Forecast: A wintry mix

By morning, a dusting of snow had softened winter’s dark lines and sharp angles. Throughout the day, the storm sifted down a deafening silence of eyelash soft flurries. When we awoke the next day we reveled in the blurry white embrace of a rounded world. Fence posts topped with mushroom perfection. Cedars and firs bowing with their pillowed gifts. All things flat had gained marshmallow hats and the unbroken smoothness of the streets and yards beckoned for footprints. We obliged them.

By the third morning, with the plows having somehow missed our street, if not our town, and the snow never quitting its powdered sugar descent, worry snuck in. By week’s end we began to plan our escape. When we ventured to trench our way beyond our side door, we got as far as the street before turning back. Too much to shovel, too soft to wade through, exhaustion overwhelmed us. We’d hoped to break through to some gap, some sign of rescue. Only the occasional hallo from a neighbor, no, we’ve neither seen nor heard from anyone but you and us.

Twelve days now and our homemade snowshoes are ready. We’re leaving out the second story window over the garage. We wear our ski clothes and goggles as the blizzard conditions have scarcely let up. The power has been out for days, but the gas stove has kept us alive. We boiled snow and ate down our stores, cans and sacks we never imagined we’d use but are grateful for their presence. Thank god for our ancestors’ habits. Whoever thought lima beans could taste so good?

It took all day, but we’re finally to the grocery store. There’s a ramp down to the entrance and there are lanterns burning inside. National Guard soldiers keep the peace, they nod to us as we traipse into the dimly lit entry way. We can buy only so much, and the selection is limited, but we’re relieved there’s anything at all.

We’re told to head to the high school where most of the town has gathered for warmth and food. Generators are running and the place is ready for us.

We spend the night, and the next. The snow never quits. We stay until supplies, the Guard says, that should have arrived, never show up. You might be better off fending for yourselves, they tell us. We take what they offer, and the remaining supplies we didn’t share and head back toward home. We have trouble navigating as the snow covers the street signs and what looks like a road is just an open patch without trees. But we make it.

A few neighbors have candles burning in third story windows, their second stories are mostly buried. We, ourselves, only have an attic. We have to dig down to reenter our window. With the stove fired up and warm porridge in our bellies we sit on cushions and blankets in the attic and stare out the circular window at the snow that continues to fall.


24 thoughts on “Forecast: A wintry mix

  1. I thought about you repeatedly last week. This post is an example. Why? I read an old Louis L’amour. Solo hombre wading creeks and building fires and ducking out of winter under a train trestle. Start where it starts in your vision and take us through it.

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  2. That first paragraph is a masterpiece of description. You must be in the same climatic realm as I am. This morning I had that same thought, that it would never stop snowing and we would be buried in the stuff. But it did stop, for now anyway. It’s not as big and bad as the Blizzard of ’96, though!

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  3. I couldn’t help it but I started singing A Marshmallow World when I read your opening paragraph. I think it might be interesting that as they eat porridge and watch the snow fall, it dawns upon them that someone’s life-saving prescription medicine is about to run out…..

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  4. It’s funny how snow can look so beautiful when it lays its clean layers upon the trees and shrubs and ground cover. It is like a vision of pure primordial essence – a kind of Milky Way Galaxy of white light sent as a gift from the sky for us to ponder. But soon the snow becomes overwhelming and you realize you are not in Hermosa Beach anymore and it’s darn cold here in the snow. But if you don’t need to drive anywhere you have a chance to once again feel young if just for the moment you experience your flight down a snowy hill with childhood glee – even if it is only in a dream.

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  5. FYI: In the WordPress Reader, your whole post renders as one paragraph. But going to your actual site, I can see the paragraph breaks. It’s a know bug in WP that I’ve reported, but I’m not sure they believed me that it was happening to others. You might want to contact WP and complain about their Reader.

    Are you still using the Classic Editor? Everyone (myself included) who does seems to be prone to the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d make the obvious “how many vintage guitarists does it take to change a lightbulb” joke here, but won’t. Spend 10 minutes with the new editor and learn to use it. It kicks classic’s butt. Once you get the theory of chunk versus paste up.

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          1. What makes you think I haven’t spent considerable time with the new editor and still think it’s junk? It provides many capabilities I have no need for and it makes the things I do need harder to do.

            [Zero, btw. Vintage guitarists have people who change their light bulbs for them.]

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            1. Wrong – One to change it and all the rest to whine about how good the old one was. If you don’t need the new stuff which is, granted, for graphic intensive users like the recipe queens and the selfies from last weekend’s Scarborough Faire it’s still the same old thing. Start typing, hit return and you get a paragraph. Don’t want the space go into the HTML input and get what you want like the old days. For wordsmiths there’s very little difference. It even picks up italics and other text “enhancements” from a direct copy out of Word without selecting a with or without formatting switch. I bitched about it for a couple of weeks until I discovered it’s a facelift and graphic insertion update and no more. In fact the ability to put a slide show on a page or post for a “greatest hits” or some other use , for free, is a good thing. Regardless, at bare bones you type, it shows up on the page. There’s even another web outfit out there for “authors” with the same thing claiming it to be the easiest way yet to capture your “voice” easily. I don’t know if you’ve tried it or not but I do know it’s not so far removed from the same old thing it’s not worth complaining about, FYI this is abuse, not argument, so you won’t find one here. Never use a hammer on a screw. Next.

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                1. We adapt or workflow or get left in the dust. Bottom line – the tool has nothing to do with content. If it did we’d all be out looking for left handed axes and metric crescent wrenches.

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                    1. People who make themselves the target of generalized comments, from the very beginning of the episode, are often unappreciative. But then making oneself a target when there was none is sort of a self fulfilling prophecy of dismal, eh? You were not, nor was anyone specifically the target of a generic comment, nor were you the center of my universe at the time, or now. Buck up, laddie. We all have to outgrow our self importance before our self righteousness causes us more pain than we need.

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      1. Er, uh, I’m in the reader now and it’s uh, formatted. The deal with the reader is it’s a cached snapshot so edits and changes don’t update. Which is why I hate the freaking app and just log in. However, I checked in with our good friend iOS and all is well as well. Swell as well? Well swell? Ass swell? Anyway, iPhones and iPads like it in their respective WP apps.

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