by Deborah Rogers –
You know I like to get out and try new things, and I had all best intentions of a new activity at a new venue for this month’s Day Out. Well, best laid plans … the weather interrupted things, and my Day Out became a Day IN!
I’ve seen it referred to as #snowmaggedon, and certainly the snow in February was out of the ordinary for our temperate Island. I’ll admit, I was excited when the forecast predicted unusual accumulations of the white stuff. It never snowed where I grew up, so I hadn’t yet had the chance to get jaded with the cold, disruption and shovelling. Truth be told, I had never, ever in my life, shovelled snow. More on that later … .
My “Day In” began with an unusually late start for a weekday. School closures had been announced the night before and everything was calm and quiet inside the house, and outside. I’d heard the plows in the night and knew that the main road would be passable, but a look out the window quickly confirmed that my driveway was not! Snow Day for many means no work, but with a computer and internet access home can become an office very easily. My husband set up base at the kitchen table, and I took the den (the teenagers kept on sleeping). There is something so distracting about snow falling though. I spent more time staring out the window than I did at the keyboard. It is mesmerizing watching as the flakes twirl to the ground, get caught in the trees and build up on every surface. It transforms the landscape, camouflaging the boring garbage cans and recycling boxes, sitting so prettily on top of everything. Except this was no gentle dusting: it was like a great spatula of frosting had been flopped onto us! Snowfall requires new language in your vocabulary. You can’t go for a walk in it, you have to tromp through it. Snow doesn’t fall off the overloaded tree branches: it flomps off.
Things were getting out of hand outside and I felt it was time I tackled the driveway. I wasn’t planning to get the car out, but what if there was an emergency? Here’s what I learned about shovelling snow: it’s hot, heavy work; when there’s over a foot of snow you quickly run out of places to pile it; arm day at the gym has nothing on two hours of shovelling. Even after I had made good progress creating a clear zone around the car, the driveway was still so long, and snow covered. Two hours in and I was no nearer to being able to get out!
Time to call in the backup. The kids came out and we worked together to roll some really big snowballs. Ok, so that’s not shovelling, but it did remove the top layer of fluffy snow, and we trampled some areas flat. Snow balls became a snowman, probably the largest I’ve ever created. He stood guard at the front of the house as I passed the shovel to the kids and headed back inside to dry out and warm up.
There isn’t much that’s more precious than hearing your children squealing and laughing together. The driveway may not have been completely cleared, but chasing and snow fighting took place, which sounded much more fun.
Checking in with emails, typing a few words, sharing a post on Facebook: working from home was working out okay. My disgruntled cats made things challenging at times: they’re used to coming and going as they please, but every time they went out their cat door, I’d hear it click again a few moments later. I guess it’s hard to do the necessary cat business when the snow is deeper than you are tall! They settled for sitting on the window sill, watching the sky and chattering at the birds that were hopping around under the hedge.
Unexpected weather is tough for wildlife. I don’t usually feed birds (because of the aforementioned cats), but I felt quite sorry for them. I’d heard on the radio that a good alternative to birdseed is oats mixed with peanut butter – I had those, and was glad to prepare a little food for my feathered neighbours.
As it started to get dark I wrapped things up on the computer and moved into the kitchen. Hot soup for a cold day and the promise of a quiet evening by the fire. My “Day In” turned out to be a pretty special experience. I got some exercise, used my creativity and connected with the environment. Home is a warm and cosy place, and surrounded by family, there’s not really anywhere else I’d rather be.
What do you want to see Deb do next?
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