Thursday, February 6, 2014

Not new snowfall...just pile-up from snowplows!
Yesterday another big snow storm hit Northeastern Indiana. Snowfall began just before 6 PM Tuesday, continued all night, and was especially virulent on Wednesday morning. The official depth, measured by my dog and me on our driveway is 9+ inches. Snow came up over the top of my boots.

For folks living elsewhere—meaning, outside the current snow belt—this is nothing special. So? You live in northern Indiana? It snows there. Deal with it.
I’m trying, really, folks, I’m trying. Tuesday I went to the local Walmart and Kroger stores for absolutely everything I could think of that we were out of or might need, if the siege turned out to be lengthy. Made sure there was sufficient thread of the color and type I needed to finish a couple of lap quilts. Did laundry and washed the dog’s bed covers, in case we woke up to frozen pipes or the electricity packed it in.

Even went to the library to borrow another movie so I’d have plenty of viewing material, in addition to the books I’d checked out the week before for times when my home library’s offerings are too familiar.
As of noon yesterday, the city street department had plowed our street a couple of times. Each time they built up the snow at the end of the driveway. Even if there weren’t nine-plus inches already in the driveway, I’d have trouble getting the car out. (In my next life, I’m going to have a Jeep. Or maybe a Caterpillar earth mover.)
This time of seclusion is ideal for finishing projects that have hovering over my shoulder for weeks, months, maybe longer. One lap quilt—measuring 45x57 inches—is nearly finished. Couple more hours and it’ll be ready to have its picture taken. My goal is to get it in the mail today or tomorrow for my oldest daughter’s birthday.

A second lap quilt from the same pattern, different colors, is nearing the halfway point. It has no deadline, but I’m pushing to finish it in the next couple of weeks so I can take it to church and deliver it to the man who is undergoing radiation and chemo treatments. His wife knits with our Heart & Hands group—she’s one of the most productive knitters, turning out hats, scarves, and baby afghans every week.

After those two projects are gone, I have some baby quilts to finish up for greatgrands. Funny thing, there’s always a new project begging to be finished. Like a well that never runs dry.
Today the schools are closed again—our county as well as neighboring counties. The senior center is closed. Activities and events in the community are cancelled.

Nothing new in all this.
Snow nearly 4 feet high after driveway was plowed.
But—is there, perhaps, a blessing somewhere buried under four-plus feet of piled-up snow?

I’ve noticed that I’m less stressed (when you’re retired, stress comes from different sources)—no classes meeting at the senior center; no activities at the church; many of my favorite haunts (library, YMCA) are closed part of the time. I am inclined to stay home and look around me. Is there something I can do here at home that’s been needing attention? Sort boxes of books? Go through folders of music that can be discarded or donated? Weed out clothes closets and make a packet to take to the thrift stores?
What about knitting a couple of extra kid hats for our church’s current project? Or writing notes to shut-ins (of which I am one most of the time this winter, due to weather)?

The blessing in all this is a gift—a gift of time that I haven’t had before.
I find it hard to celebrate being snowed in for weeks on end. But I can celebrate the gift of time that being snowed in brings—slowing down to do things I enjoy without thinking of the dozens of things I’m not doing instead. Because I can’t get out to do them.

In a few weeks this will all be a memory. We’ll all talk about “The Winter of 2013-2014” and remind each other of how long we went without going to the store or church or work or school. It will rank right up there with “The Blizzard of ’77-’78.” And not many folks will remember that one.

So while I have time on my hands, I’ll celebrate Winter—and think about the winters of my childhood that were cold, snowy, and miserable. But I don’t remember that part. Only that we played outside and built snowmen, then came in, hands and feet and noses frozen, to warm up with cocoa and homemade cookies.

I hope you have good memories of winters past. Heat up some cocoa, grab a handful of your favorite cookies, and curl up to celebrate your special memories.



  1. Woo hoo! I'll be getting a b-day package! :)

  2. Pray the package gets out of Indiana...once it's out of here it might get to you!

  3. Reading about the winter makes me homesick, but only a little!

  4. We could save you some winter for when you come back....