Photo: I don’t know if you can see them or not, but those are the footprints that my pet fox made in the snow this morning. I haven’t seen him for a while, and I have been worried about him. But he poked his head out from under the barn this morning while I made my coffee, dug himself a hole so he could fully get out, and then hopped himself away to go find food. People aren’t the only ones who get cabin fever, I guess!
It’s winter. Suck it up. Don’t complain. “You’re a New Englander now.” This is how it goes. “Or save up for a better car.”
This is what I was told this morning after it took an hour to get my kids to school and I let a bit of my frustration show.
And, as I said to one of the other moms as I was leaving to find a parking space in the impossible winter wasteland: fuck all that noise.
First of all, I’m southern born. I’m a daughter of the Old Line State and will never be a yankee. I own land here, I pay taxes here, hell, I may even raise my sons here, but this little black girl wasn’t built for this, dear reader. How many times do I have to explain that to people?
And here is the thing. Time and time again, I’ve told my family that New England knows how to handle the snow. Welp, not this year. Not at all. We got another foot of snow on Monday and that really did seem to snap the camel’s back. And believe me, I get it, there is a hell of a lot of snow outside and nowhere, really, to put it, but it feels like folk didn’t even try this time around.
They’d had all night and all morning to clear things by the time I tried to venture out with the boys yesterday. Another mom with way more space and way more toys invited us over for a mental health playdate. 11am. Totally reasonable. When I went to warm up the car, my elderly neighbor noticed and called the house and my cell phone.
“There have been four accidents on our little corner this morning,” she warned. “People going too fast. The roads aren’t really clear. I wouldn’t recommend heading out. If you do, take it slow.”
Now, I admit to a bit of hubris, dear reader. I also admit to cabin fever making me particularly apt to folly. I was kind, of course, because you know how I feel about respecting my elders, but I also said that I was going to leave anyway. We had to get out. I needed to interact with humans other than my children.
So we head down the driveway and I realize that I can’t even see the pavement on my street, which is a pretty heavily traveled road. I decided to keep pressing forward. Surely Main Street would be better, right? Well… it was the same, if not worse. Remember, I drive a little Ford Fusion. No 4-Wheel drive. I know how to drive in the snow, but only barely. So now I’m trying to abort the mission.
It took me a half-mile to find a safe enough spot to turn around. It was just as precarious getting back to the house as it was to venture forth to begin with. Of course, you turn the right corners and the babies catch wise. “Where are we going? Are we going home?”
“Baby, you see how bad the road is. This is not safe. We have to go back.”
“Nooooooooo,” they both wail. Of course they want to be out as badly as I do.
And what do you say to two toddlers with cabin fever (but who don’t want to play outside in the snow)???
Needless to say, it was a bad afternoon.
And it only got worse because, you see, the traffic in the Boston Metro Area has been unprecedentedly bad this week. Trains on the T are breaking down (the Red Line was pretty much down all morning during the commute yesterday), sending ripples across the entire system. In response, more people are driving on the narrow, snow covered roads, causing gridlock for hours. Traffic jams started in downtown Boston and 2pm yesterday!
So it took The Husband 3 hours to get home last night. That includes time walking in the street, in the dark, because the sidewalks near the house weren’t clear at all.
So when it took me an hour to get the boys to school this morning… let’s just say that I’m about out of grace.
Narrow roads. T not working.
And a damn Superbowl Parade. Really?
The Husband left work at 7:15 this morning and didn’t reach his office until 10:30.
So, free morning on my hands, I was supposed to be at the grocery store to get the hold-over items I need to get me to Friday when I can do a big shop before the next snowstorm. That’s right, dear reader, yet another “significant” storm is supposed to hit from Saturday to Tuesday. The weathermen refuse to give us the hard numbers yet, though one guy this morning said “it will likely be a foot when it’s all over.” Really?? But I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t convinced that traffic would let me go shop, get the groceries back to the house and then be back in time for pickup.
So, instead, I parked in the wasteland and headed over to the local bookstore, bought yet another moleskine notebook (I’d left mine at home. And this one cost me 21 smackers. Sigh.) and wrote this post long-hand.
At a cafe. With a latte. And eggs benedict.
The universe is not without its kindnesses.
And the boys got some school time, and that’s what matters in the end, right?
After getting no less than 3 ranting texts from me, Mom actually sent me this nice text this morning:
“You and [The Husband] are doing such a great job keeping those babies safe, warm and happy! Keep up the good work!”
Words matter. Sometimes, they warm more than good coffee and poached eggs.
It gets better, right, dear reader?
See you Friday for Screaming Thoughts. Stay warm and sane between now and then!