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Snowbound

Jean Southworth


December 2003

Before I sat down just now, I had to ask my children what day it was. I'm that befuddled. The last extra kid just left a couple hours ago. His dad, a trucker, had to install tire chains on his son's car before they could leave. Joey had already mostly dug his Sentra from the deep accumulation
using one of my rubber cutting boards. I wasn't sure what color his car was before that.

 

Two nights ago, Zach asked if he could have some friends over. We ended up with 6 boys, 5 girls, and over 11 inches of snow. (I'm more certain of the snow number than the kid number. There may have been more. Kids, not snow.) Late in the evening, as those first flakes dropped, Jim warned, "You may want to leave pretty soon as it gets kinda slippery up here!" They had selective hearing.

Eventually, 3 girls and 1 boy left. It wasn't easy. Around midnight, the last 2 girls tried to go home, but their VW bug spun and slid so much they soon returned grinning, flushed and breathless. "We can't leave!"

 Jim and I declared a sleepover, our first CO-ED sleepover. We decided the road danger was greater than the boy/girl danger in this instance. The kids cheered, literally; this was even better than having school canceled. They all called their parents, who seemed relieved, but the girls' parents had a couple extra questions. ("Are Zach's parents there? Are you the only girl?") They must have been satisfied with the answers, but they didn't really have much choice, either. We also remembered these kids are in college, with the freedom for more trouble there than here anytime.

Jim and I took a midnight walk in the quiet, pristine snowfall, or at least it would have been that way, were it not for our pup, Bailey. She got more worked up by the snow than she does by squirrel dogs. After we returned home, I unearthed our every sleeping bag, pad, blanket and pillow from storage. Girls upstairs, boys down. I shouldn't have bothered so much with the boys. Zach led a small contingent who stayed up the entire night. I dug out all our gloves, hats and scarves, distributed new toothbrushes and finally joined Jim for bed at 3 AM, while kids ran inside and out, around the neighborhood and up and down the hills on sleds and goodness knows where else until the sun rose.

At 6 AM, they were hungry for breakfast so I made french toast. (Yes, that's three hours of sleep.) Some of the all-nighters didn't know whether to refer to "today" or "yesterday" in conversation. As the day wore on, I pulled out all my Christmas leftovers, heated them in pretty bowls, and set them out. They disappeared.

Some parents retrieved their kids as the day wore on, and the boy with a 4 wheel drive truck made it out on his own, but the roads stayed so slipperyup here that we never got mail. Jim answered the phone. Mary called about her exchange student son. Jim was clueless which kid he was. (We had more than one Chris here, and I was in the shower at the time.) Mary dispatched her real son to come fetch Chris on foot. They don't live too far away, but Chris was uncertain about the way to go. Chris scampered off in his t-shirt and jeans before I could force a coat on him. Everyone said not to worry: Chris was from Sweden. Still, I know everyone will wonder, "How could she let him go out like that?" It's still a sexist world, at least when it comes to outerwear.

Here is Zach's website link with his snow pictures:

 www.geocities.com/balloons689/snow.htm
There's still more to say. I know there's at least one car that's not ours buried out front. I'm just too sleep-deprived to remember anything else interesting. Plus Annie wants me to come see the snowman she and Taylor just built. She tells me it's snowing again.