Thursday, December 30, 2010


I took this photo from my front porch this afternoon. Right after the weather man said, and I quote, "Folks, its going to be bad."... and he was talking about tomorrow.

It was balmy here (well, balmy for Minnesota in December) last night, the precipitation came down  as rain and Mother Nature graciously glazed every surface with ice before turning a cold shoulder and polishing it with snow.  She then proceeded to throw a tantrum.  And as any self-respecting woman knows, a good, thorough, hell-raising tantrum must last a minimum of three days to be taken seriously.  Not that I've ever thrown one or anything...  just sayin'.

So, we've been snowed (iced) in all day, and the worst is yet to come...with two more days to go.  Every major highway within 75 miles, interstate and otherwise, is closed.  Its officially a blizzard, no travel advised, we are taking it seriously... and I love it.

This is the stuff legends are made of, what separates the wheat from the chaff.  As we say here in Minnesota... it keeps the rif-raff out.  Its when we hunker down, watch movies, take long(er) winter naps, read, write, plan next year's garden, play crazy rummy, create homemade-from-scratch soup from the homegrown beef in the freezer and let it simmer on the stove all day.  Its when I shrug into my winter gear and trudge out to the barn through snow over my knees to let the livestock in, then spend a few moments just listening to them appreciatively munch the fragrant hay I stacked in there for just this day, months before.

We don't have anywhere to be, the freezer and pantry are stocked (and failing that, we could probably live off our "reserves", especially after the gluttony of Christmas, for quite some time.  Probably until spring, God forbid but truth be told). The livestock are sheltered and fed.  This is what we plan for (and secretly look forward to) the rest of the year.  It is why I keep plenty of food and candles, batteries and blankets and toilet paper on hand at all times. Tonight, and possibly for a few days yet, there will be no driving to the convenience store.

Granted, we are blessed with the technology and experts to forecast such events... far enough ahead, in fact, that we went to town yesterday to stretch our legs and pick up last minute items such as milk and produce.  Once in the store, however, I realized there was really very little we needed to purchase, because I've stashed  everything from bottled water to beans to band-aids.  So instead of going home empty handed, I bought more books and pens and journals.  My girls bought more books.  My husband bought sidewalk de-icer, and was nice enough to refrain from complaining about us buying more books.  We all came home happy.

I can't think of a better way to ring in the new year than safely hunkered down at home with my family, nowhere to go, plenty to eat, the livestock contentedly buttoned up in the barn, a stack of books and a stash of new pens. Well, and a bottle of brandy... its medicinal, you know.

Let it snow.