Ready for tonight’s topic? I’ll keep you in suspense for a while as I tell you about my day. The forecasters got this one completely wrong and yet, because they decided to call for every imaginable weather condition on earth they somehow also got it right in a way. The end result is that, after being lowballed on snow totals (last night they promised us a trace to an inch, turning into all rain quickly); when in fact I am looking out the window at a blanket of death, snow, over a foot deep. Folks, this is Virginia. The locals don’t “do” snow. So, schools were closed today (in anticipation), they are closed tomorrow, and they will most likely be closed on Friday. I’ll take it. Oh, the topic… Yeah, right. Here it is:
“If stranded on a desert island, and could only bring one music album with you, which would it be? What is it about this music that never gets old for you?”
Trite. Absolutely trite. OK, I would probably bring with me On the Radio: Greatest Hits vol. 1 & 2 (a double album). That’s Donna Summer’s greatest hits, by the way. It’s Donna Summer. She never gets old. That’s all for that topic. Oh, forget the album. What I would really want on that island with me is my dear sister, Maureen. She is an RN (a real nurse) and could not only take care of me when I fall ill but could also keep me in stitches figuratively. She did an impression for me once of a TLC special on the world’s tallest woman who happens to live in China. I am still laughing at that one.
OK, back to the snow. Yesterday I had requested a personal day for today. My wife had a rare venture into her office (she normally works from home) and she knew that it was going to be an all day affair. Not wanting my niece, Bridget, to be with the kids by herself for that great amount of time I would stay home with them too. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and saw that my school was closed anyway. Karla headed off to work. The weather types started to predict that the “second wave” of snow would move through in the afternoon and could bring a few inches which might snarl the evening rush. Whatever. Ben had decided to wake Bridget up at 3:30 this morning and make her bring him downstairs so that he could watch several hours of a Swiss made BBC claymation series of five minute shorts about a penguin. The show is called Pingu. You think I’m making this up. Take a minute to go back and ponder that last sentence. Going on. I spent the morning playing with the kids. Bridget got a little sleep. Rita took a short nap. Ben finally went down around 1. I had scheduled a doctor’s appointment to get my back checked out. Ten years ago I had a spinal fusion and ten days ago my son pulled on my arm to an extent that I’ve been in severe pain since. What I wanted was to see if 1) I could get a more targeted painkiller, 2) if he recommended physical therapy or even an X-ray for further examination, 3) just basically if he thought it was anything really serious. Bottom line: I’m fine. I have two brand new drugs to toy with. If things don’t get better we’ll talk again. I need to shed a few lbs. I have to stop (and this is the really hard part) giving back rides to 40 lb. little boys named Benedict (at least for a while). I left the doctor’s office, which is on the other side of town about five miles from my house and stepped out into a storm of sleet, freezing rain, and some snow. Did I mention the locals don’t “do” snow? They don’t “do” wind, rain, or slush either. It took me 35 minutes to drive the one mile to the pharmacy and then another 20 minutes to drive the rest of the way home.
I had known that Karla was going to be at this meeting until about 6 but when I got home at 4:15 I called her and left a message about the conditions of the road and expressing my concern that she come home soon. She called me two hours later to say that she was leaving. We decided to order a pizza. I called the place first to see if they were, in fact, delivering on this snowy night. They were. Fair enough. While waiting, I bathed the kids and got them ready for bed. Though I tried to keep Rita awake for Karla she wasn’t having it. She practically leapt into her crib. Everything was quiet. And then…
Around 8:00 my phone rang. It was Karla. She needed me to come get her. It seems that taking the Accord this morning was not the best plan of action. The roads had deteriorated and she and Crista (Karla’s coworker and our friend and daughter of Ann, loyal reader of this blog) got stuck. More to the point it had taken them two hours of driving and in those hours they drove exactly three miles and THEN got stuck. Remember those pain pills I mentioned? Yes, I got to see just how good they were. Remember the whole “take it easy” approach the doctor recommended? Yeah, we’ll try that another day. I went into semi-frantic husband mode. Left the kids with Bridget who promptly busied Ben by making a gigantic fort in the family room with pillows and blankets while I slipped out the door. I spent twenty minutes shoveling a foot of packed, heavy, wet snow from my door to the car and then uncovering the driveway out to the street. I made it out. Love all wheel drive. I headed down the street and stopped after just a few houses so I could get out of the car and help shovel out another stuck vehicle. Pause while I ask this question: who drives a Ford Focus in this weather? Anyway, driving cautiously, I made it to the gas station where they were parked, collected them and their belongings, and headed home. The valiant pizza guy was at the door as we pulled up. Many trees in your yard are split in half. We have thunder snow to thank for that. It’s an awe-inspiring phenomenon that everyone should see. And I do believe I need another pill or two.
Funny line of the night: I was speaking with Crista about the different painkillers I’ve taken for my back in the past ten years. We got on to vicodin. She apparently can’t stand it. I like it. Or, as I said: “I don’t love it but it’s OK.” Bridget then turned and said: “Uncle Timmy, you set your status last week as “Oh Vicodin, how I love you!” So true.