Archive for Thursday, January 23, 2003

Snow days leave Grandma in snow daze

January 23, 2003

It was finally to arrive -- the much-anticipated snow we had all been dreaming about and singing about weeks before Christmas. It was coming with much fanfare from the weather stations and set off a flurry of shopping for firewood, gasoline and groceries.

We were all prepared to "hunker down" and get snowbound -- at least hoping to. The excitement of the kids the evening before was palpable at Eudora's Holy Family Catholic Church when they were dismissed from their Wednesday evening religion classes. The snow was beginning to fall, and dreams of a snow day and sledding were already dancing in their heads.

And so it came and continued through the night. I woke about 2 a.m. and saw snow still falling through the dim street light and returned to my warm quilt, hoping that all the homeless also had a warm quilt that night. I awakened again to the gray light of morning that soon vanished and became the intense light that comes only with snow and invades every corner of your house. Looking at several inches of snow that was drifting across my yard and driveway, I decided it was too soon to shovel and would concentrate on some cleaning because I was, in a sense, snowed in.

Have you noticed how snow light exposes every dark corner of the house -- the cobwebs, fingerprints on all kitchen surfaces, and even the dirt in that tiny place between the cabinet and the refrigerator?

My cleaning fit lasted only a short time before grandsons Parker and Gabe -- one of the three G's in my life -- descended upon me, sent to help me shovel out. It seemed the boys had been up since 5:30 a.m. in their anticipation of a snow day and had already been into much mischief at home.

Shoveling snow and Gramma's seemed just the ticket to expel some of that "evil energy." They came complete with shovels, many layers of clothing, and a backpack full of Play Station equipment, just in case they got a break from shoveling.

And so we shoveled. There were many breaks for throwing snow, fighting over shovels and occasional trips into the house -- sneaking in for a few minutes of video games. Meanwhile, Gramma was on duty and having a hard time keeping everyone on task.

Finally it was done. Hiding the fact that the bones were aching and muscle spasms were also on their way, I got the call that we were all adjourning from our tasks to play, which in this case meant sledding down the hill at Kansas University.

Have you ever tried to park at KU on a good day, let alone a snow day? Finding a parking space at the bottom of the hill, I began the long trek up toward the campanile. Arriving halfway up the hill, I was met by the second and third G's (Grant and Garrett), who were already cavorting up and down the hill.

I was told I had forgotten one of the G's sleds. Now is the time of my second "near-death" experience, the first time being when I lost my windshield wipers in a rainstorm coming home from the lake one summer. Climbing the hill for a second time, breathing deeply and trying to look nonchalant, I asked upon arriving, "Is it time to go home yet?"

Home means home to fulfill my promise to watch "The Lord of the Rings." After my oldest grandson's explanation of the characters, who obviously never saw the inside of a bathroom or barber shop and after finally immersing myself in the story I was told that it was "to be continued," a cruel trick of the movie industry to make a few more million bucks.

Evening comes. I try to watch an old favorite movie, but keeping the eyes open is impossible. I awake briefly to watch Charlie Rose on PBS at 10:30, but the eyes close again before finding out the latest strategy on the proposed war we are already fighting -- at least in the headlines.

Philosophical thoughts on snow day: Happy to have survived another "near death" experience, loved the snow, loved the time with grandsons. Next time I'll catch up on cleaning. Maybe.

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