Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Blizzard of Happiness

So yesterday was the big blizzard, and I admit, I scoffed.  I really thought all those weathermen were getting their panties in a bunch over a whole lot of nothing, again.  I went to the store, yes, but all I got were ingredients for cookies.  I didn’t stock up on tuna and TP or anything like that.  I just got the essentials for baking and went home.

However, it turns out they were right.  There was a doozy of a storm yesterday, you may have heard.  And we got A PILE of snow.  I don’t know if weather affects babies the way it affects animals, but let me tell you, my baby was CRANKY yesterday.  So I stuffed her up in the office with her father and I baked.  Because really, what else is there to do?

I made a bunch of different kinds of cookies—chocolate raspberry bars, regular raspberry bars, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and Santa’s thumbprints (Hershey Kiss cookies).  Cookies galore!  They covered every inch of our table and a good part of the counters.  I tried not to make too much of a mess on account of the fact that I had just cleaned up the kitchen in a big way and I didn’t want to mess it all up again. 

So we got to 6:00 last night, the computer, Nintendo, reading, and Christmas music had all lost their appeal.  So I grabbed some cookie tins I’d gotten at Walmart a few weeks ago, loaded them up with goodies, topped each with a bow and a card, bundled up my family, and we headed out.

Let me tell you people something, it is NOT easy to guide a blind person in 14 inches of snow when you yourself are not exactly sure what you are stepping into.  Our neighbors all live in pretty good proximity to us, we weren’t walking that far, but darn it, it was HARD GOING.  I had a bag of cookie tins and Leah on one arm and Mike on the other.  I very nearly had second thoughts about the entire enterprise.

But we made it to the first house, our neighbors Jett and Mary Katherine.  Jett has been Michael’s back up chauffeur and also has helped us around the house when things break, most recently with my toilet which decided to run continuously.  Mary Katherine’s son Michael opened the door, and his look of surprise that anyone was dumb enough to be out in that weather was only the first of several such looks we got :0D  I said, “Merry Christmas!  We’re delivering cookies!” and handed him some cookies.  He invited us in, but we didn’t go further than the foyer, because we were covered in snow.  He hollered down to Jett and MK, who came up to see who the heck was dumb enough to be out in that weather, and SURPRISE!  It was us :-)  Leah was quickly liberated from my arms to play “Let’s make faces in the mirror” and we chatted and discussed the snow, the toilet, the possibility of no work on Monday, if our neighbor is going to plow us out, etc.  I had never spoken with Mary Katherine other than to say “Hi!” or “Good morning!” so it was nice to visit and get to know her better as well as meet her son and chat with Jett (yeah, we’ve lived here 4+ years, your point is??).

So we soon headed off and went across the street.  We were going to stop in at Peggy and Jim’s, as Jim always plows us out when it snows, but there didn’t seem to be any lights on and since I have never met either of them, we figured we’d go directly across the street to the Slacks’ house and see if they could tell us if they thought Peggy and Jim would be up and we could visit.  Fortunately, Manfred (Mr. Slack) had shoveled, so his driveway and front walk were much easier to navigate for us.  We rang the bell and waited a few minutes and all of a sudden Manfred peered out at us in shock!  Same “Merry Christmas!  We brought cookies!” routine and he invited us in as well.  He called his wife Bobbie upstairs, and we visited with them and their grandchildren Summer and Wade who had been over to spend the night on Friday and were stranded there till probably today.  Wade entertained Leah as we got to know the Slacks better—we learned how they met, they learned how we met, chatted about work, travel, etc.  We were there for a good bit, but it was getting close to bedtime for Leah, so we didn’t want to overstay.  We inquired about next door, but Bobbie said they probably wouldn’t answer, so if Jim comes over and plows us out today, I will snag him and give him his cookies.  Otherwise, I’ll put them in their mailbox!

We said adieu and headed to the final house of the evening, our neighbors Aaron and Jeannie.  Aaron is Michael’s chief chauffeur.  We rang the bell and it took a few minutes but eventually Jeannie peeked out and was surprised!  She opened the door and I handed her their tin with my “Merry Christmas!  We brought cookies!” speech and she invited us in so she could play with Leah for a bit.  Aaron was actually out back in his workshop, so Mike tried calling him but there was no answer.  He did finally come in, but Leah was freaking out.  It was 8:00, an hour past her bedtime and she was totally over the Christmas spirit.  So we met Jeannie’s son and then we bundled Leah back into her snowsuit and came home.  I fed Leah and changed her for bed and she was asleep in about 30 seconds.  At which point, doesn’t the phone ring?

Well, it was Scott, the kid who cuts our grass and lives behind us.  He wanted to talk to Michael and turns out, he wanted to come over to do some computer stuff.  So Michael told him to come on over!  So I quickly fixed a plate for Scott and his family, wrote out a card, and slapped a bow on it, and when he and Michael were geeked out, I sent him home with a treat from the Kosiors.

We are extremely fortunate to have such nice people who live near us and it was such a nice way to spend a snowy evening, visiting everyone getting to know them.  No one turned us away or didn’t invite us in, we really enjoyed ourselves.  It was absolutely the perfect, perfect Christmas thing to do.  Maybe we’ll do it again next year—no, we WILL do it again next year.  I’ve always had an image of suburbia where all the neighbors were friendly and meeting at the mailbox for chatter, etc.  While that hasn’t been the case here and probably isn’t the case anywhere except on TV, the neighborhood did get a little smaller and a whole lot warmer for us last night. 

Let’s hope it doesn’t take a blizzard for it to happen again.

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

manda said...

I have to admit that when I read your update on FB last night about the adventure, I thought you were nuts for going it with a blind man AND a baby- in a BLIZZARD. I want half your energy.