I confess that this snowstorm might be all my doing. Really. You see, I asked the Universe and the Spirits on the hill who live in the cedar trees behind the barn to not let there be any snow until we finished all the work on our house. Since November, we’ve had workers here almost every day, rebuilding old rotting walls and replacing the roof and re-siding , transforming our battered white Cape into a pristine grey and white home that I can hardly recognize. Less than twenty-four hours after they finished, we are getting snowed in with this epic storm.
Of course, my husband took off for the balmy West Coast yesterday on a gig, leaving me and my daughter to batten down the hatches. I put on my Pioneer Woman alterego and got to work. Growing up outside of Chicago, I have been well seasoned with winter snow protocol. Now, it’s my duty to pass down these survival skills to my daughter.
She’s not enjoying this lesson. Complaining loud enough to be heard in New Jersey, she has been helping me shovel, watching her paths disappear as more snow continues to cascade down and obliterate them. I keep explaining that this is fluffy white stuff now, but if we don’t get a jump on it and it turns icy, we’ll be very sad tomorrow morning. While I dragged hay and feed and water to the horses and mucked and tucked them in for the night, she moaned and groaned until I told her that I couldn’t stand the complaining, and she should just go back in the house. She left, and I enjoyed the silence as I finished up the barn chores.
When I turned towards the house, I was astonished to see that my grumpy child had carved a series of magnificent paths from the house to the hay garage and to the barn. She even shoveled around the front so we would be able to take the dog out easily. What a champ!
“I’m never going to live in the country again,” she announced as I stumbled in the back door like the Abominable Snowman. “Are you going to go back to California?” I asked. “No, I’m going to live in New York City where they have people who do this kind of thing for you.”
When I was my daughter’s age, I ran as fast as I could from the country to the city, but life is a spiral and I’m happy to be back in the country again. Tomorrow morning, at dawn, when I get up to feed the horses, I will let my daughter sleep in. I’ll just tie a rope to the knob on the back door and around my waist, like the Pioneer Woman that I am.