back as I walked out of the kitchen.