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11 months ago

883 words

Photo: That’s Ursa Minor, gearing up to skate on my driveway while waiting for the bus.


All the weatherfolk in Massachusetts got the forecast wrong yesterday.

Well… I should say, they got it wrong for my town. Something something high-pressure cold air dam. Something something Canadian arctic air spilling down through Maine and New Hampshire (they love to blame Canada around here! I suspect because of the hockey rivalry). Something something air settles in the valleys. Something or other air doesn’t move, despite warm fronts and junk moving through.

So towns to my East and towns to my West made it upwards of 55 degrees yesterday. My town? My town stayed at or below 32.

When we woke up yesterday morning, the world looked fine, but we all stepped out of our doorways and got a very rude surprise! For The Husband, the surprise came in the form of a very swift slip down our stairs, landing him squarely on his not terribly cushioned behind. (What? It’s his anatomy! I didn’t marry him for his booty! Shhhh, don’t tell him I wrote that.) He recovered well enough to make it to the barn and get the ice melt for the stairs. What he quickly discovered though, and came inside to report to me and the boys, was that the entire world was covered in a very thin, very sneaky, very slippery layer of ice.

Freezing fog—yes, that’s right, fog can freeze– put a lovely layer of ice on our cars, too, so those needed to be scrapped. Then The Husband made the harrowing slide in his little car down our driveway and into the street. He made it to work ok… other folk? Not so lucky. Accidents everywhere.

The buses were a mess, too. My suburban parent Facebook group (which oscillates between useful tool to den of vipers in the matter of minutes depending on the day) was a running list of bus delays cascading from the high school on down to the elementary schools. Maybe some of ya’ll saw on the news, but there were bus incidents all over the place, including this pretty dramatic video from another town.

This is now the second time this winter when the weather has made what should be a pretty normal morning a complicated situation. Two weeks ago, when the wind-chills were in the negatives and the regular air-temperature was in the single digits, the buses here straight-up didn’t start or failed mid-run. It was madness. Other towns had decided to go 2-hours late which, at the time, made the people in my town snark it up about weakness and overreaction. We all saw the wisdom afterwards! I warmed up the van (which took forever) and drove the boys in, then watched the fireworks on Facebook for the rest of the day.

This time around, I decided to wait for the bus. This meant getting two little boys down the driveway, which required trudging through a neighbor’s yard and climbing over a snowbank. The boys were thrilled by it all. Utterly riveted! There was so much adventure and intrigue! The world covered in ice? A new route to the bus? A question as to if the bus would even show up? And a driveway covered in ice?

You know what they did, right?

Ice skating.


Don’t ask me what the child is saying. He decided to make up a song. I guess he was feeling whimsical (isn’t ice skating a whimsical activity?) and so he came up with a whimsical song to sing.

The “skating” freaked me out at first, especially after the trauma of Minor’s broken wrist last Spring. It would have been too much work to stop them and, besides, they were having a lot of fun while passing the time. I decided to take a deep breath and trust the universe wouldn’t put me through that again so soon. The bus was a good 15 minutes late. I seriously considered just driving them in… but came to the conclusion that it was actually safer to just put them on the bus than it would be for me to navigate the insanity in the van. It was the right call, ultimately. They made it to and fro safely.

I spent the rest of the day emailing all my favorite people. “Reason #50181818181 why Massachusetts is the worst,” I wrote to a friend, “spontaneous ice rinks! What!?!?! We’re moving back to Maryland!”

My neighbor: “What? Like it never ices in Maryland?”

Me: “Nope. Because Maryland is perfect.”

There was laughter, at least.

We’ve lived here for a while now, but this one was a first. I will hand it to New Englanders: they really do shrug a lot off. I wonder what the Minute Man who lived across the street would have done under the circumstances? I suspect he would have put more logs on the fire and gone back to bed!

As for me? The ice and the rain was perfect writing weather. I’m on track for major accomplishments this week! What about you, Dear Reader? How is your week shaping up? I hope you’re on the hunt for accomplishing a major goal this week. Let’s make it to that Friday finishline feeling accomplished, ok?

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

One Reply to “Spontaneous Ice Rink!?”

  1. Freezing fog. So interesting. I love fog, and I imagine that while slippery, it was beautiful. I love how you write, your stories feel so real, like you are telling me in your own kitchen. Really nice and authentic. Also, I live in Canada… you can blame us for the weather, it’s ok. We love our snow, though we complain about winter all the time… but in truth, I think we’re proud of it 🙂

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