What a long weekend. I’m talking about Blizzard Nemo. Not the clown fish, but the crazy New England storm that blew this mother away. And made me grateful for every little thing. Like dry socks. Your kids. Husband. Kind neighbors. And fresh milk.
Let’s just say we built a lot of snow forts and memories this weekend. Our kids got to play in the snow for three days straight. They had no school Friday, when the snow first started to fall. They spent hours upon hours playing with other kids in the neighborhood. But unfortunately, they came inside to a freezing house because we lost power the first night of the storm. Growing up in Texas, I’ll admit I know a heck of a lot more about hurricane preparedness than blizzard preparedness.
I never thought we’d lose power in the middle of the winter. And I never fathomed how cold my house would feel WITHOUT heat. (I walked around in ski pants for three days (with last season’s ski passes still hanging from the zipper). I’m just now starting to feel my legs again! We used our truck to charge phones. We lent out shovels, fire logs, and anything we could find. We thanked our lucky stars for the neighbor who has a plow truck. We caught up with the neighbors and even joined them for a blizzard block party.
But things got more serious when the sun went down. Thankfully, we have a fireplace. It was our lifeline. We used it to roast our buns, ski bibs, and breakfast bagels. My husband and I dragged our Queen-size mattress down stairs so we could have a slumber party in front of the fireplace. He took the cot and gave us the mattress. It was a lot of fun cuddling up with the kids, dog, some snacks and a mile of blankets in front of the fire. We used what little battery power was left on the iPad to fire up a movie. We had licorice, cookies and fruit. We were all smiles. Until the fire went out.
My husband spent hours working outside and was sound asleep by 10 p.m. So I was on fireplace night shift. I’d wake up every couple hours, slap my face with a cold hand and put more fire logs on. Another hour or two later, I’d rally and repeat. By 5:30 a.m., my contacts were plastered to my eyeballs, but that was the least of my worries. I was checking my kids to make sure they were warm, positioned in the middle of the mattress, away from the drafty window panes but not too close to the fire. I had become a true mama bear, protecting my cubs from the bitter cold. God bless Laura Ingalls Wilder! How she got through those pioneer winters without North Face ski pants is beyond me.
After going without power in the winter, you start thinking about what’s most important in life. All the frivolous stuff flies out the chimney. Now, there were a lot of people that had it really bad during the storm. Some weren’t so lucky. We were. Although it was scary at times, we never had it bad. We got through it and now, our power is back on and our lives are pretty much back to normal. I have taken two showers. I’m starting to feel human again.
And most of all, we will always have the memories. One day, my kids will tell their grandkids about the Blizzard of 2013! (With a few extra inches of snow added in there, I’m sure!) “We had to walk up hill both ways!”
Going through all this makes you think about what NOT to do next time. So I wanted to share this little list with you.
What NOT to do the next time the weather man predicts a blizzard.
- Underestimate the weather man.
- Make fun of the old RI “Milk and Bread” mentality. (Or anyone who tells you to over-buy before a storm.) P.S. They are wicked smart.
- Think that the power will never go out.
- Forget to buy extra UNSCENTED candles.
- Forget to take a load of clean socks out of the washer and place them into the dryer BEFORE the power goes out.
- Give your dog a bone that causes stomach upset. Poopsicles are not fun, especially during a blizzard.
- Forget to run the dishwasher just because it’s not full.
- Schedule your new oven to arrive the same day as the storm. (Long story, we’ve been without an oven for two weeks now.)
- Load your refrigerator with dairy products.
- Argue with your husband about the life and death of any and all dairy products.
- Panic about everything.
- Eat all the chocolate in the house before the power goes out.
- Eat all the chocolate chips too.
- Leisurely add every Ritz cracker in the cupboard to your soup the day before the first snow fall and forget to buy a new package.
- Think that cold leftover Thai food will qualify as a meal.
- Forget to leave the fun board games in the darkest part of the basement where you swear Mike Meyers has been waiting for you since Halloween.