Monthly Archives: November 2014

Making a Snow Decision

So, it’s been snowing here. That means curling up in front of the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa out of mismatched mugs, and coloring pictures of Elsa and Anna all day, right? Nope. It means white-hot raging Facebook debates about whether or not the kids should be going to school tomorrow. It would make an excellent drinking game, really. Just take a shot every time someone says ‘snow’ or ‘school closing.’ You’ll be drunk before you know it. This fluffy stuff on the ground also triggers several bread buying debates on social media, and you can see my opinion on that here.

There are two schools of thoughts in this debate:

#1 – There is not that much darn snow on the ground. The roads are a little wet and there’s a dusting of snow in the grass. Get over it. The kids should be in school, and we shouldn’t waste snow days on this.

I have to agree with this. It’s really not that bad out. And since I work from home, I need the kids to go to school so I can get my work done. Otherwise I’ll be curled up in front of the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa out of mismatched mugs, and coloring pictures of Elsa and Anna all day.

#2 – The wet roads will freeze overnight. The curvy country roads aren’t safe. We should be more concerned about the safety of our children than anything else. The people who want to send their children to school just want a free break from their children.

I have to agree with this stance as well. I do put the safety of my children above all else, and I would much rather they be home safe than stuck on a bus somewhere. It’s funny, though, because I lived in Colorado for the first twelve years of my life. We had to go to school when it snowed or else we would never have any school at all. When we moved to Illinois, we laughed at the school cancellations that blared across the news the moment a flake hit the ground. In Colorado, we almost always went to school, and it was fine.

Except that time when it wasn’t. The snow had been falling heavily and the high winds were drifting it across the road. None of this was unusual, but the bus was having trouble plowing through it all that day. As we approached the house of a kid whose name I can’t remember, he said, “We’re going to get stuck at my house.” His place was nestled between two hills, and the wind had filled that little valley with enough snow to build an army of yetis. His prediction had been correct. The entire busload of kids piled off into his house. I remember the long line of kids waiting to use the phone to call their parents and let them know where we were. The weather was so bad that the majority of us had to spend the night, and extra food was brought in on horseback. The news team made it to the house shortly before my dad was able to pick us and the neighbor girl up in a borrowed truck, and we were on TV that night throwing snow balls at each other.

So what’s the point? Well, we were okay, so it all ended up fine. But my mother was terrified. I was a bit miserable sleeping on a stranger’s living room floor. I remember it well enough that I can even describe the shirt I was wearing that day (red, with a black horse’s head, and its mane was made of Christmas lights. Hey, it was the 90’s.) It’s a nice conversation starter, but maybe it is better to be safe than sorry. For the moment, it looks like I’ll be loading the kids up on the big yellow bus in the morning. But I just might have some cocoa for them.

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Filed under Family

Sandwich Thoughts

Sometimes when I sit down for my writing time, it’s an amazing thing.  A couple cups of coffee and an hour later I’ve cranked out over 1,000 words and I’m deliriously excited.  Other times, the cursor just blinks blankly at me, mocking me for my lack of inspiration.

I wouldn’t be the first person to notice that great ideas come in the shower.  I’ve noticed they also come while driving, grocery shopping, or even making a sandwich.  I just wish I could get the words to flow as well during writing time as they do during anything else time.  For instance, when I’m making lunch, the little obnoxious narrator in my head will say something along the lines of, “She stacked the lunch meat atop the smattering of mayonnaise in a delicious architecture.”  The narrator jumps ship when I sit down at my computer, and when my character needs to have lunch, “She makes a sandwich.”  Great.

Where’s your favorite place to have great thoughts?

Sandwich

 

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Filed under Food, On Writing

Mom’s the Rotten Egg

“Last one in is a rotten egg!” one of my kids screams as they all scramble into the backseat of the Subaru.  Then the debate begins on which one is truly the rotten egg.  Is it the last one physically in the car?  Or the last one to get buckled?  I settle the debate: “Mom’s the rotten egg.”

“No! You can’t be the rotten egg!  I love you!”  My littlest one can be sweet to a fault.

But, being Mom, I really am the rotten egg.  I’m first one up in the morning, but I’m the last one to bed.  I’m the last one to sit down at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table.  I’m the last one to be ready to go when we’re on our way out the door because I’ve been busy getting everyone else ready.

I’m okay with being the rotten egg though.  Parenting is tiresome, frustrating, and sometimes even confusing, but I can’t imagine not doing it.  So when the kids are racing across the yard, I’ll gladly stand back and be the rotten egg.

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An Open Letter to the Woman in the Vet’s Office

Dear Stranger,

I saw you in the vet’s office the other day.  I was pretty distracted trying to keep my 35-pound ‘lap dog’ in check, but I knew immediately there was something different about you.  I should have recognized what it was even before the receptionist told you how sorry she was.  You didn’t have an animal with you.  Not anymore.

I wasn’t trying to be nosey, but in a small office like that you can’t help but overhear everything.  I heard you say that you had no regrets, other than the fact that nobody came with you.  I heard you say you would wait in your car for them to bring the body out.  Once I’d paid, I saw you sitting there in your car, alone, with the hatchback open and a blanket spread out in the back.

I just want to tell you how very sorry I am.  I’m sorry for the loss of your sweet pet, whose species or gender I don’t even know but I am certain meant the world to you.  I am so sorry that nobody came with you for this terrible moment.  I’m sorry that I didn’t just run right up to you and hug you, but I didn’t want to bother you in your moment of grief.  I feel now like I should have bothered you anyway.

I also want you to know that I’m hopeful for you.  I know how much it hurts, because losing a pet is truly losing a part of your family.  But I know that eventually that hole in your heart will heal just enough that you can open your arms to a new fur baby, one that needs you just as much as you need it.

Hugs,

Ashley

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Filed under Animals