Snow Bound

Last week, the Washington, DC area got rocked by a blizzard. There was a lot of hype and hullabaloo preceding the “snow event,” but it was warranted – the area got hit with anywhere from 20 – 36 inches of snow. CRAZY. And it was crazy – everything was shut down: Metro, the federal government, fast food establishments. Here are some observations:

  1. Nature is something. Watching the entire blizzard process was incredible – the snow, the wind, a fox that was running around in the front yard trying to figure out where to go…amazing. To see how the snow accumulated, especially waking up in the morning and the landscape and totally changed, was remarkable. Being blinded by the sun sparkling on the snow and seeing the trees decorated as if in a Macy’s Christmas window makes me happy. Nature!
  2. “A sweater is something you have to wear when your mother feels cold.” I think this is a Nora Ephron quote, or maybe Oscar Wilde (thanks a lot, internet…) and it has been hammered home these past several days while cabin-fevered up with my seven-year-old son. “Put some socks on!” “Mom, my feet are hot!” I think it’s too cold to go outside, and he is outside tunneling through snow for hours. To me, snow means we can’t go anywhere, to him it means he doesn’t have to go anywhere [school]! As usual, it is all about perspective. Which also reminds me that I am ridiculously thankful I am “imprisoned” in a warm house with plenty of food, cable and internet.
  3. The Martian is inspirational. If you haven’t seen it yet, it really is impressive – although ridiculously suspenseful (I had to make my parents tell me the ending halfway through because I couldn’t take it). If you think “surviving” the blizzard is tough, try being abandoned on Mars. It made me realize how impressive our meteorologists are, that they used science to predict all of what would happen and prepared us well, probably saving many lives. Best takeaway from the movie is to find ways to “science the shit out of” life’s challenges. Not sure that will get me more half-n-half for this morning’s coffee, but it is definitely a way to look at other obstacles in my life moving forward. (My science-brained husband may be more useful than I thought!)
  4. Jack Daniels knows how to make friends. When it was finally over, my dad and I were out shoveling the driveway making incremental headway. A neighbor down the street used his snowblower to clear the sidewalk all the way to our house. Dad went inside and got the bottle of Jack to help warm the guy up and say thank you – next thing I know, there are four other neighbors hanging out, drinking and shooting the breeze. I didn’t even know there were that many people in the neighborhood!
  5. Family. Because we were worried about losing power, I left my husband holding down the home front and went to my parents’ house where they rarely lose power (thank you, underground power lines!). My worries were not realized (phew) but I knew my husband would be okay, while if we had stayed, I would have worried about my parents and about my son. And everyone else in the family was worried about all of us here – phone calls were coming in from Ukraine, Buffalo, Boston and Scotland to check on us. It was nice to know so many people care about us, but being apart from loved ones is the biggest challenge of the whole endeavor. Stay warm, safe and snuggled if you can!

– Libby Bingham

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