Monday, December 22, 2008

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

As those of you who live in the Midwest know (and those of you who don't have perhaps seen on the news), this part of the country has been pretty much ravaged by Jack Frost over the course of the past week. My last week of work for 2008 involved one late start (a two-hour delay following a night where we were slammed with freezing rain), two early dismissals (due to incoming nasty weather), and a snow day (starting our winter break a day early -- woo hoo!). Right now, my town is covered in a glistening layer of sparkling white, which is beautiful until you step outside and realize that a) it's FREAKING FREEZING and b) that glistening layer of sparkling white is created by a 1/2 inch thick layer of ice. It's all perfectly lovely until you have to go outside, which I have had to do a couple times over the past couple days.

Friday, as we dealt with the aftershocks of freezing rain and snow, I played the role of a curmudgeonly hermit. After receiving my 5:15am call cancelling school for the day, I slept until 10:00am and spent the rest of the day puttering around the house and watching television. Saturday, though, I had to go out. The house needed groceries, Christmas shopping needed to be done. I gloried in the fact that my new status as a garaged-house-dweller allowed me to get right into my car without needing to scrape or brush or deal with any of that. I just got in, started the car, and pulled right out. Woo hoo. I've perhaps mentioned before how much I love my neighborhood. It's a nice, quiet little street, tucked away, very little traffic. As great as that is most of the time, I realized this weekend that it's NOT so great in that snow plows typically don't find their way down quiet, tucked away little streets with very little traffic. I pulled out of my garage onto the street and found myself on a solid sheet of ice with next-to-no traction. I skidded and sputtered my way down the block before my tires finally decided to catch and let me drive.
I faced the roads which weren't overly bad once I got away from my street. I made my way to Target which was fairly busy and quickly found the exact presents I was looking for. I went across the street to the mall where I found more of what I was looking for. I finally braved Wal-Mart which was the madhouse you would assume it to be the Saturday before Christmas. The parking lot was packed -- the closest space was about as far away from the entrance as you could get. The store was packed full of the stupid people who tend to populate Wal-Mart -- the kind of people who stop to "visit" right in front of the wall of cheese and right in front of the particular kind of cheese you need, the particular kind of cheese that is the last item on your list before you can get the heck out of Dodge. And then you get out to the parking lot and realize you have NO IDEA where your car is, so you go up and down several rows of cars with a cart loaded with groceries over parking lots that seem to be filled with ice speed bumps that make steering said loaded cart virtually impossible. Once I actualy did find my car, I made for home as quickly as I could, deciding that I was done with the outside world for the day.
Today, temperatures hovered at or below zero -- and that's before the wind chill was factored into things. And there I was out and about once more. I had to go pay my water bill (Merry Christmas!) and pick up a new recycling tub to replace the tub that disappeared with the winds that ravaged the town Friday. I had to go to the post office to mail the Christmas cards I finally got around to writing this weekend. Of course on the Monday before Christmas they only had two clerks working. The line wasn't bad when I joined it to buy my stamps, but it was clear out the door by the time I left. I then had to make a return trip to Wal-Mart to buy a couple things I needed to do some baking this week.
And now -- done. I'm not going out into the world again this week if I can help it. There's more snow and ickiness on the way, and so I am going to hole up in my comfy little house, curl up with a book or some TCM movies, and ignore what's going on outside. Christmas is just me and the sis this year (my mother has decided spending Christmas with her new, um, boyfriend is preferable to spending it with her children), so it's going to be a nice, mellow week.
Ahhhhhh . . . hermits really know what they're doing!


Mike said...

TCM this past Sunday was SOOOOO awesome. The Black Hole, both Witch Mountains, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Candleshoe (which I hadn't seen since I saw it in the Galesburg Drive-in as the second half of a double feature with The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again) and Freaky Friday. It was followed up by a documentary about the history of Disney's live action movies. We didn't watch them all, but the TiVo recorded them and it's going to be perfect for days off when it's too cold for anything else.

Mel said...

I did the same thing -- recorded a bunch of those old movies and the documentary. I checked the guide -- next weekend looks like a Herbie marathon.

I also saw Candleshoe as the second half of the Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again double feature. Perhaps we were there the same time! :) (I remember The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again being the most anticipated film of my childhood. A sequel to the greatest film ever?!?!?!? NO WAY!)

Danielle Mari said...

So happy to think of you ensconced in your warm and cozy home! Happy Merry, Melsy! I love you!

Jen said...

Merry Christmas, Mel! Wishing you a cozy, lazy, happy day.