Photo: Ursa Minor was wonderfully oblivious to the mayhem in the grocery store today. It seemed not to bother him that it took about 15 minutes or so to wait in line for check-out at Market Basket (usually we don’t have to wait at all). All he wanted was his usual Monday cookie. When he got it, he was happy. You’ve got to love childhood for its simplicity.
I usually try to take on challenges in good humor, but I’m going to be very honest with you, my dear reader: I’m extremely anxious today. This will be our second Massachusetts blizzard, but our first in the house. The last time we did this, we were in a very nice 2 bedroom apartment in a “new” community with underground wires. Someone else was going to remove the snow. Someone else was going to deal with any damage to structure. And we had two infants, which is easy to deal with: one was on the boob, the other was still working with the mushy stuff. No power? No problem.
But now… Stakes are so much higher. And I have all of the worries…
I was holding down tears watching the long lines at Market Basket they were showing on the news. “It’s madness!” “20 minutes just to get to the cashier!” “If you want milk around here, you aren’t going to get it.” I debated going out in it, but decided to wait until this morning. I made plan upon plan. I can bake my own bread if they don’t have any. We can probably manage the milk we’ve got (a gallon and a half) if they don’t have any. We have plenty of meat and bacon and stuff. Veggies we can live without if we absolutely have to.
So I dropped off Ursa Major at school, said a prayer, and went out to the store. It was crowded, for sure, but Market Basket came through: once I had my milk (3 gallons… yes, this was overkill) in the cart and some cold cuts (just in case we lose power) it was all gravy from there. We’ve got all we need and more. I’m now just praying on the power.
It’s not the snow that worries me. It’s the wind. 60+mph gusts around these ancient trees makes me nervous. We’ve got oil heat, but the boiler/heater needs electricity to get rolling. We also have an electric stove. My mother reminded me that we have a grill, and I can use it if we’re out of power (“Probably the best eating in the neighborhood, Kyra. Seriously, you might want to make that accessible anyway.”) to cook and heat water in an emergency. I keep telling myself that we’re only talking about 2 days… but then again, I don’t know that. I am planning to not be able to leave this house until Friday. That requires a lot.
Even though we are growing a network of good friends and neighbors (who have all offered to be supportive resources if things go sideways), it is moments like this when I remember that I am very far away from home. The people who love us unconditionally and the homes that are always open to us no matter what, are eight hours away. Yes, we have places to go if something goes wrong, but it’s not the same as “oh, we’ll just go to mom’s if it gets crazy.” These are the moments when two things happen: first, I feel a brief moment of panic. Second, I feel a more sustained moment of reassurance. We can do this. We have done it. We don’t need the safety-net. We are perfectly competent adults, resourceful and able. There may be brief discomfort, but we’ll make our way out of it. We don’t need to be home during times like this. I can usually talk myself off the edge when I remember this.
This is our 8th Boston Winter, which makes me just a little bit sad and just a little bit proud. We’ve certainly gotten hearty over these years and after last winter, especially, we feel like we are true “veterans” of this sort of weather. It isn’t like we never got this kind of snow in Maryland during my childhood. I remember the Blizzard of ’96 pretty vividly: We were out of school for an entire week and mom was at work for most of that time, too. So crazy and yet so fun. It’s all fun and games until you have a house and children of your own. Then this gets real.
The good news? The Husband is going to stay home from work (He doesn’t have a choice. They are shutting down the T) for the day, we are in our own place and we have everything we need. We have booze enough to keep us sane, good food, and oil to keep us warm. I have plenty of crafting and projects to do, and writing/editing to get done. My awesome mom-friends have great ideas for keeping children occupied on days like this (build forts! print out coloring pages!)… matter of fact, my sort of “mentor mom” sent me a whole folder’s worth of coloring pages to print out and give to the boys. So awesome!
It’s going to be ok. We’re going to be ok.
And I know that. But I’ve still got the anxious flutter in my stomach.
Some of ya’ll readers have already experienced this storm. I hope that you all are warm and safe tonight. Some of ya’ll are about to ride it out like I am. I hope that you stay safe and warm and keep your power. For the rest of you all, in warmer and less snowy places around the country, I hope you’ll keep the rest of us in your thoughts. Pray on the power. That’s what I’ll be doing.
If it’s safe and I have power, I’ll update tomorrow. If not, Wednesday. If you don’t hear from me by Wednesday, it means it all went to hell and I’ll do my best to update on Friday.
Happy Blizzard Monday! Stay safe! Until then… whenever that may be… take care.