Monday, February 7, 2011
Uncle! Mercy! Whatever Mother Nature’s safe word is, I’m calling it right now.
Sure, that first snowfall last month was a true work of performing and visual art with big, fat, fluffy snow clusters dancing down from heaven upon our dormant land.
Rockwellian moments came to life as children raced down hills and across yards bundled up like fleece-lined, waterproof marshmallows, hurling snowballs and dragging sleds and running back into the house for hot chocolate, oblivious to the gallons of snow and sand they tracked through the kitchen before remembering to take off their boots.
Caroline went airborne down Alvamar’s hill. Luke made enough money shoveling driveways to buy himself the iTouch his parents would never get him. Amelia built a snowman nearly 2 feet tall. Ellie learned that being fashionable and being warm are mutually exclusive when the temps drop well below freezing, and the better option for sledding will always be the snow pants, no matter how much cuter skinny jeans are.
But the charm of fresh, pristine powder soon gave way to the gloom of dirty, grimy streets, and the crisp winter air that once nipped the nose soon rendered it frozen and motionless as its contents tried to escape.
And just when the final bits of ice had begun to melt off our front porch, Snowmageddon II came whirling in.
At this point, our kids had not had a full week of school since mid-December. While they delighted in the opportunity to sleep in, they had grown weary of snow and begged, instead, to help me with the laundry and clean the house.
Or was it I who did the begging?
It is all a bit fuzzy to me. But I do know the sun eventually shined, blades of grass peeked out from the blanket of white upon our lawn and the distant hope that the piles of snow lining our driveway would one day melt away grew just a bit closer.
And now as I write, new threats abound. Bigger and badder. Measured by feet, not inches. An abominable blizzard like no other. Grab your Snuggies, stock the pantry and load the Netflix, you and your Pajama Jeans aren’t going anywhere for a long time.
Of course, by the time this piece goes to print, the threat will have passed. Either we spent a week buried helplessly under piles of snow, wishing we were all in San Diego but grateful not to be stuck in Fargo, or the sun did, indeed, come out and free us from the ice-coated prison we call home.
Either way, I am done.
So Mother Nature? Have mercy on us. Know that we are a community of good people who recycle and use florescent light bulbs even though they make us look like Courtney Love. Remember that we endured a pioneer-like long winter last year and had hoped for a little better karma for it. But most of all, trust us when we say we will never complain about your torturous summers again.
Because this time, we mean it.
— Julie Dunlap can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.