Last Friday, I was on the phone with someone about a communications project I’m working on with my church when I glanced at my watch and realized Jason, my 7-year-old was not home from school yet. His bus usually dropped him at 4 or a little after, and it was 4:15. Most days, I’m aware of the time and am listening for the bus to stop up the street. So I told the person I was talking to that I had to check on my son. I asked my older two boys (ages 16 and 13) if Jason had come inside and possibly gone back out to play without my knowing, but I hadn’t heard any sibling fights (which usually escalate when Jason gets home, especially if someone has eaten the last of the Bagel Bites). No, he had not come in, the boys said. I went to the refrigerator to get the school magnet with the phone number on it so I could call and see what had happened to the bus. As any parent knows, this is about the time you start to worry, and your mind starts racing, even thinking back to remember if there’d been any sirens in the past few minutes. That feeling in the pit of your stomach. By this time it was 4:20.
Yesterday for about a 35 minute interval, my dirty clothes hampers were all empty at the same time!!!! What a wonderful sense of accomplishment!! Of course they are full again now, but at least there was that brief, beautiful moment . . .
When you live in central North Carolina as I do, you usually find yourself right on the snow/rain line in winter weather. Our winters here are mild, relative to most of the rest of the country, but we do have our cold spells, too (had 20 inches of snow in one storm during 2000). Yet, the precipitation and the cold never occur simultaneously very often, meaning snow is not that common. We haven’t had measurable snow here in four years, and my three sons have been hoping for it winter after winter. I’ve told the guys that maybe we should drive the four hours into the mountains where snow falls frequently, but they insist it’s not the same as it snowing at your home and being able to play outside in your own yard and then come inside to warm up. I also think it has something to do with the fact that at home, they also have all their video games and DVDs, etc. to ward off boredom when they grow tired of playing outdoors.
When it does snow around here, schools close and everything pretty much comes to a standstill, sort of like a mini-vacation at home. This area doesn’t have a lot of snow removal equipment like the folks do up north or out in the Midwest, so the roads stay treacherous for a long while just from a little snow. When weather forecasters predict snow, people flock to the grocery stores to stock up on food, particularly bread and milk (and in my case Bagel Bites, because that is basically all my seven-year-old eats, but I saw in a recent ad in Better Homes & Gardens that Bagel Bites were healthier than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — it took away so much guilt!)
We’d thought this past weekend was finally going to be our snow weekend. They were calling for four inches of snow, and of course I was out the night before at Rack Room and Payless trying to find boots for the guys because they’d all outgrown theirs from the last snow and I’d completely forgotten to replace them. I went by the grocery store and stocked up on food. I called the guy to come and fix the gas logs in the fireplace. I went by Blockbuster and got movies to watch together. Popcorn, brownies, homemade soup ingredients from my mother’s recipe. Yep, we were ready for the snow that was to start falling on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, Saturday was busy with three basketball games for my guys, though the Cub Scout’s Pinewood Derby race was postponed in anticipation of the bad weather — much to the disappointment of my Eagle Scout husband who had helped our third and youngest son build a car like he had our other boys. He was ready to race, but alas would have to wait another two weeks.
Finally in the late afternoon, snow began to fall. Only the ground was too warm, and the flakes melted on contact. We only got a trace of snow, even though church services and other events had already been canceled for that next day because of snow. My boys were really disappointed and frustrated. It always seems like the Raleigh area is right on that line where snow turns to rain. I’d been looking forward to some down time, too, when we had an excuse not to have to go anywhere. During that 20 inch snow storm eight years ago, I got some really good things accomplished because I couldn’t go anywhere, including cleaning out the refrigerator, putting photos into albums (the last time I was caught up on this by the way), and ordering Hooked on Phonics for my then-five-year-old (I think I watched a few too many infomercials).
So we were all depressed that the snow hadn’t fallen — again. What was really funny about this event — or non-event — is that newscasters on the local channels were still saying, “Send us your winter weather pictures”, and I’m thinking, “WHAT winter weather? There’s NO SNOW out there.” There’s no way some of those people who sent in photos of snowmen they built actually built those from this ’storm’ — those had to be photos from previous storms.
Anyway, perhaps we’ll get snow later in the winter.
And while you’re braving winter wherever you are, check out my latest column for The Cary News about buying ties for my sons.
or at carynews.com, then click on ‘arts and more’, then on ‘columnists’, then on “The Home Front”.
Take care and hang in there,
Ahh, putting on make-up. I remember when I used to put on some concealer just here and there to cover up splotchy areas on my face, followed by some foundation, some powder and blush. The other day, I realized that my concealer has now become my foundation.
As you can tell, it is difficult to find time for me to post on this site on a regular basis. I write for a column for my local paper, have been revising essays for a book, and am ALWAYS driving my sons somewhere, plus I teach writing classes and write for various volunteer positions. All this makes it so writing this blog just doesn’t get done the way I’d like it to. Actually, I wrote one last week about my seven-year-old spilling a whole container of grape juice on the kitchen floor right before we left to drive him to school; however, somehow after writing about this, I hit enter and the whole entry got deleted. Didn’t have time to re-write it. I will attempt to blog more often.