Dad’s Gonna Lose it!
As the weather cools and the days get shorter I think about taking my young son outside and showing him how to build a snowman, have a snowball fight and taking him sledding. But, in Kentucky we only get a snow capable of allowing for this type of thing every five to ten years, and he’s not old enough yet to have lived through such a thing. So, of course, when I heard that a winter storm would be depositing up to half a foot of snow in my yard I was excited to be able to share with my son the joys of playing in the snow.
However, memories can play tricks on you. You see, in my excitement, I seem to have forgotten that in order for there to be snow it has to be cold outside. Really cold.
The part of my brain that I use to maintain my safety and that I rely on to preserve the well-being of my family and myself was throwing up red flags, but I ignored them. Instead, we strapped 40 pounds of winter clothes on our young son, I threw my old jacket over my t-shirt, and wrapped our heads in sock caps. We were ready to explore the landscape of our newfound winter wonderland. After the storm dropped an unexpected 8 inches of snow we took my son outside for a day of fun in the newly arrived winter wonderland. But, after about ten minutes that winter wonderland turned into a house of horrors. My hands and feet, inadequately protected by the flash-frozen water covering the grass, were cold and hurting.
After 20 minutes my son’s nose was running like it was training for the Olympics, my wife was complaining and my hands and feet had stopped hurting, which I hear is a bad sign. After 30 minutes we gave up. The snow was too powdery to make so much as a snowball, let alone a snow man, everyone was wet with melted snow, and miserable. Once inside, and warm, I was informed by my son that he no longer wished to play in the snow because it was too cold. I would have to agree – that does seem like sound logic.
However, like any good infomercial, the meteorologist popped up and said “But wait! There’s more!”, and so the additional one or two inches that we were supposed to get drove into the area and, combined with what was already here, piled a full twelve inches of snow on my area. Now, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the way snow removal works in Kentucky, so let me explain. Typically you have one old, half-blind man seat himself in a plow and the road department cuts him loose to terrorize the county. Over the course of three or four days, with a lot of help from the sun, the main roads are passable, so long as the snow was less that 5 inches deep. For a foot, you might as well hunker down for the remainder of winter.
Hence I found myself trapped, for five days, in my house with a wife that was upset about missing work and a child who’s nose was now giving signals that everyone in the area would soon catch the plague and die. Understand that I love my family. My wife and son are the world to me, but being locked in a 1200 square foot house for almost a week with them makes me want to stick my head in the oven. Not that they do anything wrong, but boredom overtakes a three year old in about 45 seconds and my wife in about 45 minutes. We are a family that likes to go out and do things. Being stuck in a house this long makes us all more than a little stir crazy and emotional outbursts do happen.
No work gets done when everyone is here because an article that would normally take an hour to write gets interrupted enough to take three or four hours and even thinking about garnering enough concentration to look at investments brings on a headache. My house is left in shambles because there is are no breaks for cleaning and dinner is slowly getting more and more inventive as the pantry gets emptied out.
All of this being said, my wife has returned to work and eventually my son will go back to school. The snow is slowly melting and the temperatures have soared into the double digits. There is hope on the snow-covered horizon that life will return to normal soon as this “winter wonderland” disappears and fades into memory. And, though I’m sure I’ll forget by the time another snow storm rolls through the area, for now I have decided that I only like the idea of snow and it is better viewed on a television in a nice, warm climate.
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